“Travel ‘n’ Write,” Europe, Blog 2
As we tiredly, crankily and “thank god we made it-ly” pulled up to our hotel in the wee hours of the morning, my friend/traveling companion and I looked at each other with simultaneous expressions that could only be called “Uh-oh on Steroids.” My first thought was, “Shit, this ‘Uber’ ride is gonna cost us a whole lot more than we originally thought.” My second thought was, “Why the hell didn’t I spend more time with my ‘Duo Lingo’ app?” You see, Luigi (who was lovely, by the way) had driven us all the way to “Hotel Gianicolo” (about 40 kilometers from the airport) rather than “Hotel Jonico.” (about 20 kilometers from the airport). And that was after he had originally quoted us at 65 Euros.
“You still good with this?” I asked my friend. Her response: “We have no choice.” We both knew that wasn’t entirely true but I think we were in (unspoken) agreement that we just wanted to see this through and get to bed.
So off we went, back the other way . . . invisible meter ticking. Inspired by a recent quote I had seen on Facebook, I exclaimed “Plot twist!” and we admired the unexpected views as we carried on a conversation (if you can call it that . . . it was really more of a “three people saying things and excitedly acting like they are understanding each other while what they’re really thinking is ‘I have no idea what the f*** he/she just said.'”) with our lovely driver.
At one point I almost attempted to convey to our new Italian friend that, “Hey, at least we’re getting a tour” when suddenly he said something that sounded a lot like “tour,” and I realized we were on the same page. So, we did what all tourists do . . . we pulled over to the side of the road and took a picture:
(Oh gosh I have to say, he reminded me so much of my Pap with his looks, his mannerisms, his voice and his smoker’s cough).
After our impromptu selfie, we were on our way again . . . my favorite part of the drive was all of the plants we saw on apartment balconies. I also enjoyed the fact that Luigi turned out to not be a serial killer as a part of me was seriously doubting our sense of judgment in terms of transportation (he was an unofficial “Uber” driver in a regular ol’ car). I know some of you who are reading this are wanting to knock some sense into me right now . . . but this is just how it worked out at 1:00 a.m. with very few options available–no access to internet, no answer at the hotel, no trains, no shuttle, a language barrier, etc. While my mind was partly thinking, “What in the world are you doing?!,” my body and my intuition were telling me, “This is totally safe.” And sometimes that’s just how life goes.
We can plan and control, and have things go “wrong,” and we can wing it and have things go “right.” I love the dance of intuition and logic, particularly the fact that sometimes they take turns leading.
So here I am, my first night in Italy (actually it’s 4:58 a.m., and the birds are singing just outside my open balcony door), safe and sound . . . at Hotel JONICO. Wow. I just can’t even believe it. It feels incredibly surreal. I guess I’ll get some shut-eye and attempt to get myself on Italian time. Daylight will come soon enough, and I want to be wide awake to enjoy that gelato . . . or is it ge-lot-o?! Let’s just call it delicious, shall we?