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  • Publicado : 1 de marzo de 2011
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Javier E. Cadena H.
Dana D. Atwell
LNG – 101
02/11/2011

When I Learned to Make Sure
In my life, I had always been very carefree, never looked back at things more than once, and I was very confident in my memories.
Nevertheless, this changed on December 23rd, 2007, when I was traveling with my wife, Olga, in Europe. We were in the Cologne Central Train Station in Germany. The station wasenormous and had a big shopping center inside.
On this day, Olga and I spent our time exploring the city, and by the end of the day we should be taking the night train to Vienna.
While we were waiting on the platform for the train, Olga was singing and playing with her curly hair. She always plays with her hair when she is tired and happy. Olga was looking with surprise at every single detailof the train station, as the yellow squares that were painted on five by five foot floor of that imaginary prison where chain smokers spend their anxiety. While I was reviewing our itinerary and imagining our next adventure, I looked at the ticket to review the number of our train, the platform, and the cabin that corresponded to our train accommodations for our overnight journey. It was at thatprecise moment that I felt that the world turned around on me, my eyes filled with tears, and there was a knot in my throat that prevented me from speaking words.   
After seconds that seemed like years to me. The following words left my mouth one by one and I said, “Olga, we lost the train.” She did not understand me because we were on the correct platform. The information signboard said: “trainwith Vienna destiny.” And the clock still said there were ten minutes before that the train arrived.
Olga said, “Javi calm down. The train will to arrive,” with tranquility of knowing that we would still make good time.
She was correct. The train arrived in some minutes. But our tickets were for the train that left at 7:30 p.m., and this train was arriving at 8:30 p.m.
I strongly held hersoft hand; I didn’t give her time to think and started to run. I thought of the possibility for us to change our tickets for this train, so we ran as never we had done before. It was impressive considering that each one of us had a backpack with thirty-five pounds of weight in it.
We were directed to the ticket seller window, and we talked to the person in charge. It was a woman about 40 years oldwith white skin and big, green eyes. We only hoped, she could speak in English.
“Lady, we have a problem, can you help us?” I said.
“Of course, what I can help you with?” she said. We managed to take a breather, and very quickly we told her, in our poor English, what had happened.
She took a few seconds, and she used that glance in which you know that nothing can be worse, and she said, “Youdon’t have a problem guys, you have a big, big, big problem.” She raised her tone of voice so that all of the people who were around us we able to hear her. And she said “Do you know what day is tomorrow? Tomorrow is Christmas and all of the seats are sold, there are no chairs available for our trains that go to Vienna until the 25th of December.”
I felt that my legs had failed me and that myheart did not send enough blood to my brain. I was on the verge of being dismayed because I thought, "if we lose this train, all our trip would go down the tube."
Seconds later, the agent loosened a giggle and in her German accent she said, “I said that there was no chairs available for the trains that go to Vienna, but you can take the train that leaves at 9:10 p.m. for Frankfurt.”
A look ofconfusion came over our faces. We did not understand that we could take a train to Frankfurt, which would get us to our destination in Vienna.
Without saying one more word, she took our rail passes, the kind that can be used to take any train in Europe and that had cost me $600 dollars each, between her big hands. Until that moment, I had not seen any use for our expensive passes. But these passes...
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