Hoooooorray readers! This will be a quick series to update during the cycling - Sleeping in a toilet!
Current Position: Koper in Slovenia.
Going back to Vienna after fighting the Mother Nature for three days felt like a refreshment with a bitter taste of defeat. Somehow I was at the same bench on the main train station, the same one I had been before going to Bratislava. How could the days pass and I made no progress at all down south. Would the winter really get me?
At the time I was hungry, in serious need for a shower, tired, frustrated and severely running out of money. After a couple hours trying to figure out life and spending most of the time over the internet researching, I made the decision to take another train to southern Austria, where I planned to start following the Euro Velo 9, my original plan.
The frustration could clearly be seen on my face I believe, and the realisation that I had spent quite a good sum of money going back and forth on trains, just because I was worried with a bit of rain and snow, really added to my misery. It sounded so stupid and weak on my part. But that's how it was... a few hours later the train dropped me somewhere in southern Austria, a couple kilometers below from where I originally was.
There was just one problem...
I'll ask you to use your imagination, because pictures of that fateful day I don't have... but it started in a small station in a tiny village somewhere in Austria. That was the last stop on that cold night and I had nowhere to go, all the passangers entered a bus to possibly go to their cozy and safe homes while I found myself without hopes of cycling that day, let alone setting camp on such a place. I tried to cycle to the outskirts, but the streets were so dark that not even my small, but powerful, flashlight could iluminate my path.
The option would be to sleep inside the small station, which was a mix of an old house with modern doors and windoes. Next to one wall there were benches, the heaters were on and I had plugs to recharge the electronics - what else do we really need afterall? Minutes were passing slowly and I seemed to be the only person over there, laying on a bench, doing absolutely nothing but waiting for the sun to shine again. The classic station clock would do a small 'click' after each minute, making time pass even slower.
At some point I had had enough, so I simply decided to bring my whole bike inside and turn the place into my own little house. Seemed bright I'm not gonna lie. I openned the door and went outside. Behind me I heard a click sound when the door closed. Oh-ow - I thought. Certainly I could just open it again. I tried... nop... closed. For a minute time froze and I just looked at my backpack, with all my electronics and cell-phone, locked inside the waiting room. I was outside, in the cold and my most precious belongs were locked inside. Fuuuuuuuuuck - I shouted. What would I do now? No one is around, I can't sleep outside in this cold, I can't leave. Windows were locked, door locked, stuff locked.
I wandered in circles mumbling, not believing what was happening, I kept on looking at my stuff through the window in a silent disbelief. What if I call the station? No, my cell-phone is inside.... Circle around, think, nothing seemed to work and time froze for a moment when I sat on the external bench, but eventually it got too cold. Stupid me. Why did I leave the damn place? - I was thinking. I was loosing hope and preparing to sleep outside with one eye open watching my stuff when this guy came from nowhere.
I didn't know if he spoke English or not, but I just used basic words and signs. Hey, Sir! - I said. I proceed to point to my stuff through the big square window. My stuff is locked inside, I need help - I continued. Is that your stuff? - He asked in a heavy German accent. Yes... I left to grab the bike and it locked - I answeared. So he openned the door for me, damn! I was safe and cozy again, feeling happy entering the waiting room again and sitting my butt on that unconfortable bench when I heard. You can't stay. Locked after 10. No stay inside - He said. But Sir. I have nowhere to go, I just need to wait for the sun again! - I said. We have winter! There's no sun - He said. He obviously didn't understand that all I needed was to spend the rest of the night there. Stay in the open areas - He said, pointing to the toilets.
Bathrooms? Sleeping on the bathroom? For real? The whole place seemed clean and heaters were on. But that would be awkward. Out of desperation I went there to check. Once inside there was a small corridor where two doors separated the room into two, men and women toilets. The corridor had nothing but a heater and it was clean... but still.. it was a train station's bathroom...
Just to cut story short, after spending one or two hours sitting on the floor I decided to simply say fuck it and I brought my whole bicycle inside and slept on the floor the whole night. No one appeared to pee or to bother me. The floor was hard on my back, but at least it was warm. I couldn't move much or the movement sensors would turn on the lights. On the bright side I didn't have to move much if I needed to use the toiled during the night.
The next morning I woke up tired as hell and with hundreds of kilometers to cycle. What happened next was not as tough as this day and I could say I really enjoyed going back on the road again.
I promise that the next reports will come with images and better situarions, but I just had to narrate this one as it's now a fundamental part of the whole journey - the day I slept on a stations's bathroom.
Come with me ladies and gentleman! Are you enjoying?
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~Love ya all,
Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.