Sunday, October 9, 2011
The Darker Side of Kayaking
After my lovely day kayaking with the Rotary foreign exchange students I went to the train station to find my way home. Maddy, my good friend and "oldie:" the term used for foreign exchange students who have lived in Belgium longer because the time hemisphere is different around the globe, was kind enough to let me use her "go pass" for the train to prevent me from paying double the cost. It can get extremely expensive traveling by train so people can buy this card for 50 euros which allows the owner to pass through Belgian just for 5 dollars per trip. We had lots of free time before the train arrived so I went to an Indian restaurant with my other friends because they said they were going to Liège like me. When I stepped off the streets of Belgium and walked into the India restaurant I felt like I was walking into another world. The atmosphere was astounding and the people were legitimately Indian and spoke their original language, as well as french and english. After the delicious meal the waitress gave us this candy that looked like nerds but tasted like minty stuff. The others declaired the train was comming soon so we all ran to catch our train. I looked for Maddy on the train but I could not find her. I felt a surge of anxiety because she had my train ticket and she did not know where I was. It was impossible for me to contact her or anyone because I lost my phone before the trip and I did not have their phone numbers. Eventually, I met up with Maddy in Verviers but she was visibly tense due to our separation. We were not on the same train because I took one of the many other trains going to Liège that Maddy did not take. Apparently she called my host parents who called my counselor who henceforth called the police and other Rotary members to spread the word that I was lost. I truly felt remorse for this situation and apologized to everyone with the most sincerity. This apology, however, did not prevent my counselor from e-mailing everyone about how irresponsible I was and how disappointed he was of me and Estefy; a different foreign exchange student who, on the same day, disappeared for a few hours without permission to party. That Saturday had its good moments and obviously its bad. I made a mistake and I paid for it. I just hope it never happens again for me, Estefy, and the other foreign exchange students who have previously misunderstood the confusing train system.