by Mirna Pleines
During our two-day break, I ventured out on my own. I was excited to spend two days on the beach in Fano, alone, and without deadlines. That morning, I made sure I was up early enough to catch the first bus out. I was told that Fano was just a forty-minute bus ride away.
Excitement quickly turned to panic, when the bus ticket lady explained that there would be a “cambiamento” of buses and I would have to change buses at some point and take bus number 25 to Fano. Wait, what? Change buses? How will I know when to exit? What if I take the wrong bus? What if I get lost? Ahhhh!
It was too late to turn back now now. My hotel room was already booked. The lady standing behind me obviously noticed my distress when I said, “Oh no!” She taps me on the shoulder and in Italian I assume she said she was also going to Fano and she would tell me which bus I would board. Relief!! We boarded the bus and off we go.
We exchange buses without glitch. All was well until half way into the bus trip, my lady exits. I’m on my own now and I have now been traveling over an hour. I thought the bus trip was only forty minutes? Am I lost? When will I know when to exit? My heart starts racing.
I took out my Italian phrase book and began to compose phrases in my notebook so that I can ask the bus driver for direction. What a brilliant idea! But then he responds. Wait, what did he just say? He spoke so fast. I could not understand one word. I return to my seat. This is not working. What do I do now?
I reach out to the lovely lady who had just boarded the bus and sat next to me. As if sent from heaven, she responds in broken English. “I speak five languages well but my English is bad,” she says. Five languages? I was impressed. Her English was good enough for me. Relief! “You are almost there,” she says. She tells me that she will be exiting before I would but she had spoken to the bus driver and she said not to worry, the bus driver would tell me where to get off and how to find my hotel. And just like that, we arrive and the bus driver signals the direction for my hotel, I exit and I am off.
A few blocks away and there it was, Hotel Corallo. I felt accomplished! I walk up to the reception area to check in and she asks me for my passport. Wait, what? I need my passport to check in? Che Disastro! My passport is in my apartment in Cagli. I want to cry now…