Helsinki Part 2: The Polish Connection

January 11, 2011

This is Part 2 of the Helsinki Double Feature.

What started as the most awesome airport experience ever (free Wifi in Helsinki) quickly turned into one of the worst, and then not-so-quickly turned back into the best.

When I arrived in Warsaw to catch my connecting flight back to Budapest, I left the gate to go get my new boarding pass. The screen not only didn’t display my flight, but it didn’t display any flight to Budapest at all! I went back and forth from information desk to information desk, nobody could really explain what happened. After a few hours of that I found one other person who was in the same boat as me. Apparently Malev (Hungarian Airlines) canceled the flight several days before but failed to keep us (I think it was just us two…) informed. The Malev office was closed at this time, so they told me to come back in the morning.

I was getting settled into the idea of spending the night at the airport when I went on a quest for some free Wifi (or even not free Wifi, as long as the instructions weren’t in Polish!). Eventually I found a pretty cool little 24 hour cafe with free Wifi (and plugs to charge my computer) and figured I’d inform the masses of what had happened. On Facebook chat I found a Polish friend of mine. I thought she lived in Krakow, but it turns out she was just across the city in Warsaw. She and her room mates (both of which are super cool!) were kind enough to house me for the evening, there was much drinking and smoking of shisha. All things considered, it was probably the best time missing a flight I’ve ever had. That certainly doesn’t do the experience justice though, as it was a good time by any measure.

I had never been to Warsaw, so I was able to get a brief look at it as well. It’s a pretty cool city, it feels quite Eastern European and has a lot of charm. I’d certainly like to come back and have a proper visit at some point.

Anyhow, I’m back at the airport now waiting for Malev to sort my situation out. Hopefully they will get me on the plane to Budapest at 1730 this evening. Whether I like it or not, this should be the end of my not-epic turned-epic visit to Helsinki.

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