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Banbury Cross

a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Is there something I should know about?

Is there something I should know about?

Sometimes I get a nagging suspicion that life is orchestrated.

Yesterday I was in Prague, sipping coffee with a friend of mine, totally oblivious to the fact that the last train to my hometown leaves at 9.11p, two subway stations away from the place where we were sampling the fine products of Columbian plantations. When we descended to subway, and we did take the stairs by two, we saw the train leave right in front of our noses. It was 8.59 and there was no point waiting for the next one. I summoned all my brain cells for a quick family meeting and in 10 seconds decided to resurface and run the two subway stops to the train station, my coat and backpack included in the project. I cut the parting speech to 3 seconds and shot upstairs. It was lightly drizzling, but there was no time for complaints and I started trotting down the street towards Wenceslaus Square, where I took a brief rest in the form of a brisk walk.

I disappeared into the underpassage and reemerged for the second leg. The drizzling intensified, but I was way past the point of no return. Thanks to my soccer training I ran into the station at 9.09 with my tongue dangling out like a towel ready to be thrown. I knew this time of day the line at the ticketing office would be small and I'd probably have an extra minute by the time I reach the train.

Indeed, when I approached the window, no one was there. Sadly, not even a clerk. The office has been moved to an underspecified place somewhere on the right of the main hall. I couldn't believe my luck. For 30 years that office had been there. I bought my first ticket home at this window! And now when I needed it most, they moved it. I ran up and to the right, but found only international departures. A lady behind the counter pointed me back to where I came from. It turned out that when I dashed into the building, I passed just by it.

I asked 2 people standing in the line whether I could cut in, which they did, yielding to signs of desperation emanating profusely from my demeanor. When I got my ticket, I noticed that clock just turned 9.11 and I still had 200 meters to go. As I darted through the main hall, I heard announcer that the train to Hradec Kralove finished boarding and is ready for departure. I flew into the tunnel and as I turned to my last staircase I heard station master's whistle. I ran up to the platform and spotted the train. I caught its last standing second. As I searched for the door it moved. In 0.2 seconds I chose my door, yanked it open and leaped in. By that time the train had attained the speed of a walking businessman. The conductor asked me whether I was crazy. I thought about it and said that I wasn't.

This was the most amazing case of supernatural timing I was ever part of. Ten minutes ago, I was more than a kilometer away. And after a sequence of runs and walks and leaps and searches, I made it just in time. If I was two seconds late, the train would have been moving too fast. If I was two seconds early, the train would still be comfortably standing and what kind of story would this be if it didn't end up with jumping into the moving train.

Sometimes life feels like a reality show that Gods on the Olymp are watching from a covered balcony for their divine amusement. I am not sure which of them were betting on me, but as I slumped into my seat, I thanked them sincerely.


Comment from: Bella [Visitor]
You took my breath away
Permalink 10/23/08 @ 01:10

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