In April 2017, I went on my second CEESA trip. CEESA is the Central and Eastern European Schools Association. Students can compete in a tournament against different schools. My first trip was the Middle School Knowledge Bowl, and we were going to Krakow, Poland. I was on the trip with my knowledge bowl team and my two friends Andi and Boid. Our first flight was at two in the morning with the Austrian Airlines. When we arrived in Vienna we had a 8 hour layover, which sucked. To pass time, Andi, Boid and I decided to roam the airport and see how we could pass our time in the remaining eight hours. We come across a small shop that sells local Austrian merchandise.
“Let's get matching shirts for the competition,” exclaimed Andi.
“Sure,” I groaned.
After we bought our shirts, we kept walking around. We were at Gate F in the Vienna airport, the smallest gate. We decided that we would try to go to Gate G, which was the biggest gate. We asked Mr. Collova, our teacher, first if we could go to the gate so we wouldn't get in trouble.
However, Mr. Collova looked like he was in a bad mood, so he grumbled, “No, we will all stay in this gate.”
After that, we left very disappointed, walking around the tiny gate with nothing to do. As we were walking, we saw a motion sensored door open. It was transparent so at first we thought it was just glass, yet every time we approached it, it would slide open. We decided that it wouldn't hurt to go through it and check it out. As we passed through the sliding door, it immediately closed behind us but we didn't pay much attention to it at first. At our right we saw an escalator going up and we took it. The escalator took us to another glass door which opened. Through it, was a massive hallway with lots of turns and intersections. We walked down full of joy, thinking that we had found another gate. Unfortunately, when we came to the end of the hallway we saw security check. At that moment we all realized that we had gone back from where we had entered the Vienna airport. Terrified, we power walked back where we came from, while I guided the way to the glass door that brought us here. When we arrived and went through it, we realized we had to go the opposite way of the escalator. Andi was in front of Boid and I, so he ran down the escalator as quick as possible. As I was about to start running down the escalator, I heard a quiet voice. I look up and to my surprise I see a police officer screaming at Boid and I. The officer was behind a glass wall, so his voice came out almost muted. We froze from terror as we saw the cop screaming and making aggressive hand gestures. I screamed at Andi to come back up the escalator, and then we took off. We run around the hallway, turning around every corner and making it seem like a maze. After 5 minutes of running we decided that the cop wasn't going to be able to find us.
“Let's go back to the security check maybe they will let us through,” I said desperately
We headed back to the security check, all freaked out from these past 10 minutes. We told the guard at security check that we had lost our way and that all we had was my boarding pass to prove it. Luckily, he let us through and we went back to our gate. Afterwards, we stayed in our gates being relieved. To our terror, the police that we had seen in the hallway was passing through our gate looking around curiously.
“Quick guys, put your hoodies on, the policeman is coming,” Boid uttered.
We put on our hoodies and walked very shadily to the food court. There we spent the rest of our time in the airport, promising each other we would never tell this story to anyone. The lesson we learned from this story was that you shouldn't do wander in places you don't know, even if the excitement might be thrilling.