06 July 2009

Adventure Travel

Travel math: if your plane to Schiphol leaves O'Hare at 4:15pm, what time should you take the South Shore (assuming nothing goes wrong) in order to clear security at 3:07pm to meet the 3:15pm boarding call?

Answer: 11:40am. This allows for a brief stop at the Chicago Cultural Center to verify that you know where to get the Blue Line (Washington and Dearborn), and assumes that your flight is leaving from gate M9 or thereabouts. Had I needed to walk any further I would not have had time to use the facilities twice or to refill my water bottle.

You're welcome.

The flight was just fine. The train system in Holland was relatively straightforward, though, upon further reflection, I should have been more worried about not being able to purchase a ticket with my credit card--the little ticket thing asked for a PIN, which I did not know. So I used cash. This created a bit of a problem when I got to the hotel and asked, "Do you accept credit card," and they said, "Yes," and I asked "Will I need a PIN?" and they said "Yes," and I said "Can I use American dollars?" and they said "No, only Euros ... how much do you have?" and I said "Thirty-five," and they said, "That won't even purchase one night and you have to pay in advance," and I said, "What other options do I have?" and they said, "None that we can think of."

Unnerving, that. Fortunately it was about 6:15am at home and I was able to use the hotel wireless to Skype my spouse who was able to call the credit card company from our home phone to reset our PIN. A lovely thing, Skype. Or, more precisely, Skype-out.

As it turns out, I was able to pay without needing a PIN. Still, I'll probably be grateful for the PIN later today when I visit downtown Enschede for lunch, tours, and whatnot.


Jackie said...

So jealous that you are in the NL! Eat some stroopwafels for me, and enjoy the lovely trains.

John David said...

Hmm. I used my credit card frequently in Europe and was never asked for a PIN. (Or personal PIN number.) I don't think my credit card HAS a PIN. If it does, I don't know it. I hope you are having a good time. Remember, hash has nothing to do with potatoes.