Well, I fear I’ve had two negative posts and so I’ll have to limit this one though a lot of negative things have occurred. I still have to talk about stuffing ourselves in Puglia for Christmas and New Year’s, and my trip to London!! The jury is still out if the 2 kilos of cheddar cheese I bought will still be good after sitting out so long.
Why sitting out?
Well, like most people, I try to save a little money when we can. Ryan Air, of “low cost” airfare fame, is very appealing. The cheap flights were from Bergamo, I think about 40km outside of Milan. In fact, the bus to get there takes about the same time as the bus to Milan Malpensa.
Coming back from Puglia the night before flying to London, our Eurostar train was 30 minutes late to Milan, causing us to miss the next-to-last train to Pavia. Upon our arrival, around 1am, we painfully learned that the taxis stopped running after the next-to-last train. We walked 4km with two bags and snow on the ground.
I was hoping not to have a repeat occurance.
After arriving in London 30 minutes late with no feasible explanation given, I started sweating our return. We had an arrival time of 9:45pm, which should have given us at least three buses to get back to Milan, to take the train to Pavia, to hopefully take a taxi home. This was the original plan.
In line for check-in, one of the nice bus ticket hawkers from Terravision told us the buses were timed with the arrival of the flights and would wait for us. We bought two of their tickets.
35 minutes late leaving, we arrived at 10.30. We were one of the first to get our bags, and we rushed outside to meet the waiting bus. There was no bus. Since it was just after 10:45, the bus’s departure time, I figured it would be barreling around the corner shortly to pick all of us up!
No bus appeared, though three of their buses were parked in the lot. I went to the only one with a driver and knocked on the window while he was talking on his cell phone. I put on my best I’ve-got-Girl-Scout-cookies-to-sell smile.
“Is this the 10:45 bus?”
“No, I leave at 12.15.”
Ok…on to the next driver who wasn’t working for the company. He had seen a bus leave about 10 minutes before. At that moment, another bus did come around the corner, a rival competitor.
At that point, I marched in to the terminal to the company’s ticket window.
“Where’s the 10:45 bus? We were some of the first ones off the flight!!” I shoved the time schedule in his face.
“It left.” He seemed to be doing me a favor by responding.
“But your representative in London told me that the bus would wait for us.”
“The last bus will wait. They’ve left at 4am a few times recently…”
“Yes, but the next bus doesn’t leave for an hour! We’ve missed the last train from Milan!”
“Well, you could have bought tickets with the other company. They had a bus at 11pm.”
I walked away at that point. I was tired, still sick from that week, and we were desperately trying to figure out where we were going to stay in Milan for the night, or even stay in Bergamo. We had a few friends but none that would appreciate a call at 11.30 (by now) asking about staying the night.
While fretting about what to do with Sante, seeing the long night ahead of me, I rested my head against him and looked down at my hands clasping the suitcase handle. And I noticed that my ring finger, which gave a little flash of light every so often when the light hit the diamond, was not winking back at me.
The diamond was gone.
That was the dam breaking, my friends.
So how did the night end? I stoutly declared that I was NOT going all over Milan to “price compare” hotels at 1am, since most of them would think I’m a prostitute anyway, and we parked it at a 4-star hotel (side note: Unlike Rome, whose Termini station is surrounded by many unsavory hotels, Milan’s main station is surrounded by mostly 4-star hotels).
To even things up, I stole the slippers.
Ok, both pairs.