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"Stazione Grande! - Stazion Grande!"

ITALY | Friday, 16 July 2010 | Views [470]

7-16-10

The rocking of the boat gave me the most amazing and much needed sleep I’ve had in a very long time. I got to take a hot shower standing up in out private bathroom. We woke up early and went to the cafe to get some morning coffee and to our dismay they were cleaning up the machines, with no other travelers in sight. We thought we were still at sea and in actuality we were at dock and everyone had already disembarked the boat. Once my father and I realize this we kick it into overdrive, scramble to get our belongings back at the room and high tail it off the boat to catch the shuttle to the train station. Unfortunately we have no idea where the shuttle pick up stop is and apparently no one else does including people that work there. So we are walking back in forth the port and are told the shuttle already left and there may be another but no one is sure. My dad is stressing out (as usual) and I’m trying to calm him down. How does this man travel alone every year? That I can’t figure out because when we are supposed to go up he wants to go down if we are supposed to go left he thinks we should be heading right. We run into a disheveled Chinese woman that speaks very little Italian pushing a heavy cart that is an old baby carriage rigged with her belongings. She repeated “stazione grande” “statzione grande”…big station ..She was looking to get to the large train station to head to Rome, to take a bus to her next job. She was a leather worker that works in factory sewing leather upholstery . She is in Italy working doing anything she can to make money. She says there is no money in Asia and trying to make ends meet.

 

Finally a bus pulls up, the doors open and the most moody bastard comes out and says “YOU MISSED THE BUS- I AM GOING HALF WAY TO THE STATION THE REST YOU WILL WALK” in a mean sounding Italian. “IM LEAVING IN 10 MINUTES” he walks off- the three of us are happy that we found the shuttle mean or not. He comes back, we begin to drive, Chinese lady saying “stazione grande, stazione grande” to him and he says “SHUT UP!”  I’m in shock this is how the customer service is in Italy, or lack of. A few minutes into the trip, out of nowhere he grows a heart and tells us he is going to take us all the way to the Train station! Then as we are leaving the port, sees 2 tourists looking lost (probably Dutch) pulls the bus over and sends my dad out to tell them we are going to the station and if they want a ride. They do and we all head to the station. I’m thinking this is going to be an hour or so ride and ten minutes later we arrive. We just make the train with 5 minutes to spare. It’s the local to Rome.

 

The Rome train station is a mess of trains and people. There is no information desk. The train schedules all say conflicting things and we have trouble finding the correct train to board. After 45 minutes of investigating we find our train and board.

 

 

 

 It’s packed, no air conditioning and my dad takes up 2 seats and people are getting upset.  Eventually I situate us and let someone sit in the extra seat. It’s been a long day and its only 11am.  We endure the train ride to our stop and greeted by my dad’s friend Gian Carlo a taxi driver. We make a few stops running errands and board our boat to Ponza. We are greeted by someone I’m related to somehow and driven to our final resting spot. We made it. I go around visiting all my cousins and some introduce them self to me telling me we are related. It’s been 3 years since I’ve last been here and nothing has changed as it never does in Ponza. People sitting on there stoop gossiping, the bus honking his horn as he comes around the corner and the sound of scooter engines fill the night. We have arrived.

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