Posts Tagged ‘The Ugly American’

Stop, Look and there you’ll see that all the white taxis are coming from around the corner and they have people in them, let’s go that way. I can only imagine how we looked; Peter loaded down with bags hanging from his shoulders, some suitcases rolling, I’m bobbling along on my cane, quite the pair.

We made good time getting to the center of Rome and our driver dropped us off on the appropriate side of the Termini (which is important because I swear the station is the size of the Coliseum).


I tried to plan ahead for everything; I made the train reservations weeks ago.  I converted currency so I wouldn’t get ripped off at the airport and I would have €uros to pay the taxi. Oh so smart- BUT what I didn’t remember was that I had to get some small bills AND that the cab drivers in Italy don’t expect tips. SOoooo the $53€uro cab fare had me in a bind.  I had a fifty and a ten, was tired and couldn’t figure out a tip, because Italian cabs charge for luggage too.  Oh well, that $€7 tip re-enforced the driver’s opinion that Americans are either rich and generous or stupid but at least not Ugly Americans.  FD6366CD-F097-4F4D-BD4F-E9571560417A.jpeg

Now it was just a matter of waiting to see out train’s departure  announced on the big board – just like Penn Station. We waited, and waited, and waited. Pretty soon I was sitting on the floor ( I still can’t believe it), I was so tired, my foot was aching. Train was scheduled to depart at 12:18 and by the time it was 12:10 and the binario (platform) was still not posted, I suggested Peter go to the Italo booth and see what’s what. Naturally there was a line AND he had to take a number! Like in a butcher shop!!  Good thing he went, apparently the last stop on the 🚂 is Brescia, so that’s the town that appears on the screen. Who knew?  Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Here we are again trying to transport 5 pieces of luggage, 2 alter cockers, 1 cane  and a partridge in a pear tree through a swarming crowd (think the subway at 8:30am) and locate platform 6, Carriage #5 (think West 45th St at 7:45pm). We got to Carriage #5 and WE COULDN’T LIFT THE LUGGAGE UP THE TWO STEPS into the train!!! Oh what a scene; Literally we look like we are out of Central Casting. Unwashed, unshaven, the ubiquitous black string passport bag swinging down in front of me, Peter straining to pull the big suitcase up the stairs, ay yi yi! Finally some man who truly would like to board the train, picks up the bag and plops it down in the aisle. I wondered where the suitcases would go – they gather behind the last seat. BUT We still have another bag too heavy for me to lift and I’m still outside and Peter is in. This rather strong looking young woman looks at me and the cane and shakes her head and picks up the bag and pushes it onto the train where Peter can retrieve it and store with the other. A thousand Mille grazies are pouring forth from me as I get on the train. I half expected to hear 👏 not because I did anything but because finally I’m out of everyone’s  way and they can get on the train. We found space for the smaller bags, settled down and shortly into the trip fell sound 💤.

Sleep is an amazing state especially when you’ve been up for over 24 hours.  THEN, “Signora, SIGnora, SIGNORA” –  I wake up with a horrific start and cry “ Oh no I was sleeping”.  That precious elusive sleep was snatched away with a “Tickets please”.

To be continued…




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