1:30: Finally start packing, leaving it to the last minute to say the least. By 3.30 it's time to go and I still haven't quite finished but I throw everything I can see into the top of my suitcase and head out to the car.
3:30: Made it to the bus on time, and settle down to relax with a couple of trashy magazines that the driver lent me. Not sure why he has them in the first place though ... maybe he's called Sandra a t the weekends and was looking for some fashion tips? The jouney is utterly unevenful and completely boring, but at least there's no London rush hour traffic to deal with at this time of the morning.
5:00: Arrive at Marble Arch, blag a cigarette off the bus diver as I hadn't had one yet, and then hop in a cab to Liverpool St Station. The cabbie drops me off in front of the tube station, and I look around wondering where on earth the bus stop is. The local bin men inform me that it's just around the corner, so off I set. I now find my self infront of Liverpool St Station, where I buy a newspaper from the rudest man ever, and then start desperately looking around fpr somewhere I can get an expresso, as none of the shops in the station are open yet.
Finally I spy a juice bar, and go over in the vague hope that they will have coffee. It then goes something like this:
Me: Do you serve expresso?
Juice Man: [said with a disgusted look on his face] No!, but I can get you an organic wheatgrass shot if you want. It's much healthier for you.
Me: [with a horrified look on my face] I think I'll pass, but thanks anyway.
Organic wheatgrass, I think not. I am not a rabbit, nor do I plan on turning into to one any time soon. Also, at 1 pound 50 a shot, it's more expensive that a tequila in most of the bars I go to, and a I don't know about anyone else but I would rather have a tequila anyday. I do however order a booster burner, which consists of mixed berries, orange juice and yoghurt [or soya milk if I prefer]. It taste better than the name would suggest.
6:15: Made it onto the bus to the airport. The bus station turned out to be opposite the tube station, and I have ended up going round in a big circle, but what the hell.
6:40 Check In. Once I finally make it to the front of the queue and have answered the utterly pointless security questions, the lady then asked me whether I have me visa for Poland! My what?! The combination of it being 6:40 in the morning, the caffine deprivation and the lack of nicotine all combine to nearly give me a heart attack. I tell I her that I don't need one, and she sweetly replies that she didn't think I did, but she was just checking. At this point I wasn't sure whether to kill myself, or her.
14:00: Two completely uneventful flights later I land in Warsaw. I was so tired that I managed to sleep through the landing, but who cares. I grab my luggage and hop in a cab to the central station.
15:45: It took me about 20 minutes to purchase my ticket, but I finally have it, and my train leaves in 15 minutes. I head down the escalator towards the platforms, where I ask one of the guards which platform I need to leave from. He kindly informs me that I need platform 5. Ten minutes later and I still can't find platform 5, at this point I am starting to panic slightly becuase I only have 5 minutes till the train leaves. I run back up to the information desk and ask them where Platform 5 is. "Plaform 5?" they say, "There is not platform 5. Your train leaves from platform 4." for the second time today, I am about ready to kill someone. I rush back down the escalator towards platform 4. When I finally get to the platform the train has already started moving, but one of the dorrs is open, and the people inside yell at me, so I throw them my suitcase, and then one of the men sticks out his arms and hauls me onto the train. I made it!
I normally have the worst luck in the world when it comes to the people sitting next to / sharing a compartment with me, however there is an exception to every rule and this was it. I spent the next 2 and a helf hours chatting to a Polish journalist, who had spent a lot of time in Asia. Very interesting chap, the only downside being he never shut up, but there are far worse traits than that.
I finally arrived in Catowice, hungry, exhausted and looking forward to jumping on the next train and getting a little bit closer to my destination, but it was not to be. As soon as I arrived, I asked the guard [I realise now that I have should have learnt from my earlier experiance] which platform my next train departed from. He told me it left from the platform I was on in an hour. I sat down and resigned myself to spending the next hour on the platform.The hour came and went. After about an hour and fifteen minutes, I decided to go ask another guard. He said that the train I needed actually departed from the other platform, and that it had just left. I could even see it disappearing into the distance. This meant that I had another 45 minute wait until the next train.
21:00 I finall caught the train to Bielsko, and spend the nect hour talking to a young polish soldier who didn't speak any English. Great fun.
22:15 I finally arrive and am met at the station by the host family, who seem really nice. A half hour drive takes me to the house, where I gratwfully flop into bed.