Well, to say yesterday was an adventure is saying that the Pope is Catholic (sorry but since we are in Italy i had to use that saying)!
We arrive at the train station in Venice and took the 4:30 train back to Florence. We had already decided that when we arrived back here, we would just take a bus back to the apartment. After all the more money we save not taking a taxi we get to buy gelato!
We sometimes (sometimes?) get cocky and think we have mastered things, when in reality we just “think” we have mastered it. Yesterday was one of those days. We had just talked on the train about how proud we are that we have learned how to navigate the trains here, learned the euro, how to call a taxi and give them our address in Italian and two of the bus routes; we thought!
We walked out of the Florence train station and headed for the bus terminal. Randy says so confidently “ok we know we have got on bus #13 and #6 by our place so surely if we catch either of those we should make it home”! So we hold our heads as high as we can carrying bags and backpacks (plus his cane and big umbrella) and cross a major street heading for the buses! Oh forgot a very important detail. We leave the train station with me needing to go potty but too tired to walk upstairs to go so i just told randy i will hold it until we get home. After all, should not take more than 30-45 min. We walk to the sign that tells us the buses (remember its all in Italian) numbers and how long before each bus will be before they arrive. Hot Dog, there is #6 bus coming in 8 min. Bus 13 never was listed so we knew it did not service this stop. But we r good. We, along with 15 others hop on. No seats are left and we find out what canned clams must feel like. Randy grabs a bar to hold on to still holding his cane and a bag. I cant get close enough to even think about holding on to anything but it was so crowded that actually i didnt worry about falling. A few folks get off as the bus stops so i make my way closer to randy so i can hand him our tickets to validate so we are riding legally. As i try to hand him the tickets, the bus takes off and i fall over head first to the floor! I feel an arm of someone helping me back up to a standing position and am able to give Randy the tickets. After another 15-20 min Randy ask me if anything looks familiar! I told him the only thing that looks familiar is the floorboard of which i have almost fallen completely face first not being able to sit or hold onto anything. People have continually crowded on to the bus at each stop. They just kept coming. After about 45 min we come to a stop and everyone gets off except the two of us! Yea…we can sit down now! The bus driver turns to us and tells us to get off, we are at the end of the line and he gets off the bus and goes and smokes a cigarette! When i tell him “No. we cant be at the end of the line because we havent come to our stop yet! he ask me (I guess that’s what he has me I don’t know , he could only speak Italian but I pulled out my little picture of my bus stops on my phone and pointed to the one where we get on and off, “he said no”and motioned for us to get off the bus and take the next 6 bus it will get us there! So we (i still have not gone to the potty) wait about 10 min and i get on bus and show him the stop we need and he shakes his head yes! Ok we are good to go. This bus is crazy. So crowded that now even randy has nothing to hold on to and when the bus comes to a stop, he fell into a mans lap. The man yells because it scared him, but i started to laugh just watching randy try to get up holding his cane and backpack. After 30 min we see our stop and get off! This is when we remember that the next day is a holiday in Italy and we have absolutely no food at the house. Many of the stores and cafes close soRandy tells me he thinks we should walk to the little restaurant by one of our grocery stores and eat and go to the grocery store and get a couple things for the next day. I remind him I’m still needing to go the bathroom but I’m afraid that if we don’t go to the store then we will be stuck here at the house with no food and the cafés will be closed when we wake up in the morning. So we walk over to the cafe and they are closing and the grocery store has already closed. We notice that a little outdoor hamburger stand is still open so we decide that even if my dr has said that im not to eat beef or animal products we are going to get a hamburger. If i die, at least i died full and not from hunger! (This little stand only makes hamburgers and has a table and 4 chairs and is about a block from the apartment in the middle of the park ) We ordered and proceeded to eat when Randy says, “do u have the keys?” Do i have the keys”? Of course i have the keys. This is italy and you have a key to get inside the building then the key to unlock the apartment door! So i begin to look thru my bag and my backpack. I start to panic and start unloading both onto the table. No keys! There in the middle of the park (it is now 8:30 pm) i am throwing everything out of both bags onto the table. The guys cooking hamburgers am now looking at us like we are homeless. I began to think about our order. We had ordered one hamburger and ask them to cut it in half and one coke for us to share. After all i figured that if my dr in 3 months wasnt pleased with my cholesterol numbers going down i could at least tell him that we now shared a hamburger instead of eating a whole one by myself!
Because im needing to potty so badly, (remember we got out of train station at 6:30) my next phone call will be to our financial advisor to buy stock in Depends!
I gathered all my stuff and began to just stuff it in the bags. Was so embarrassed thinking about what the guys cooking must be thinking. But we didnt want to have to unload the bags on the sidewalk in front of our outside door to look for the keys! Plus now it was dark. We decided to just walk home and try to call our landlord to see if she could come let us in. By this time im thinking of ways to pee in my pants and not stink when Laura comes to let us in. We finally find Laura’s number on our new Italian phone, which is so much less user friendly than an Iphone and ask her to come please let us in. She just lives around the corner. In 5 min here she comes. She brought the keys and we ascend up the stairs. As she leaves, I race to the bathroom. Then as i come out, here is Randy holding the keys saying, “look what i found in MY backpack!”
I think i remember seeing some mafia guys in the park by the hamburger joint! Wonder if they speak English?
Think i know some new vows that need to be added to wedding ceremonies!