I got so caught up in my memories from Geneva that I neglected to finish my travel-with-troubles story.
Perhaps because, for once in a life, all went miraculously well – a random girl walked up to me in Geneva central train station and handed me a travel pass good on all public transport in the city, the train took 5 minutes to get from the station to the airport (according to schedule), I checked in without a problem (although my reservation number did not come up in the system, but apparently it was the computer’s mistake) and the free wireless at the airport actually worked.
I spent a lovely albeit somewhat rushed 2.5 days in Poland, where it was actually not freezing, and on Sunday afternoon I flew back to Geneva, no delays, no frozen runways, no problems.
I shouldn’t have, really. I should actually never have been allowed onto the plane in Geneva.
Not because I don’t follow the 3-1-1 rule.
But because, as I found out at Warsaw airport on Sunday afternoon, my first and last name had been inverted on my reservation, so it didn’t match my ID, so my ticket was actually invalid. Apparently, the Polish guy told me, I had made a mistake when buying the ticket online. My friend who works for the Polish airlines call center and who was accompanying me that day told me I was really lucky that he let it go, as normally they can stop you from flying for such a mistake. Thank goodness that the numerous Swiss people who had looked at my ID and my ticket hadn’t had sufficient knowledge of Polish to realize this – if they had, I never would have left Geneva, tears or no tears.
(On a side note, Polish IDs are quite awesome. Since no foreigner can ever be bothered to decipher the categories, a lot of mischief is possible. For instance, I have had a confused clerk write my place of birth down on a French bank account application as ‘brazowe’, which is actually the color of my eyes, brown. I’m not the only brilliant Polish person who has caught onto this: numerous traffic-infringing Polish immigrants succeeded in foiling Irish police for years until a bright Garda officer decided to google translate the name of the notorious Polish speed demon Prawo Jazdy).
To sum up: I somehow managed to get my basic non-refundable fare ticket (the cheapest one available), on a flight for which I had been late of my own fault, rebooked for the following day with absolutely no additional charges (instead of the 200 euro that had been promised me as rebooking fees), all of this on a reservation that was, from the start, invalid.
Some days, I guess I just get lucky.