TechnomadicsVagabonding Europe

Near San Lazzaro

We’ve had a very quiet week or so, hanging around in our pretty little caravan park in San Lazzaro, working on projects, getting over a mysterious bout of food poisoning — just Katherine, oddly, not me. During a phone call to my mother (our knowledgeable consultant on all things), she revealed that apparently I have had an iron stomach since infancy. No vomitous childhood for me. Good to know!

I hate being the well one, I can’t stand the sympathy and concern. Give me the food poisoning any day.

We had an interesting dumb-tourist time posting off some long-overdue-to-be-posted gifts to Australia, working entirely on my guesswork while attempting to communicate with the post office staff. Our first attempt was thwarted when we were told, possibly, that we needed to return the following day. Or possibly the package wouldn’t go out until the next day. Or maybe it was the post office staff member’s birthday the following day. It really could’ve been anything, but she had “no” face, so we figured whatever the reason, we should return the following day. Possibly with a birthday cake.

We diligently (slightly guiltily) listened to a Pimsleur Italian lesson when we got home. We’ll be fluent any day now.

Our second attempt was more successful: We were given envelopes to put the packages in and address, and handed them back, addressed and filled with packages, and were told something about tomorrow – domani! I know domani! Either that or those great rice-wrapped-with-vine-leaf Greek snacks, but I doubted that was what she meant. I attempted to mime returning tomorrow, and was rewarded with assent. Unusual, but okay; we said grazie, ciao! and started walking back, only to be called back by a customer who hurried after us — oops. Another dumb tourist moment. They were kind to us, though, and weighed the packages and presented us with the grand total — yeesh, that’s expensive postage. We didn’t have enough cash, and they wouldn’t take credit card, so we asked if there was a bancomat nearby, and were pointed off down the street.

We followed the street for a while, and reached the end of the ‘shops’ part of town; the rest looked residential (but very pretty — this is a lovely town). I spotted a woman in an Italian post uniform, and asked her in Italian if she knew where a bancomat was. Mercifully, her husband, Michael, worked in a car dealership right there, and spoke English — he was quite friendly, and explained the bank was a good three kilometers down the road. Oh.

We spoke briefly, and we parted with the suggestion of a coffee in the piazza sometime, and headed back to the post office having since discovered that we actually did have just enough, including our coins. That was lucky! So, all sorted, bewilderment notwithstanding.

At some stage we spotted the date, and got a little shock — is it really March already? Our plans were to make our way across Italy and France, arriving back in the UK in late May, but that’s just 10 or so weeks away!

I find myself cursing the 90 day limit of the Schengen visa arrangement, even if it’s the same agreement that lets us do this at all; Katherine’s found the plus side, which is that such a time limit pushes us to keep moving — otherwise we may just get stuck! She’s probably right.

We may need to adjust our plans to see France, though! Given that we’ll be back in Northern Italy around September to visit the Alps in hiking season, we may be able to do France properly then. That gives us more time in Italy to travel at our slow, slow pace.

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