November 20, 2005

11.24.05-- I'm So Cold!!

I finally got to Mestre. Venice has 2 stations, one right in the heart of the old city and one in Mestre, which is the city in the center of Venice county. It's actually not part of the sinking Venice, is accesible by car, and is closer to the airport. I didn't know any of this when I chose to take the train there, of course. I simply knew that I had an early flight (brilliant scholar that I am, I didn't look at the ticket before booking the train, and thought that my flight was at 6:55, when it was actually at 9:55.) and I wanted to spend as much time in Florence as possible. No point in wasting the day traveling. Problem 4: The agent who booked my train told me I'd have "no problem" taking the bus or a taxi to the airport from Mestre. I'll give her some credit, she was right. She simply failed to mention that the ENTIRE station shuts down from 12-5 AM. I found the bus terminal and saw that the bus would cost only 2.5o Euros. Good, I had enough. Now I just had to wait till 5 AM, when it left. On top of that I was starving and NOTHING was open! Then station was basically an open platform, but with a sort of underground walkway to facilitate easier transitions for moving from track to track. (Not to easy, each trip below ground was 20 steps with my school of suitcases swiming behind me...) There were about 25 of us who waited there from 2-3:15, many of us young, one a REALY cute guy!! It was quite cold, the coldest it had been all trip. To stay warm, I was wearing multiple layers of clothes, my jacket, my scarf wrapped around my head up to my eyes and a fleece blanket I travel with. I looked like Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club, only weirder. Meanwhile, I kept smiling at the cute guy, only to realize that, duh, he has no idea I'm smiling at him because my entire face is covered!! Around 3:15, some train came, and the number of people hanging around dropped to about 10. But, it was a really safe place to stay--the police even walked through once and everyone was awake and alert. Plus, there were a few older couples that were almost grandmotherly-like in appearance. Somehow I managed to stay awake and warm until I could get on the bus. I did feel so sorry, though, for the homeless people I had seen during my travels. Here I was, quite prepared for the elements, and I wasn't warm. How were they surviving?

No comments: