While on the ferry I read a line in a book that I translate as: hold any decision you make as a celebration honoring this life, neither good nor bad. This is my practice today and I am celebrating this choice.
I finally arrived in Brindisi, Italy. Nice breeze, blue sky and palm trees. The ferry was enormous with 9 levels and an amazing number of transport trucks. I now have a direct high-speed train reservation directly to Florence and have about 3 hours with which to explore Brindisi. I am wandering several boulevards not far from the train station. After strolling around a few city blocks looking for a restaurant and an ATM, I ended up at Quarta Cafe where I had a delicious tomato and cheese foccacia and a cold cream cappuccino that is very close to an Austrian eiscafe, so I am feeling quite content right this moment, celebrating the decision to stop in here.
I also stopped by a street cafe close to the train station since the owner had given me directions to a nearby ATM machine. While sitting outside at a table there were three Italians, all family members, who were struggling with a bit of English. We struck up a conversation and I learned that their daughter lives with her husband in New Hampshire and this family group would love to immigrate there to be close to this couple. I asked my “one month” question to the group. The father would travel, the mother wants to be with her entire family, and the daughter would visit Japan.
I am waiting on a direct train to Florence. Panic moment as I was checking my pocket for my wallet – and it was gone! Retraced steps back to the ticket station and the wallet was there, thank goodness. When I open it to check, the 200 euros I just took from the ATM are gone. They left me a 10 euro note and my credit cards. At least I can go to an ATM in Florence for more cash. This has been an expensive 38 hours for me. I also lost a cloth mask and have misplaced my small adaptor to recharge the phone and laptop. Had a long train ride with speeds up to 299 km/hr. There was a problem with one of the tracks and the train came into Florence 45 minutes late, already dark and a struggle for me to navigate with so much overwhelm today. I stopped in at a hotel near the train station and asked for help. The clerk was kind enough to call me a taxi driver who would accept a credit card for payment. 10 minutes later I was at my motel for the night. The elevator is the smallest I’ve ever seen, only one person and luggage at a time. My room is tidy and very small. I am grateful for the water bottles in the refrigerator, and I have had a shower and gotten a bit organized for an early start tomorrow. If I want to stay another night in Florence I have to find another hotel as this one is fully booked. What would make me downright giddy is getting to do my laundry which is piling up. I would much rather carry around clean clothes than take up space with dirty clothes. Fingers crossed for a laundromat and an ATM tomorrow.