A nun, a French fashionista, and an American took a train to Milan...

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April 4th 2015
Published: April 4th 2015
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That sounds like the start of a great joke, but alas, there's not much else to tell. Once we started moving, the nun fell asleep and the fashionista took to her magazines.

I can safely say that I thought that this, of all days, would be one to skip over on the travel blog. I don't have any pictures, but I do have some stories.

First off, the French train this morning was swarming with controllers - those who make sure your ticket is for the journey you're on. At first I thought I was being singled out, but over the next 20 minutes, I saw no less than 6 of them pass by me. I guess it was their day to make something happen. It is the Easter weekend, so maybe they're cracking down on freeloaders trying to get home for Sunday. Who knows?

By the end of that train trip, I was in Italy! The first thing I did at the train station after I got my ticket printed was get some authentic Italian pizza. It was amazing, even if it was train-station pizza. Yes, Will Robinson, I did blot the grease off the pizza, but not until I had already finished with half of the mammoth slice they gave me. Italian food is easily my favorite cuisine, and I intend to take advantage of it every chance I can while I'm here. It's one of the reasons I've been eating grocery-store sandwiches for most of this trip - so I can splurge in Italy! I only thought I was going to be in Italy for the 2nd half of May, but when my itinerary changed, I wasn't going to say no to eating authentic Italian cuisine about 6 weeks earlier than anticipated!

The nun, fashionista and I shared one of those 6-person compartments for our entire 4-hour trip to Milan. We got a couple of other people in at different points, but none for the duration. I've started reading Watership Down little by little on these train rides. My parents gave it to my on Kindle for Christmas, and now I'm about 5 chapters in, out of 50. No rush, just enjoying it. But I've finished all the necessary reading for my TCU classes this semester, and I'll enjoy the chance to read what I want to, for a change.

Here's where it gets interesting. So I Google-mapped the directions from the train station to the hotel last night, screenshot it on my iPad, and saved that, so I could know how to get to my hotel today. It was about 800 meters, so about 1/2 a mile. No big deal, even though I really need to keep off my feet for a few days. I walked the directions with no problems, only when I got here, there was a little sign on next to the door that said you had to check in at the bus station, which is across the street from the train station. I was pretty livid. My feet hurt, especially the blisters, I had to use the bathroom, and I was looking at tearing into some Italian food like nobody's business. So I walked the full kilometer back to the train station and looked around the bus station to check in. Couldn't find it. So I got my email and called the number. They were in a back corner of the building, not marked at all. I got the check-in squared away and walked back to the hotel, if you can really call it that. It's a network called "MyRoom" in Bergamo, with several locations throughout the city at strategic intervals, each with about 6 rooms on one floor of a building each.

I unlocked the door, and a couple of German girls followed me in. They had a key, so no problem. I let them past me as I lugged my huge suitcase up the narrow flight of stairs. My key said room 15, so I looked for that. The girls disappeared around a corner and closed the door behind them. Room 15. Um, ok. As fun as that might turn out, I booked a private single room. Theirs was a double, and definitely not private. I knocked on their door, and they came out. We all stood around confused when both keys said "15," so I tried it in their door before looking to see if mine was mislabeled. Nope. It worked. And then I tried it on all the other doors. It worked every time. That was disturbing. There were people's things in 2 of the 5 other rooms, so I chose a triple room at the end of the hall to park for the time being. I called the guy who had checked me in as the German girls tried their key on the other rooms. They were unsuccessful. I promised not to creep on them if the situation didn't change soon.

The guy got here and showed me into a double room and gave me a key that only works for this room. I'm here now, trying to recuperate. They have free breakfast and wifi, but the bathrooms are shared. If not for the free food at my disposal in the shared kitchen, I'd probably be on the prowl right now. But as it is, I may just call it an evening. It's Easter tomorrow, though, so I'm not sure what will be open for food, so I may go out and stock up before it gets too late. At least I get to spend Easter in Italy!


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