Arrivederci Bologna and Italy
Saturday, November 19th, 2011
Ah, the time finally came when I needed to begin the trek home. It has been 10 weeks since I arrived in Italy and I must say I’m sad to leave. After leaving Sicily on a Thursday I spent two nights at a very nice hotel on Strada Maggiore not far from the school that only cost 55 euros. I had several things that I wanted to do on Friday. First of all I withdrew all but 60 some euros from my account. I figured that I’d rather go home with euros than leave them all there but wanted to keep the account open so that I could transfer money to it in the future for a planned return to Italy. Then I got a haircut (the George Clooney style – it’s a long story). I dropped in at the school for the usual friday farewell party for departing students and then had lunch with Vittorio. Claudia was free for dinner so I didn’t need to dine alone on my last night in Italy. Oh yes, an important task was to buy a nice bottle of grappa to put in my checked suitcase as a nice and very usable souvenir of Italy.
Travel for me is always an adventure and this trip was no different. Paolo took me to the airport which was great. I got my boarding pass and went to check the big suitcase. When asked for my passport I couldn’t find it! Horrors! Heart attack! My mind filled with images of disasters ahead but I calmed down and called the hotel. Sure enough they had it and called a taxi to deliver it to the airport. The 20 euros for the taxi paled to nothing compared to the relief of having the passport in hand. Note to self: always check for all of the important stuff before heading to the airport.
I made it to Frankfurt without a hitch. It seemed so strange to be in a place where I really had no idea of the written or spoken language. It’s not really a problem since a lot of people here speak english and, as you can imagine, everything is well organized. I took the S-Bahn train into town. The next challenge was to emerge from the station not far from the hotel. The Germans do a lot of things right but I could find no elevators in the train station and had to take 3 escalators up with two suitcases. Not a pleasant task. Now I’m ensconced in a cheap but adequate hotel and already miss Italy. Frankfurt is about as far as one can get from Italy. Broad streets, big modern building but also some quaint areas. I found a decent Italian restaurant near the hotel where I could at least have a conversation with someone – in Italian of course. I think that it’s going to be a long three days.