25.06.2016 - 25.06.2016
It was unusually warm and muggy outside, on a Saturday like this. When I finished packing my bags I realized that one large bag and one carry-on bag would be pretty tough dragging down to the train station in this weather condition. So a thought hit me that it might be possible to take the bike… but no, I don’t know what I was thinking but it was definitely not possible to bike with those two big bags anyway. After a lot of shilly-shallying I finally arrived at the train station and had plenty of time before the train departed. Hot! Did I mention that? You could barely stand out in the sun, so shadow was badly needed. They announced on the screens that the train would be 3 minutes late – what a surprise (not)?! Well, a few minutes were okay but no more than that, since I had a train change in the neighbor city to continue on to Stockholm Arlanda Airport. While standing on the platform the delay became even longer and just then they announced that it was due to signal error… *sigh* Signal error seems to be the first thing they blame on when delays occur, you don’t even get surprised anymore. And here in Sweden the trains do not wait for another when two different train companies operate, and that was just the case for me with two different companies. Oh well, I should have taken a taxi to the neighbor city at once as the first sign of delay occurred. I got in conversation with another traveler about us splitting a taxi and we were pretty close doing so when we by chance heard from a kind person that the train in the neighbor city will wait for this delayed train no matter how long it will take. And why? You’ll see, the staff working onboard the train from the neighbor city to Arlanda were waiting for this delayed train on the same platform as us and needed to ride with the same train. Hmm. Sometimes you’re lucky!
My brother Danny, boarded the train a little further along the way and we could finally look forward to this trip, or? Right behind us were a mother and her two children perhaps 3 and 6 years old. They were loud and made sure that all passengers in the same train cart knew they were on board. Whining, shouting and loud discussions for about two hours to Arlanda floored us, my brother and me. Once at Arlanda, we decided to eat something before calling the transfer to our hotel. We spent a large part of that evening trying to understand why I wasn’t able to check in my brother online for the flight. However I did I kept on receiving a text message saying; “due to government regulations you need to be checked in at the airport”. Neither I nor my brother had any clue what that meant. We could agree on two possible scenarios though. Either he had just been randomly selected for some kind of questioning or that the airline had discovered something that was unclear and wanted to ask about. Or a second less possible scenario was that TSA (Transportation Security Administration) had discovered something after the visa application that they wanted to talk to my brother about. But that felt far-fetched because that would not prevent him from checking in for the flight, that questioning would take place at immigration at JFK Intl Airport in New York. So an anxious waiting and tensions was in the air that evening. Worst case scenario would be that my brother was refused entry in to the US and that I would be forced to do this trip on my own.