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Did you know just how HUGE a city Rotterdam is?


©Shers Gallagher 02 April 2016
Today's trip was supposed to take me to the Central station and then on to another train making local stops. From there a hotel shuttle service was supposed to pick me up, as there's no good connection afterwards besides a good long walk through a well trafficked industrial area.

All was well and good till I called the service before exiting my last train only to be informed their shuttle bus was broken down. So I hopped a city bus that left me off where Google path finder had directed me to, and I thought then that it would be easy enough to find my destination without having to call a cab, taxi services being expensive in the Netherlands.
Well, it turned out that the bus drop off was way the hell past where I was supposed to be. Thank you, Google maps! The little way-finder guy had me turned around in another direction. Fifteen minutes into a walk leading me into an industrial park I realised my mistake and called the hotel, asking for help. But the desk clerk said I should consult my route planner because she didn't really know where I was. Then she hung up! Left to my own devices in what appeared the middle of building and concrete nowhere, I decided it best to backtrack to the main road where the bus had first dropped me off. After reaching this point, I then headed in the other direction, backtracking towards the station, when I spied a bicycle riding out of a long and leafy path that ended with a huge highway underpass following after it. I consulted my map again and saw this as a possibility. 
Walking up the lane and in and out of the underpass I finally found the streets I'd been looking for. By now I was 30 minutes into what Google maps claimed would be an 11 minute walk. Thank God I always go early to new places! So I was actually on time...phew.

But I was also dealing with a developing HATRED of the hotel desk clerk who, when I finally entered the building, asked if she could be of assistance. I walked on by with no words spoken, words in my head I knew if vocalised would be some I'd only later regret.

At last I arrived at my assigned destination, which was a location I don't normally go to but did today as I was taking the place of another out sick. I am, however, having regrets that I'm always so accommodating in the workplace. Yet, ten minutes in, I greeted another colleague walking through the door, sweaty and uncomfortable, having gone through a comparable experience, getting lost with bad directions. At least I knew it just wasn't just me being directionally challenged.
And did I tell you Rotterdam is such a huge effin place?!!! 

N.B. On the way home I found the Metro station, a 15 minute walk the other side (my side) of the expansive highway. This was a doable stretch with metro taking me directly to my train connection. All went well, however, till the last leg of my journey when I read in my on-line train schedule advisory that someone had been hit by an earlier train on the railway crossing in Brabant, the province east of us in Zeeland. 

For those who can read Dutch:

Tussen 15.00 en 18.00 uur was het treinverkeer vanuit en naar Zeeland gestremd. In de Fianestraat te Bergen op Zoom, is een persoon door een trein aangereden en kwam hier bij om het leven.
Between 15:00 and 18:00 train traffic was coming from and streaming into Zeeland. On Fiane street in the city of Bergen op Zoom , a person was hit by a train and lost their life.


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The Call

©Shers Gallagher 2016
The days grow colder and my heart grows bolder
to hear the call of the totem wolf, 
though limbs begin to rattle like the branches of a tree
as leaves turn bright before they fade and quietly fall,
drifting down and crumbling into air 
that smells of crackling pine and roasting logs of cedar.
I missed you then as I miss you now. 
But most of all I miss my youth 
and the dance I used to be.
Not the dance of whirring bees,
because I never was a hostile takeover. 
I miss the playful shadows of light
and soft breezes on silken feathers.
I miss the easiness of then, 
though, in truth I’m more physically comfortable now. 
And yet I’d give it all up for only a few more 
playful shadows of twilight and silken days. 

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We are humans for humanity - building bridges, not walls

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