Charlotte to Frankfurt: A beep cost me $400 and 11 hours.

My promotional glamour shot at the castle overlooking the Danube and the city of Budapest

My promotional glamour shot at the castle overlooking the Danube and the city of Budapest

Even though I knew the schedule would be tight, I went ahead and booked a CHEAP (don’t do it) Ryan Air flight out of Frankfurt, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. I loaded myself onto the US Air flight and settled down to a simple eight and a half hour flight, arriving at 7 in the morning in Frankfurt. For there I intended to take the shuttle over to the Hahn Airport and jump on the 10AM (We wait for no one… you snooze, you loose) 1.5 hour flight to Budapest and all for only $119. Feels good when you push the “Confirm” button. What could go wrong?

You know the little bell that signals the attendent that you want some kind of attention? Well, just as we are about to taxi down the runway the bell began to beep and not a single soul knew what to do to shut the _______ thing off. So, there we sat, waiting for someone to figure it out, turn it off and away we would go. Yet, for the longest time, not a person had a clue what might be done to expedidite the problem, so there we sat, annoyed out of our minds. To make a long (very long-30 hours long) story short, an hour later it was turned off to rousing applause but this meant we would be late getting to Frankfurt and I wouldn’t then have time to shuttle my way to Hahn Airport.

So there you have it. I arrived too late to make it to Hahn without having to fork over another 160 Euro for a one hour taxi ride and even then I might be too late so I had but one option, take the train for an additional 155 Euro and nine hours of through Germany and Austria.

Now I had only one problem. How do I tell the nice YWAM people in Budapest not to go out to the airport but rather meet me at one of Budapests three train stations at 9:30 at night. Nothing’s simple. After failing to reach either of my contacts in Budapest I called my friend Chris Scobie in Slovenia who would do what I could not do on a train. He would call and reach someone with the information.

On the train, I settled into drawing people and meeting a few new friends. I was able to share with a young fellow on his way into Viena and there were others like Tery, a Hungarian girl interested in art. I am still YAHOOing with her.

When I finally did arrive, there was no one there to meet me so after trying to locate a friendly face and finding none (trust me, very hard to find a friendly face in Budapest train stations after sundown) I took a taxi to what I thought might be the address (Hungarian for the English speaker is a linguistic nightmare… there is not a single word that looks pronounceable). I took the taxi to only find myself 25 Euro lighter and that I didn’t have the right address. My taxi driver was very nice and for another three Euro he allowed me to make a phone call to one of the two numbers that I had. Turns out that I was four doors and five dogs (lots of loud dogs in Budapest) down the street so I wished the taxi driver a farewell (he was HAPPY! “Vishatlinxtst zzojoknvitjz Americaniziahcha” (Translation: “Another stupid American”).

So, by midnight I found the door, rang the bell and finally welcomed by the one person in the house,

)) Aspen.

My attractive, incredibly spiritual, intelligent, sacrificial, available, under-funded YWAM missionary friend Shannon (She will hate me for this : )) Aspen.

Isabella, a German YWAMer who first insisted that I have a appointment. Once she found out that I was not a drunken vagrant she was as nice as she could be after a day of non-stop study of The Gospel of Luke.

I was shown to my room and the bathroom. After being awake for thirty hours the bed looked pretty appealing and so did the toilet but I was quick to decide for the bed. The next thing I recognize was the sound of dishes clattering and pans clacking.

I awoke once during the night. I was freezing. There was virtually no heat in my room so I got up in the night found my clothes, another blanket, put them on and went back to sleep.

Here's Shannon with her friend Rachel, a worker from Virginia.


Gosh, it was great to see one of my favorites, (some people talk and some people do) Shannon Aspen, a former student and my hostess for the coming week.

Here’s another of Shannon with her friend Rachel, a worker from Virginia.

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