Every time I have to go somewhere I haven’t been before becomes an adventure for me. Whether it is because my sense of direction is seriously screwed up or because I am a little absent minded (well, if thinking about things other than what I am doing, as in travelling, which is rather boring, is being distracted, then I can’t help it).
A little while ago I had to go to Modena, to a hospital. Nothing serious mind. So, I decide I should plan my trip the day before and I start with looking at what time I have the appointment there, 3.40. Than I look at the hospital site and notice there’s actually a train that stops very close to the hospital, I will have to change in Bologna and in Modena (main station). Great! I don’t have to get a taxi. I am at this point already proud of myself, because of what I found out so far. I than book the train on line, with plenty of time left to walk to the hospital from the train station (400 m, says the site). I even manage to get the ticket on my phone and subsequently find it. Yes, because, in the past, I have bought a ticket, downloaded it and couldn’t find it anymore!!! Sometimes phones are a mystery to me….I only buy a one way ticket, my husband, nice man, says he will pick me up in Modena on his way back home.
Next I look how far the centre is from the hospital (on Google Maps, I have become quite good with it, I think), in order to decide whether to go there and walk around a bit, waiting for my lift back. It’s only a 15 minutes walk. Perfect.
Everything is in place. Without help. Which my husband offered several times. I wonder whether he just is really nice or because he knows me….
It’s the day I am travelling. I make up sandwiches to have on the train and leave for the station by car, which I will leave there to be pick up later. I actually get to the station too early (I hate being late, only this time I am about half an hour too early!!). I decide to have my lunch in the car to pass the time and anyway, I am rather hungry, as usual). The train is 10 minutes late, that means I will miss my connection in Modena. Oh well, I will get a taxi if there isn’t one shortly after the one I was supposed to catch.
Train journey uneventful but terribly boring. I brought my kindle (see! I can be technological !!). Only reading makes me very sleepy…I manage to get to Modena without falling asleep, big achievement!! Here I think I am very clever, I decide to run along the passage way, towards the high platform numbers (being a local train, the platform it leaves from should be towards the back, this is the clever bit b.t.w.) and find it!! It hasn’t left yet.
Here the hiccups start….It’s only a little train, no message from the anonymous person over the intercom telling what the next stop is. But! I have become technological as I was saying and I have the perfect site to check (in real time!!) where the train is going, how many stops before I need to get off and probably lots of other things I don’t need to know.
Now, It did take a while to find my train number on the ticket…First because I had to find it again, than bacause I was trying to read without glasses (yes I know I can make things bigger with that weird movement with my fingers but that doesn’t mean I can actually do it easily. Also, I have to remember it in order to write it on the site. Yes I know I can copy and paste but this isn’t as simple as it seems either).
There is only one stop before mine. Good. The train stops and I hear, without actually registering properly, a sound. The train starts again and than stops in a tunnel…perhaps there’s a problem or another train passing so mine needs to wait…it’s very dark in there…and then I hear that sound again. It’s too late when my brain puts two and two together!! That was a stop! F…k! That was MY stop!! At that point I see myself on the train for a looong time before I can get off. Thank god the next stop is actually only a couple of minutes away.
At this point I am a bit agitated and worried I will be late for my app. There’s a nice man at the station and I ask when and where the next train which goes back too the station I was supposed to get off is and, I must say, I was very lucky. He says it is coming on the only other platform there is and it’s only in a few minutes. He actually explains me this several times. Does he think I can’t get it? Well, perhaps he does, seen that I just told him I missed my stop….
I finally get to my destination. Ok, time to use GM again. Set the address of the hospital and I start walking. Not clear to me where the arrow wants me to go…I end up taking a different road…well, no problem, I get there anyway. It’s a huge hospital. I have to go to Entrance 1. Only on the map there are only letters…mmmmm. I start walking around the place in the hope my number 1 will appear somewhere, a little rushed at this point because it’s already half past (my app is at forty minutes past)! I have to ask two people for direction but I make it! I am there a few minutes before my app.
I start chatting with a nice lady sitting next me while waiting. My doc calls a a name, it’s not mine. Well, you know how good we are in Italy at keeping time, especially in these sort of places. The Doc comes out and calls another name, not mine. At this point I start being a little annoyed. My husband texts me and I answer: “still here waiting”…That’s when I realise that yes, my app is at forty minutes past, but it’s past 3 and when I got there it was 2!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH. Now I remember it all, I had booked the earlier train so I wouldn’t be rushed, just in case something went wrong (I know, it did!) Never mind, (I have become quite philosophical these days), better early than late.
Well, I did my thing at the hospital and walked towards the centre of Modena without further hiccups. Until my husband called me to tell me he was going to be in Modena soon. He sends me his position through Whatsapp. I know how to do this! GM at work again. The start is always a problem. People must think I am rather confused (which is absolutely true) as I proceed two steps in one direction and then in another and so on, trying to understand where the hell I am supped to go!! Everything goes well for a while until I get to a T junction and GM says I should go right. Only when I get to the point I need to turn, GM tells me to go left…and right again…my dance starts again!! GM is confused too.
I did get to my husband’s car and we did get back home. Only my car was at the station!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!