Monday, August 11, 2008

death in lille \\ 170

Maddie and Maddy spent three hours in Victoria Coach Station yesterday. Because, obviously, London is boring and theres nothing better to do than sit and nwatch swarthy men argue about their pink luggage.

We were, in fact, trying to get to Belgium.

Things didn't get off to a good start. A message about who would kill who first went to the wrong person and death threats ensued. Pizza was eaten. When we eventually joined the queue for bus 170 to Berlin via everywhere else including Brussells, it appeared that every single European in London was going to be on the bus. In the tradition of Victoria, we were not amused.

We continued to be unamused all the way to Folkestone, where we had no choice but to give way to mild amusement (the alternative was to cry from overwhelmedness). Our german bus driver seemed surprised that we wanted to go to Brussells. There was an assumption (thank you eurolines website) that we would be travelling to the continent in a bus on a ferry. This was not the case. in a bus we were, but we were suddenly inserted, probe like, into a train carriage. Very Harrison Ford in the carbonite. lots of yellow lights. Maddie freaked out. Maddy laughed. Maddy wants it known that it wasn't a train carriage, it was a prison on wheels. Still, the German boys (who were possibly French) were cute.

The prison on wheels popped out the other side, we were in France. Much relief until we realised we had to get back on the bus. After a while we ended up in Lille. The bus driver announced that we would be staying in Lille for an hour.

Nobody needs to stay in Lille for an hour.

At this point, I should make note of the fact that the hostel we were trying to get to in Brussells closes its reception at 11pm. Our bus was due to arrive at 10.45pm, giving us 15min to find the bloody thing. We were in Lille from 8-9pm. Therefore, I (maddie) spent the entire hour freaking out about where we would end up that night. Poor Maddy. I wouldn't have been surprised if she'd left me in Lille. Upset, but not surprised.

Back on the bus. frantic. Maddy decides that because we aren't sitting next to one another (the bus is too crowded. I sat behind her and we gave directions to the WC to people all sodding trip), she can have some quiet time with her ipod whilst I fret my little brains out and try to come up with contingency plans. I appear to have the same aptitude for doing so as the Bush government. "something will happen and we'll cope" was the jist.

It was getting darker. And later. The bus was not going fast enough. Personally, i felt we could have jettisoned about half the other occupants, particularly the small children. And the smelly men.

10.20 when we made it to outer Brussells. The temperature outside was falling, according to passing thermometers. Great. Not only were we going to be destitute in Brussells (seriously, who's destitute in Brussells??????) we were going to get hypothermia, cholera and possibly chilblains. The only food we had were skittles, oreos and chocolate.

Maddy appeared calm. She also appeared asleep. Maddie appeared manic. I also appeared a myriad of other adjectives that are all synonymous with insane.

When we made it to Brussells North Bus Depot, I wanted to let off fireworks. Except the German woman I was sitting next to, who hadn't said a word for nearly 9 hours, decided then to tell me about the time she'd been robbed in Brussells. not comforting.

Bolted off the bus with our luggage, resembling a pair of turtles who had gotten lost migrating, we tumbled into a taxi. Our driver was lovely, but a bit confused as to why we wanted a taxi when we could have walked. My response was a garbled "IT'S HALF TEN!!". out of the three of us, we had no idea where the hostel was. the driver parked in a side street and wandered off to find it. eventually I found it, we coughed up 7 euro fare and tottered off. then remembered we hadn't tipped him and felt momentarily bad.

we're staying in 2GO4 Hostel, which is rather nice for a hostel. the guy at the desk thinks we're hysterical because we both have the same name and appeared rather frazzled. we stumbled up to our room and passed out. i dreamt of electric sheep. now im worried i might be an andriod. i feel mildly calmer today, except we have to go and sort out how we're getting from Brussels to Keiwit on Wednesday for Pukkelpop. personally, I think we should try and flag down The Killers or Editors and get them to look after us.

and after Pukkelpop, we're back in Brussells, at Hotel de la Madeleine for two nights, then Paris, Berlin, Lichenstien, Geneva, Florence, Rome, Greece. I think. That's the rough plan at the moment.

Really, I'm just glad we didn't get stuck in Lille.

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