Sunday, September 7, 2014

I've lost Carol.

Bus 14 surely stops at the next block. I will get off and walk back to Carol. The other passengers see what has happened and want to help. One woman tells me what to do with hand motions. Others give advice in Italian. Others shout to the bus driver. The bus does not stop at the next block.  Over a bridge, across a highway, through a tunnel. It stops. I literally tumble out. Across the street and down the block I find a marker that says Bus 14. Okay, I will take Bus 14 back to the Train Station, look for Carol, and then drag my suitcase to the B & B if I can't find her. I have the address and an iPad with Google Maps. (This is the time to have cell phones that work in Italy.)

I am tempted to sit on my bag in the street. A lady walks by and imitates flagging down the bus. She says the bus won't stop here unless I do "this". Better not sit on the bag. A couple with a toddler in a stroller join me at the stop. About 30 minutes go by. I ask, "Will Bus 14 take me to the train station?" She does not speak English but he answers "Yes." I ask, "How do you pay for the bus?" He answers me with very good English. I detect a German accent. We begin talking and he tells me he studied and worked in California. His name is Thomas. I tell him what happened and he understands perfectly. He asks how they can help.  Does he have a phone so I can phone the B & B and leave a message for Carol? She phones the B & B and leaves a message in Italian.

Bus 14 arrives and we head back to the station. We get off and I thank them as much as I know how but they say they will stay with me until I find Carol and get to the B & B. They insist . . . and I am grateful. Carol is not at the train station where I lost her so we catch another bus to the B & B.

Their daughter in the stroller is content and beautiful.  The host of the B & B returns her call. He is at a different location, just found her message, and will head there immediatelly to meet us. He takes the message for Carol that 'Donna is fine and will soon be at the B & B.'

Before we arrive he phones again to say he is at the B & B but Carol is not there. All this in Italian. They walk me to the door of the B & B. I ring the bell and he answers the door. Carol is here!  She arrived by taxi but no one was at the B & B to meet her so she found a place in the shade across the street. Once he arrived on his bike and unlocked the door, he motioned to the woman across the street sitting on her suitcase - assuming that must be Carol. Good thing we phoned!

Thomas writes down his name and email address in my iPad and and I quickly send him an email with my name, address, and phone number. I invite the three of them to DC and Virginia! I will pick them up at the airport and deliver them to their hotel. . . 

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