Day 10, Leaving Ascoli Piceno

Today did not turn out as we had hoped. We had planned to take the train to San Benedetto del Tronto so we could spend some time at the seashore, in this case, the Adriatic. Well, there was only one bus going to San Benedetto and it left at noon and would have deposited us in San Benedetto at 1:00 p.m. It was 9:00 a.m. and we didn’t want to wait three hours for a bus. Too, we were scheduled to meet my aunt and uncle for dinner at 7:30 p.m. and the bus for Ascoli was to leave San Benedetto at 6:00 p.m. giving us little time to prepare. The net result was our lounging around the hotel taking naps and just being lazy. But isn’t that what Italy is about?

I need to remember that Italy is not a country built on convenience. It is a country built on, as I’ve said many times, la dolce vita. People here don’t live to work, they work to live and I believe that they have perfected the art of living. I must admit that I would probably lose my freaking mind if I had to work here–or live here? The reason is that I would have to alter what I expect from a society. Virtually nothing was open today. Grocery stores, bars (coffee shops), bakeries, pizza joints. Nothing was open. We were kinda stuck, especially when lunch time came and we could find no place to eat. I ended up ordering room service which was quite reasonable. Then I spent the afternoon surfing the Net like a good American.

We had one more night with my aunt and uncle. I took everyone to La Luna. Sergio had returned to Turin and Maurizio and Daniela had left for Sardinia. Mauri’s daughter, Celeste was with her maternal grandparents so that left only my aunt and uncle and Mauri’s son, Stefano along with me and Barry. Made for an economical dinner!

I don’t get as emotional parting from my family like I used to. For that I’m glad. I don’t want them to be my one and only. I don’t want to worship them. I only want to have a normal relationship and, in my mind, that means responding to them normally. I told Barry tonight that sometimes I still cannot believe that they’ve accepted me. They had no obligation to do so, but they did accept me, and with open arms. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s true and other times I feel like I’ve known them my whole life. Maybe I have. Maybe they were actually in my heart and my heart was just waiting for them to arrive so it could open into a new dimension for me.

As for the rest of the trip, tomorrow we take the bus into Ascoli Piceno and then take another bus to San Benedetto del Tronto. In SB we will purchase a ticket for the six and a half hour train ride to Innsbruck. We will have a one hour stop in Bologna and ultimately arrive in Innsbruck around 8-8:30 p.m. It’s an entire day of travel, an entire day wasted. Oh well, that’s the nature of it all.

As for our two extra days? Well, we kinda screwed up. We should have purchased plane tickets for Budapest/Tel Aviv and Tel Aviv/Moscow when we had the chance because now the tickets have gone up considerably. I can’t imagine why. How many Jews want to go to Moscow? So, we are most likely headed to Kiev. The plane ticket out of Budapest to Kiev is next to nothing. And the ticket from Kiev to Moscow is also dirt cheap. I guess there aren’t many Ukrainians itching to go to Russia, the nation that’s been trying to break up their country.

Don’t know if I’ll write tomorrow. Not expecting too much news from a long train ride. But then again, it’s me and we all know that I don’t travel well. At some point I will probably push someone off the train or start a fight. Seems like I have this death wish dictating that I screw up at some point during my actual travel. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The rest of you might want to start hedging your bets because who knows what will happen?



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