Friday, May 6, 2022

From Here to There

Today had one purpose only— to start from here and get to there. After two days of promised rain that didn’t deliver, today it did. Just a sprinkle, but timed so that it began just as we started to walk the mile to the bus stop with our luggage jostling behind us up and down the bumpy road. But the rain was light enough and though 20 minutes late, the bus appeared and we were off. 


An hour ride to Foggia, then get a train ticket to Bari. “20 Euros for two” the agent said “and the next train leaves on Platform 6 at 12:02.” It was 12:00. We ran to the Platform, no train in sight, waited ten minutes, no announcements on the sign. Back to Platform 1 we noted there was another train scheduled to Bari in five minutes. It came and we made the mistake of asking an official if we could use the tickets for Bari. The answer was no, we had to rebook with the agent and the train would be there for ten minutes. We ran into the station and of course, there was a line of five people with three agents and each one seemed to be having a discussion about the state of the world or a play-by-play recount of the last Warrior’s game. What is the problem with approaching the window, saying “1 ticket to ______”, a nod of the head, a swoosh of a machine and Bam, there’s the ticket? But no.


I impatiently cut in front of the next person in line to let the woman who sold us the ticket know that she sold us a ticket for no train. She simply refunded my money and waved us back into the line. Ten minutes later, she sold us a ticket to Bari— for 50 Euros. And the waiting train was gone. So another 30 minutes until the next, which of course, was 15 minutes late. Finally we got on. 


An hour later, we pulled into Bari Train station and then went to take the local train to the airport. Easy to get a ticket, but next train was 50 minutes later. Finally came, at the airport, more line-waiting, got the ticket and breezed through security with shoes on and computers in backpacks and things were looking up. And then– you guessed it: the 30-minute delayed flight that stretched to 55. And free wi-fi not working for me, so no way to What’s Ap my host in Verona waiting to pick us up. Finally, they call our flight, long line, get on a bus that sits on the runway for ten more minutes, out to the plane and an hour later, made it to Verona, some 10 hours after we left the house.  Isn’t travel fun?


This is precisely the kind of story that will send my daughter running from the room the moment I begin it. “Nobody wants to hear it, Dad!” And she’s right. 


But nevertheless, I persist and will post this. My excuse? In case you felt some small pang of envy as I described the delights and wonders of the previous two weeks, now you can enjoy some schadenfreude, happy that I’m traveling and you’re not. 

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