Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 926: My Dream Trip To Italy and France
By BGE from Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada, Spring 2005
Page 11 of 38: Things Are Lookin' Up in Firenze!
View From My Skylight
I sleep really well, wake early, crank open my skylight, stand on my bed and look outside. I can see the Du-o-mo from here. Holy kamoly, that’s super-cool!
After breakfast and my shower, I leave around 10:30 A.M. to do two things and two things only:
1. Get my bloody cell phone working, no matter what!
2. Check my personal e-mails on a computer somewhere.
I find the Vodaphone store again, buy a new SIM card and now I have a new Italian phone number! I walk 6 blocks back home again, install the new SIM card, and the phone STILL won’t work. I walk 6 blocks back to the Vodaphone outlet, and the guy tells me there is nothing he can do to help me, thank you very much, have a nice day, signora. I’m really a life-time Vodaphone fan now, y'bet!
While I’m getting this astounding news, a very creepy guy comes into the Vodaphone shop, trying to sell these weird little boxes of Kleenex to everyone in the joint… weird! It’s WEIRD, man! Weird that no one kicks him out of the shop, even though they are all really cranky with him and very busy trying to send him on his way.
Finally, back home AGAIN, I find out that my cell phone STILL is not charging. You gotta love this communication breakdown. It’s really starting to grate on my nerves. I’m simply not able to get in touch with my son, unless he’s in his hotel room and I’m on the payphone in Caffe Principe. There are a lot more interesting places to be and I can’t spend all my time in Caffe Principe! All the payphones in the neighborhood are either not working or won’t accept coins, only phone cards, and I don’t have a phone card, and have no idea where to get one.
I’m getting pretty frustrated, so I stop in at Caffe Principe for a delicious risotto and a cappuccino. I call Michael from the payphone in the caffe, and tell him the cell is not working, and he says,”… try this, try that…”, and I’ve already done it and it still isn’t working.
I walk the 7 blocks to the Internet Spot, buy a package of minutes and hook up to my e-mails and delete 190 messages. 167 of them are spam of some sort... and I answer only 7! A message from Angie in Florence, and she tells me not to wait for the GTG to stop and see her. She says to come anytime. I will!
Kris writes that she and Mark will be here in a few days. I’m looking forward to meeting them also.
Colleen lets me know that she will be arriving in a couple of days. That will be great! I'm looking forward to meeting these people that have been my Slowtrav friends for the past few years.
Judy's gone for now but will be back in a few days.
Barb tells me she will be here on the 17th of April. How cool! I am also looking forward to another visit with her and her husband.
Pauline posted on my 'Ciao, Amici!' topic on the message board, giving me my wings for my first trip to Italy. Awww, that's so very cool!
June, Kelly and others are following this trip on Slowtrav and posting “You go, girl!” messages on Slowtalk… that is such a warming feeling.
Back to my apartment, and the cell phone is still not charging. I walk back to the cafe AGAIN, call Michael AGAIN and tell him I’m so totally done, tired, ticked off, frustrated, and I’m giving up for today. I tell him I’m going to bed, and will ask the Universe for a better day tomorrow.
Truly, if the days don’t get better, I AM going home. At least at home, things work when I want them to work. I can call family and friends when I want to call, and not have to walk 6 blocks to, and from, and to, and from to do it!
I am in my jamies and sitting sadly on my pity-potty and the front door buzzer rings.
I have company?
It’s my kid.
He is ringing my doorbell, and he’s here with a new cellphone for me! He’s as frustrated as I am, so he went to the place where he bought his phone, bought one for me and ran over from his hotel to give it to me. What a good person he is. Such a cool kid I have! He's an amazingly thoughtful child, isn't he?
Tomorrow, we decide we are going to Cascine Park to the market. Maureen from Slowtrav has put me onto this market. The #12 bus will let us off at the Ponte La Vittoria. I’m looking forward to a day of doing nothing more than actually SEEING some of Florence. This phone stuff is getting to be way over-the-top and getting older by the moment for me.
Lorenzo comes by with the 3 remotes for the air conditioning/heating units. He tells me about the names on the buzzers at the entrance to the building. I tell him there are 2 buzzers with the name ‘Amanza." One says ‘Amanza/Luca’ and the other says ‘Amanza’ only. Lorenzo tells me to ONLY ring the one that says ‘Amanza’….the other one, he tells me quietly, “is the EX-WIFE!”
I’ll be careful!
Best Things Today:
~ finding all the messages from my Slowtrav buddies!
~ reading thru’ my “Ciao, Amici!” topic on Slowtalk…
~ my son taking the cellphone issue into his own hands
~ planning the next day…Cascine Park market!
~ Lorenzo’s “ex-wife” story
Worst Things Today:
~ well, you'll be pleased to hear that there weren't any really 'worst' things today... I'm beginning to like it here and I think I'll stay on a bit.
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