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So its true what they say about the (fill in the blank)

June 9, 2013


At the airport, there were some problems with my ticket. The very helpful ticket folks told me it happens all the time with Delta and push a few buttons to get me on my flight to Paris. My bag was set to paris and then on to Rome, I’d have to talk to the ticket agent in Paris to make sure I was on the plane with my bag.

After a delay and a run from one gate to the next, I was relieved to see my flight was a  bait delayed so I could deal with the ticket issue. The beautifully turned out French woman at the gate (seriously, how did she make polyester look so refined), looked at me icily and said “no, you are not in the system. I can’t help you.” But no, I nearly cried, showing her my emailed tickets and confirmations and payment history. there is a ticket, it’s just not registered for some reason. She started coldly for a while and called someone else over who also said no. I stayed at her desk til she sighed heavily and went back to the computer. After about 40 minutes a couple other delays on the flight, she finally triumphantly produced a ticket for me. Voila, she said (she really did). You can go.

In my search for sustenance at the airport I found gazpacho, my perfect food. Even airport gazpacho, although probably because it was the airport in Paris, is refreshing and energizing. After a week of dumplings and gravy, it was nectar. I also got a small box of macrons and brought it to my ice queen savior. I brought them back just as they were announcing yet another flight delay. Weary travelers were losing patience and expressing frustration . I fought through to get to my hero, now a little more disheveled and human appearing. Handing over the treats, I said thank you so much for your help – and really she helped a lot. She was quiet for a second, then smiled for the first time, and gave me a big hug. I think she’d had a long day too.

In Rome, we arrived several hours late and waited for the bags for over an hour. Several airport employees stood in the corner smoking, drinking coffee and gesturing wildly. Actually – they weren’t. They were just talking and I”m sure trying to fire out how to fix the many folks who’d missed their connections, but I was tired and frumpy and since none of them were handing me my bag, I was annoyed.

At 1am I was in line for the taxis. A van driver came by and said one more, to city center 40 euro. The line for taxis was long and when the man in front of my didn’t jump on the chance, I did. I sat in the front with the driver, who I noticed was a better looking George Clooney and he asked me about my trip and if I was traveling alone. A woman in the back asked him questions in Italian and then said to us in English several time, this guy is ripping us off. I didn’t care, I just wanted to get to the hotel. The driver was getting more and more agitated and she was getting louder too. Finally he pulled over, opened the door and said – get out! She did and we sped away leaving her by the side of the road. The driver said nothing about it, just turned to me and said “I’ll give you my card. call me if you want a tour of Roma.” Seriously? that quickly Italian men live up to the reputation?

My hotel is better than a pensione, but not by much. I’m on the fourth floor, walking up, with a view of an air shaft. The small room has images of Jesus and gilt framed portraits. But I’m here. Its sunday morning and I slept late. I’m headed to the big Sunday flea market as soon as I get some espresso in me and then Rome is my oyster.

Maybe, I’ll call Fabrizio….

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  1. esme permalink

    Call him! You must!
    Loved the line about the guys gesturing wildly with coffee and cigarettes! Brill! Love you! Now go call him!

  2. Nancy Peterson permalink

    Kathleen–this is your Aunt–DON”T call Fabrizio!!

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