I’ve now been to over 40 countries, experiencing practically every high and low known to man. From the Congo to Ukraine, I like to say I’ve seen and experienced it all. And that’s once you actually arrive at your destination! Sometimes, they say…the journey is half the one. Well, here’s one such example…I think from 2009. The photo I’ve selected (and there many dozens of crazy ones from this trip) pretty well reflects how I was feeling that the time…
FIGHTING IN ROMANIA
So, 1 hour drive to LAX yesterday. 2 hours waiting in International Terminal for KLM flight. 10.5 hours to Amsterdam. 2 hour layover at Schiphol Airport. 1 hour 50 minutes to Budapest. And then, “stranded” at Ferihegy Airport where I spot 2 guys that have to be fighters. They are. A 3 hour wait with my new Dutch pals and much beer and Red Bull drinking ensues. At last our Romanian guide and his driver show up. The 5 of us cram into an Audi sub-compact and hit the 1 lane, tree-lined road. It’s just started to drizzle and the road must be pretty slick. We’re going 180 km. I’m a little fuzzy and my brain is not converting the metric system, but I’m sure that’s pretty fast. We tailgate cars in front and whip around them playing chicken with the 18-wheelers bearing down on us from the opposite direction. An hour later we get pulled over by the Hungarian Police, who show special interest in my US Passport. An hour later still, the Romanian Border Police are even more interested.
After 3 death-defying hours on the road that seemingly leads to nowhere, we pull into Arad and to our hotel. I’m informed by the lone front desk clerk that “Mr. Edourd” (the Promoter of the event I’m here for) is waiting for me and has sent a car. I can barely stand up straight. I grab a quick shower and it’s off into the Romanian night we go. We pull up to Patchouli Bar and “Nitespot.” The place is going off. I’m greeted very warmly by Eduard, who has taken over the entire VIP section. It’s chock full of gargantuan Eastern Europeans and how shall we say it…um…models? Much 30-year-old MacKellan drinking ensues. Day 1 of this 5 day trip is almost behind me and tomorrow is another day.
If you’ve had a crazy travel experience, I want to hear! Who knows, your story may end up in my book! Leave your comments below or join the discussion on Facebook.