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[personal profile] iestynapmwg
I haven't updated in a while, so here goes :)

Class in Italy wasn't too bad, despite the language barrier. Dinner was pretty much limited to the two restaurants in the hotel. I did venture out, only to realise i couldn't read the menu anywhere else. It's not exactly a touristy area...

The trip back was terrible. I checked out of the hotel Friday morning and on my way to class must have driven over something because i got a flat tyre. I called the service number on the rental paperwork and after 3 tries managed to get to someone who spoke English. His suggestion: change the tyre. Um, yeah, that's why i'm calling for service. Then i limped back to the hotel on the rim to ask at the front desk if they could explain in Italian where i was.

When i got there, they said my students had called, wondering where i was, but they didn't take a number. So we thumbed through the phone directory looking for the main number at the site. I called... again it took 3 tries to find someone who spoke English and then i managed to ask for one of my students. They were there and when i told them what happened, they offered to drive over and pick me up (the site was only about 5 minutes away). They got there, followed a few minutes later by the rental company's service guy. It's a good thing i hadn't tried to change the tyre myself, as it took him some 20 minutes to figure out how. In the end one of my students discovered the obviously specialized and very necessary tool kit under the driver's seat.

I had meant to start class at 9 and head out on the road after lunch. As it was, we got back to the site at 11, got and early lunch, and i ended up leaving around 3. Then a two hour drive halfway across the country (on the spare... thankfully not a doughnut!) to a hotel near the airport. My room ended up being upstairs and there was no elevator. So i hauled my bag up the stairs and found that when i opened the door there was an entry way big enough for me, or my bag, not both. And then a curved staircase up to the room. I managed to get my bag up with much struggling. The front desk told me that they didn't have a restaurant in the hotel, the room service menu was from a place just down the block, so i figured i'd give it a try. Apparently the tourist special is a huge, 25 euro steak, al fresco. Cooked to order over an outdoor grill. It was quite good :)

Next morning, dropped off the rental car and they apparently weren't thrilled that they would have to replace 3 tyres (how it came to be 3, i have no idea) and that i didn't fill up the tank, I think they charged me an extra 200 euros... oh well, i expensed it and it got charged back to the customer paying for the class anyway. At the ticket counter i was told that there wasn't a flight to Newark, i would have to come back tomorrow. Um, no... i paid $500 to change my ticket to JFK. Killed a few hours in the airport and then was finally on my way home!

I had called the shuttle service work had arranged for to tell them about the change in plans. The plane landed on time about 6pm and i called the shuttle service as instructed when i had my bag. They called back 10 minutes later saying the driver was stuck in traffic and would be another half hour. It was closer to 7 when he got there. And we got stuck in horrible traffic on the way out of NYC, too. I think i finally got home just before midnight.

I'm DONE traveling for a while! I was (literally) having nightmares about that trip for a week afterward.

Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner / Don't carry me too far away / Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner / Cause it's here that I've got to stay.
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iestynapmwg

October 2012

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