Europe . Italy . Florence: niceness and niceties, but not Nice

Friday, October 6th, 2006

We awoke on the train from Syracuse to Florence (via a change-over in Rome). Some during our sleep the train had fallen an hour behind schedule. This lateness provided and excellent conversation starter for use on our cabin-mates, a nice Austrian couple from Berne. It is fitting that I describe them as "nice" because it was my favourite (and only) adjective throughout our conversation. For some reason my descriptive vocabulary had shrunk to this one, vague, four-letter word. In retrospect I would blame my lack of verbal variety on the many painful conversations I attempted with those who only spoke utilitarian-english ("utilitarian-english" = enlish without the flowery bits). Luckily the conversation ended abrupty with a rather awkward silence -- sweet sweet silence.

Our change-over in Rome brought an entirely new set of travel companions. Given my still fresh failures I spent most of the trip reading and admiring scenery. It wasn't until we were almost at Florence that a conversation was brought to me by a couple from Kitchener, Ontario. We didn't have time to exchange more than initial pleasantries: name, origin, astrological sign, etc., but that was enough to redeem me -- I didn't use "nice" once! (though I could feel it lurking just beneath my tongue ready to spring forth..)

Exiting the train station we discovered Florence was not immune to rain. On the upside, we didn't have to worry about getting wet because we had already planned to take a bus to where we were staying: Plus Camping Michaelangelo. On the downside, the overly heated and overly damp bus was causing moisture to form on the windows of the bus, thus obstructing our view of the outside world (NOTE: for those unacquainted with any sort of travel that involves a destination: it is very important for someone to know where they are, so that they know when they are where they want to be... :P ). About 20 minutes into the bus ride, we found ourselves at the correct bus stop (due entirely to luck and not the 3 frustrating conversation with the bus driver). Exiting the bus, we were met by a very pleasant french girl who had overheard our talk with the bus driver. She was staying at the campground as well and she happily escorted to the reception desk. Then we showered, then we ate, then we slept. Day done!

-Team DONE-

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