I could tell you that we just took a train from Prague to Vienna and flew to San Francisco on Sunday. Except that is not what happened…
So get this: Me, Vu (our CEO), Petr (our Head of Product) and Tomáš (our CTO) are on this train to Vienna, because the plane tickets were a lot cheaper from there than from Prague.
A great storm is raging behind the windows. We’re expecting some delays on the way. It’s 9pm and the plane leaves from Vienna in more than 12 hours.
In a town called Česka Třebová the train stops and gets stuck. The display says it’s going to take about 20 minutes.
Soon it’s 60. Hm…
We feel like having a beer. Somehow we forgot to buy it up front. The beer on board of this train costs 100 CZK (4 USD). That's really expensive in Czech terms (in the Czech Republic you can get a good beer — I'm talking Pilsner Urquell — for 1.5–2 USD).
We know there is usually a pub at Czech train stations. Hm…
So yes, we (Vu, Petr and I) get off the train to get the better-cheaper tap beer.
As we walk into the pub and order four beers with other two in mind we receive a text from Tomáš:
And then he explains:
“The train just started moving.“
You mean that train with all of our things?
Our ride to Vienna to catch our flight to the US?
Yes. That train.
So what do we do? We pay for the bloody beer, each grab one (Petr two) and run back to the platform.
The platform is empty.
Now we’re like Wtf.
The next 20 minutes are a slapstick. With beer in our hand we’re running around the railway station in the f***ing Česká Třebová, sipping and spilling the tap beer, trying to find out if there is any train going in that direction.
FYI the storm is still all around this area, so nope — no trains. Hm…
In the meantime we call Tomáš and discuss topics like:
- Did this seriously happen?
- Why are we still holding the beer?
- How the F are we going to get to Vienna?
- Or how on Earth is Tomáš going to get all of our baggage outside the train?
The only option to get all of us to Vienna on time is to take a 2.30am bus from Brno (100 km far from Česká Třebová). How are we going to get to Brno?
A cab. We bargain a price from 2 500 CZK (103 USD) to 2 200 CZK (90 USD).
The rally begins. Once we leave Česká Třebová we finally meet the storm face to face.
Maybe we could still catch our train in Brno, get on and pretend like this never happened… The driver feels our hurry and is accordingly fighting time and space.
However, soon we realize that the 1.5 hour long drive cannot be made in 40 minutes when there is about 30cm of water on the road. Even if we don’t catch the train, our safe passage to Vienna seems secured. So we kindly ask the driver if he could slow down a bit. There is really no need to exceed the speed limit (of 90km per hour) by another 30km. He nods, but keeps speeding.
In the mean time Tomáš books four bus tickets from Brno to Vienna and puts all of our luggage on the train together so he knows what to take with him in case of exiting the train in Brno.
Sometimes in between almost crashing and taking a video for the driver (’cause he’s like: “damn this storm, one cannot even go fast enough, hey could you take a video of this shit from my phone?”) Tomáš sends us a pic from the train:
We arrive at 11pm and miss the train in Brno by 10 minutes. Hm…
Did we really take a cab to Brno for 2K? Huh, this cannot get any better, right?
Well, keep reading…
We meet with Tomáš in the waiting area.
Our bus from Brno to Vienna leaves at 2.30am… which can only mean one thing: enough time for a beer. But we’ve already “had that”. It’s time for something a little stronger.
Petr recommends a nice bar nearby. The rest of us agree.
We leave our luggage in the lockers on the station.
Then we walk to the Bar That Doesn’t Exist (or so-called Super Panda Circus).
During the next two hours we spoil ourselves with drink of names like Gimlet, Smoky Mezcal Negroni, Fakir something something… and eat salted sugar snap peas.
The bar closes at 2am. The perfect time for a kebab.
We board the bus and pass out for about two hours.
We arrive to Vienna after 4am.
Since we expected to be in Vienna much earlier we booked a place to spend the night at. We crave for more sleep and a shower, so we take an UBER to the hotel.
We power nap for and hour, have a quick shower, take another UBER back to the airport.
Let’s sum up the numbers:
Instead of paying a 100 CZK for a beer on the train we:
- got 4 beers 30 CZK each
- paid 2 200 CZK for the cab
- paid 2 500 CZK at the bar
- spent some food coupons for the kebab
- paid 1 600 CZK for the bus tickets
- wasted about 210 km of paid train ride
- didn’t sleep much
Absolutely worth it.
To put the cherry on top…
… the plane from Vienna to Amsterdam is delayed so we almost miss our connection. In 30 minutes we run from one end of the Schiphol Airport to the other, go through the passport control and catch our flight to San Francisco.
Once on US soil we find out that our luggage didn’t catch our plane.
Brilliant. Let’s go buy some boxers and toothbrushes.
The Avocode boys are back in town. 👊🏼
Matt out. 🎤💥