I stayed two days more in Geneva while deciding where to go next. I texted Ida to see if she had any recommendations.
“Would you like to go to a random place with an extraordinary museum?”
“That sounds like me. It is promising. Tell me more.”
“Well, since you are in Switzerland, you can take a couple of trains to reach Schengen, Luxembourg. There is nothing to see there except for the European Museum Schengen. You might learn more about borderless Europe.”
“I’m delighted. I’ll send you a picture!”
“I like your spontaneous vibes, Gunst! Good luck.”
So, I took a train to Basel and another one to Mulhouse, France. In Mulhouse, I realized no one wanted to understand my French, and I used English. It was the worst response. I used sign language and managed to have lunch in a pretty rudimentary place. Later on, I took another train to Thionville, France, where people were more supportive, trying to understand me. Actually, I didn’t have any problems, but I could see they made an effort on people’s faces.
From Thionville, I took a 35-minute bus to Perl Gare Routièr, Germany, just on the other side of the Moselle River next to Schengen, Luxembourg.
I found out that hotels in Schengen were costly, so I stayed in a Youth Hostel in Remerschen, just 8 minutes away from the fun by bus.
I won’t tell you the Schengen agreement history and expansion details, as you can find it easily on the Internet. However, I want to mention that I took a selfie with the Danish flag and sent it to Ida.
She replied to me with the smiley face blushing emoji, which paid for the trip to Luxembourg.
So on my last day in the Schengen area, I woke up and had a Kaffi (the way Luxembourgish call breakfast) that consisted of a plain croissant and coffee. Then did the check out at the hotel and took my stuff to the German train station. I went straight to Frankfurt am Mainz and took a Lufthansa flight to Tirana, Albania.
Why Albania? Well, it was the cheapest option for the next day. The flight cost me the same as the wine bottle that I drank last week to process my broken heart in the restaurant in Geneva.
When I was about to turn off my phone, I received the strangest SMS in decades. It came from an +354 number:
Hi, Mr. Benjamin Gunst.
This is James Punjabi. We need to talk.