My No. 1 Piece of Advice: Don’t get too Comfortable

10 Oct

For my fellow foodies I apologizes in advance but for probably the first (and maybe) the last time ever this post has very little to do with food, however I thought you all might find my adventure today entertaining and therefore would be willing to forgo reading a post about food in exchange for some laughs!

So after a month and half of living here you’d think I would be getting a hang of this Italy thing, actually I thought I had gotten the hang of things, I no longer get lost, I know how to read the bus schedule, and I take the bus daily. In my opinion I thought I was a pro …but as you will soon find out I am not.

So this morning I decided to go for a swim, although my warm bed and tired eyes beckoned me to remain asleep for a few more hours my mind reminded me of all the carbs I’ve been eating and encouraged me to get some exercise, I listed (but looking back maybe I shouldn’t have)

I had stayed the night at Roberta’s house after deciding that I was in need of a getaway from my apartment (the lack of internet really is a downer) and as always I was hungry for a good meal. Of course she made a splendid meal which started with a plate of mussels steamed in a garlic olive oil sauce, next was a delicious seafood spaghetti dish including shrimp, clams, calamari, all tossed together in a white wine sauce, finally we finished our meal with broiled sea bass garnished with lemon and herbs and a side of roasted vegetables….not too shabby of a meal, the food is just one of the positive aspects about going to Roberta’s.

The one negative aspect is that unfortunately there is no direct bus from her house to the pool. So this morning I had to wake up at 7:30 quickly eat breakfast and take a bus from her house to the center of Florence (the opposite direction from the pool) hop off and walk a few blocks away only to get on another bus headed in the direction of the pool, total transportation time an hour and a half.

Think all that switching is a hassle, well just wait because that seems simple in comparison to the little adventure I just had!

After a good 45 minute workout I was feeling quite pleased with myself and happy that I had pushed myself out of bed this morning. However I was anxious to return my apartment, not only did I have a stack of homework awaiting me, but I also had yet to go home since leaving Roberta’s house, so I was still carrying my overnight bag with me and unfortunately due to lack of planning on my part, I hadn’t packed an extra pair of clothes, so I was still wearing the same outfit from yesterday, however yesterday was much less humid than today and I felt myself beginning to get a bit too warm.

I made my way over to the bus stop (the same bus stop I wait at every time I leave the pool) Unfortunately I had also forgotten my glasses, so when I faintly saw a bus approaching I reached out my hand and motioned for it to stop, I figured it would be bus 23, the bus that frequently runs, of course at this particular bus stop there is another bus, bus 5 but that bus has a very unreliable bus schedule and I have never once seen it pass by.

As the bus neared closer I began to feel my heart beat faster, this wasn’t bus 23 it was bus 5, I wasn’t sure what to do, I had gone out of my way to flag the bus down, I couldn’t very well pretend that I didn’t mean to do that, I didn’t know what to do or what to say (especially in Italian) and I wasn’t ready to give up my disguise as a put together Italian resident, so I simply hopped on the bus, praying that it was headed in the same direction and I was intending on going.

Twenty minutes later I was really beginning to panic, nothing looked strangely familiar, I wondered if maybe this bus didn’t go into the center, I had never seen a bus stop for bus 5 and I had a frightening feeling that staying on this bus would mean I would end up somewhere very far away. As we approached an upcoming stop I looked out to see that the upcoming stop was also a stop for bus 22, a bus that I was familiar with and certain went into the center, I immediately got off and consulted the schedule posted nearby the stop. Turns out I was headed in the opposite direction away from the center of Florence as figured. I walked across the street in what looked to a very undesirable neighborhood in search of the correct bus stop headed in the correct direction. This time I wasn’t too proud to ask for help, at this point I was desperate to get home and I wasn’t taking any chances.

I got on to the far too crowded bus 22 and twenty minutes later I was back in the center of Florence (thank god), exhausted from my mishap I decided to take a second bus home rather than walking (In Florence you do not need to use a new ticket every time you take a bus, instead you validate your ticket once and can use it as often as you’d like for the following 90 minutes)!

I waited for bus C2 an electrical powered small bus which can easily navigate through the center of Florence. Exhausted I fell into the seat hoping to arrive at my apartment within the next ten minutes. As we continued driving I found it strange that I wasn’t recognizing any of the passing scenery, as far as I knew this bus was supposed to remain only in the center of Florence, I hoped I hadn’t made another mistake! Suddenly the bus stop and everyone got off the bus including the bus driver (this time I got on the right bus but it was going in the wrong direction, we were now stopped at the capolinea, the end of the line which meant that the bus driver was now on break and I had to wait for him to decided when his break was over so that we could continue on route to my house!

Twenty minutes later we were back on route and I was happy to recognize the passing scenery, the display screen, which indicated the next stop, flashed the name of my street, reminding me that my stop was coming up. Just then less than 5 feet from my house the bus get stuck on an angle in the middle of a four way insertion causing angry pedestrians and even angrier driver to shout, yell, and beep! At this point we find ourselves in the center of a circle filled with gaping tourists, frustrated drivers, and Italians trying to yell out directions to the bus. The older women on the bus yell out in fear every time the bus driver tries to move the bus in hopes of rectifying the situation. Finally fifteen minutes later he opens the doors and we all clear the bus. I walk towards the direction of my street exhausted, sweaty, and anxious to get home, just than with less than two blocks to go until I reach my house I see the small bus C2 that I was just on pass me by and stop at the bus stop located directly across my apartment….what a day!


One Response to “My No. 1 Piece of Advice: Don’t get too Comfortable”

  1. Joan October 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    It appears it was a rough morning but it was a Wednesday and we know how Wednesdays can be. Keep smiling that’s all you can do.

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