The meeting was for me a novel experience, really nice and fun (I'm looking forward to the next one… if any) but my traveling was worth a story:
Traveling to the meeting (German "ICE" high-speed train Brussels-Frankfurt then couchette Frankfurt-Vienna) was uneventful, but on the way back (supposed to go the same way, vice-versa) we heard, shortly before arriving to Aachen, that "due to a technical incident, this train will not go any further than Aachen". At the station, on the other side of the same platform, a French "Thalys" HST scheduled to go to Frankfurt was halted, also "cancelled". Policemen were on the platform, and told us: "go to the ticket office downstairs, they'll tell you how to proceed to Belgium". So I went there, took a queue ticket (40 people before me) and waited. A lady in uniform arrived, set up an "Information" booth, and told us in very fast German that buses were going to bring us to "Lüttich". I didn't get everything, but happily I knew that Lüttich meant Liège, so I asked her to repeat slowly, and she did — in pidgin German, as if talking to a baby or someone mentally handicapped; but now I understood. Then some minutes' wait outside the station, and two buses (a Belgian one and a German one) arrived (after a regular Belgian bus, not going to Liège and not taking passengers without payment). We embarked into the buses — the distance between successive rows of seats was an inch or two short for my legs — and traveled to Liège, partly on the motorway. In Liège the "normal" train to Ans - Waremme - Landen - Louvain - Brussels (not a high-speed train direct to Brussels) was waiting, even a few minutes after its scheduled departing hour, so that the passengers from the buses could get in. Finally I arrived in Brussels at maybe 12:15 instead of 10:30 — buses, of course, and even "ordinary" trains, cannot match the 230 km/h peak speed of high-speed trains. Lucky me, that it happened on the way back, and not like Serge, on the way to.
Once arrived in Brussels, the first thing I did was go to the supermarket to replace the eyeglasses which I thought I had lost in Vienna. After some hesitation (do I need 1.5 δ or 2 δ ?) I got a pair for 3.50 € and, once home, found that they fit me perfectly. Later, when I removed my shirt to go to sleep, the glasses I thought I'd lost fell off its breast pocket: now I have a spare pair. — Tonymec 12:54, 31 October 2010 (PDT)