Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Travelling again – what a day
4 november 2011
Travelling again – what a day
Then yesterday at 2 November, I have arranged my travel for going to Strasbourg for a High Level meeting on Evolving Standards on Monitoring for institutions for Persons with Disabilities. It’s a meeting about Torture and Ill treatment related to psychiatric detention and forced treatments, with UN-officials and other stakeholders attending. I will surely tell them what I think of it. I’m representing ENUSP here (European Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry). It’s a great chance to participate here at this meeting, which is organized by MDAC.
I’m also still working on finalizing my report from Valkenberg psychiatric hospital in Cape Town, and making an essay on the things I have learned from my trip to the PANUSP meeting and all things I saw in South Africa. And still need to be finishing the last reports for PANUSP, and reviewing the WHO tool for monitoring torture and ill treatment in institutions (quality of care). It’s a lot of work waiting for me.
But today I left everything to travel to Strasbourg.
And what a day! Travelling to Strasbourg couldn’t have been more complicated.
At first I woke up a bit late (on my couch, I had fallen asleep last night without finishing everything). I still needed to pack some things, so I was a bit late and hurried to take the public bus to the station. There I heard that the trains were disrupted due to an accident somewhere along the track, and I started making phonecalls, but nobody was awake yet. Then after 20 minutes the train was said to be going again, so I entered -slightly suspicious-, and indeed, at the next stop Den Bosch we had to get out. No more train.
It was already about 9.20 and I felt desperate, because I didn’t know how to get to the airport for departure at 11. Still nobody picked up their phone. I even cried from despair, because I thought I was going to miss my flight, and would not make it to Strasbourg.. I was advised to get a taxi, which is very expensive, but another man also had to go to Schiphol, and we shared the taxi, 100 euro each.
The taxi guy was nice, he had given me a tissue when I was crying, and he was driving as fast as he could (130), and then I was at Schiphol around 10.20. I went straight to the information desk to get advice on my quickest way to get on board, but they said the baggage-drop off gate had already closed (45 minutes prior to departure). So I couldn’t get on that flight anymore. The lady offered me to take the next flight, leaving at 14.25, which was 60 euro to rebook, because I was somehow in time. So I paid another 60 and waited for my next flight, and I had finally time for some coffee and food, and to calm down after missing my flight. That was really a lot of adrenalin and emotion.
The replaced flight was nice, I went to Frankfurt in about 1 hour flight, and then I had to wait 1,5 hours to get a bus to Strasbourg at 17.30. The bus took 2,5 hours, and at 20.00 I arrived. After I had gotten out, I noticed that I had lost my music player in the bus, I checked my bags, and I wanted to check the bus, but it was just taking off. I still hoped my player was somewhere in my bag, but it isn’t. I have already sent an email to Lufthansa to notify them that I lost my MP3 player. I hope I can get it back. I miss my music now… but there is still some youtube (if I have internet access)
Then at the station of Strasbourg, I asked some people where the Hilton Hotel was, they pointed me in various directions, and I walked for over an hour, getting lost in the centre of Strasbourg, and I was carrying my bags all the way. That really wasn’t funny anymore. Then I finally found the right tram station and found the Hilton. I was very glad to arrive finally, at 10 PM.
The dinner had already passed, and everybody was back in their rooms, all off to bed. I had missed it all, which I really do regret. But Dorotya came down from her room for welcoming me, after she had found out that I had such a hard travel. It has cost me about 160 euro extra, and my MP3 player. But it’s for an important meeting, so I hope it’s worth it. And I have read a lot of the papers already, and it looks like a very interesting conference day to me. Tomorrow will be worth it, I’m sure.
So now I’m finally at the Hilton Hotel in Strasbourg, longing for a hot bath, but the hot water isn’t available here due to technical problems (and I don’t really feel like taking a cold bath). They are not sure that it will be fixed tomorrow. I got an internet voucher for free, as a compensation for the lack of hot water. What a pity, no bath.. I had been looking forward to having a bath. But it doesn’t matter so much.
It has been a tough day for me, with a lot of stress and unhappy aspects. But now I’m finally settling in the Hilton. It’s a nice big room, and even nicer if I could use my bath. Maybe I can add some boiled water and have a nice bath. Yeah, I will do that :)
And I can see the nice side, I travelled by public bus, train, taxi, airplane, touring car, by walking and by tram, that’s quite a variety. That doesn’t happen every day as well, and I’m at the Hilton Hotel, how cool! And tomorrow I will meet a lot of interesting people, from CPT and SPT and even the Comissioner on Human Rights. And I’m sure we will have good debates about norms on detention and care. I’m prepared and ready for this meeting. And I hope I will have more luck than today. I’m quite sure I will. Things can only get better now. It’s a promising meeting tomorrow.
4 november 2011 07:15 | Door: je moeder
Wat een pech allemaal met je reis!
Ik wens je voor vandaag veel succes!
8 november 2011 12:44 | Door: Tony
Should have called me :)