Monday, May 11, 2009
one american girl in italy
felt like i was actually in that iconic photo this afternoon, when i walked across the piazza della republica in firenze (florence) painfully aware of being an american girl striding around in shorts eating gelato. the sun was out and it was beautiful and it would have been a lovely day if only it weren't monday and i was not accosted by the man at the ticket counter at the main train station. i was trying to buy a ticket from florence to montpellier in france, my next stop. i first went to the train information area and spoke to a lovely man who printed several itinerarys out for me (this undertaking would require a good many transfers) and told me to choose one and present it at the ticket counter and they would be able to find it for me and give me a price. but after waiting for over a quarter of an hour in the line (with people trying to sneak around me at every opportunity-corners are your best bet) i made it to a real person who looked at me with ill disgised disgust and told me after much head shaking and keyboard tapping that it was impossible for me to go to montpellier. and he said it with such authority as if it did not actually exist or something and i was trying to find if i could just get as far as nice and then buy the rest of the french tickets from there, or something. and he just yelled at me to move along and made dismissive hand gestures and said to ask someone else and something about him not wishing to speak to me due to the fact that i was american. may possibly have even said stupid american but i am not sure. and i just wanted to find out who i should go to talk to and he just yelled at me and i finally was forced to make a quick escape before i started to weep all over the counter.
walking down in the shopping center underneath the train station i came across a travel agent who advertised train tickets with no commission and i went and spoke to her and she told me calmly that she could book me as far as nice and then i would have an hour to get a ticket for the connection and it was just a local regional train and it would be available and very inexpensive and she was so sweet and i couldn't help but think that there was nothing good that man acheived my yelling at me through his little perforated screen. so why do it? totally unnessisary. and since everything is closed on monday as well as sunday here i will leave you with photo from the adventures of max as a brit in rome, my accent is still popping up at strange moments and i can't quite shake off all the britishisms just yet. oh how they linger.