this morning I woke up in my hotel room in Glasgow to both sun and snow.
this further enhanced a strange sort of feeling of making a big loop back to where I started off at, or at least a sense of symmetry between the two end-points of this hook-shaped trip.
yesterday evening I was in London for half an hour, just enough to feel a warm spring air definitely belonging to a consciousness of the south.
the window I was leaning against during the 4,5 hour trip to Edinburgh cooled down gradually. It was dark, and I could only make out the illuminated silhouette of Durham cathedral and the bridges over Tyne.
before London I spent 2 hours in Brussels. I grew up in Brussels – I had my first ventures on many fronts there, and certainly started making music while living there in my early teens.
So in a way I spent nine years there now, and 2 hours while growing up. Or I feel that these two ways of being in Brussels melted into each other once again.
Perhaps always, but certainly yesterday Brussels was a stage for a theatre of precarity. I had not reserved a place for the one Eurostar I had to take to make my connection between my whole trip so far, and the remaining train to Glasgow in the evening. I had to make it to London somehow, so I spent an hour and a half on the helpline and going from till to till to map out my possibilities.
Had I reserved the place a day or two earlier, this would've been as smooth a crossing as any up to this point. The reason I didn't, was that I couldn't have been absolutely sure that I would've crossed Germany in time to Brussels. I've never been majorly delayed by Deutsche Bahn, but I maintained the possibility of severe delays.
Turns out I miscalculated and I should've made a reservation anyway.
Once a place booked, I'd have something to show in case of delays.
Just a mention that I had thought of booking this connection is no currency when negotiating with a corporation.
I made it to my original connection to London eventually by booking two trains through Lille, but to unexpected extra costs. Manageable, but still better avoided.
If this trip would be more interrail-like – as in, I would have more temporal flexibility as to how many days I spend in any given location – i could've just gotten a reservation for the following day. High-speed trains require pre-booking, even with the risk of not making the connection due to delays.
Since I had to be in place A in time X, I should've definitely booked all the potentially precarious connections beforehand. I did immediately book the Eurostar for my return, and managed without a problem.
Like I wrote earlier, this trip is strange even by my standards. One way to bridge the precarity created by a greater number of travel connections, is to have a temporal buffer. Preferably an extra day just in case of something like this, but ideally a few more to be able to connect with places on the way and not just at the destination.
Bridging the wasteland.