Bird out of the Cage

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Planes, trains, and automobiles...

 (I just noticed, I'm posting this exactly a year after the day it happened haha how perfect...and sad...what a year.)
Ok, so we woke to the warmth of the sun beaming in through a large wall to wall window which filled the space behind my awesome little couch and to the scent of cigarette smoke and incense burning somewhere around the corner nearing the kitchen and bedrooms. We cleaned up our and quickly dressed enough to walk a couple miles to the market for some fresh bread and fruit for breakfast...oh and of course Nutella :)

From there Megan accompanied us to Stazione Battistini. We embraced. Took some pictures. And shouted plans of future encounters over our shoulders as we set off on our last big adventure.

Today's Itinerary:

12 noon: Train from Roma Termini to Milano Centrale

4pm: Catch a bus from Milano Centrale to some little puddle jumper airport an hour away
We got there and I was like 5 euro cents short of the bus fare and I really wanted to get rid of my change to I ran over the an exchange place and changed all my left over Hungarian coins and cash into euro and pounds and sprinted back in time to get on the last bus out. As we jumped on, literally, we found it mostly empty so we each took a row of two for ourselves. Gradually, unfortunately, it began to fill to it's limit so I offered for an older couple to have my seats and I slide across the isle and sat next to a guy around my age. Brian. He works in pharmaceutical testing and has a pretty sweet gig going for a bachelor. He pretty much get paid to travel around the world to wherever he wants under the nicest of circumstances and go to shows and play. And, it's all expenses paid and he get to rack up the points and flyer miles so then he just goes on incredible trips around the world for like a month at a time and plays with whatever friends could afford their own flight and he takes care of the rest. Insane! The guy's like 24, was waiting tables while deciding whether or not to go to law school having taken the LSAT and totally rocked it, and one of his regulars that happened to own this company took a chance on him and not he and the company are flourishing like never before. By halfway through the drive he offered me a job for when he takes over the company--which is why the old man brought him on. Who knows, we'll see where life takes this point I have dreams but really no idea.

When we got to the airport we then had to go through checking. Standard, right? Ha. Thank you Ryanair on educating me on why so many people hate flying and airports. Ryanair is a total disaster waiting to happen...they charge for everything!!!! Boarding fees, seating fees, infant fees, baggage fees (all depending on size and exact weight of course, but don't worry they help you out by separating these fees one more level into sports, musical instruments, etc. fees), man! You name it they'll charge you for it!! Incredible! Don't believe me?? Check it out here: ...amazing sales but killer red tape...but still couldn't beat the deal...

6:35pm: Board Ryanair (9 euro) flight to from Milano to London

Ok, please tell me at least one of you has flown Ryanair or one of it's affiliates before???...OMGoodness! This was the most interesting flight I've EVER been on in my life!!! We're talking like even down to the accent color (which was everything you looked) being an almost nauseatingly bright, blinding yellow, the seats barely fit me and my knees about hit the row in front of me (for those of you that don't know, I'm like 5'3" somewhere between 125-135 lbs...not really a person EVER described as large in stature--at least physically ;) sorry, cocky moment), oh!!! and don't worry, from the moment the flight took off the flight attendants started up and down the aisle way, mmmm drinks and a little snack, right??? Nope! It was more like we were thrown onto the set of an infomercial or worse yet, it was like we were the live audience for the entire infomercial station!!! And the products???? What the?? They were selling anything from "smokeless cigarettes," to alcohol free but alcohol looking drinks, to stuff that looked like tobacco chew, to magazines, to perfumes and "fine" jewelry, OH! and don't even get me started on the lottery tickets...what the deal!?!? Who knew there were so many different kinds!!! It was insane! And the best part was that it seriously must have been like "Spring Break Party 2011: London" because we were probably the ONLY passengers on board over age 19. So of course as the landing gear went down and we started to descend suddenly I was now in the filming of "Soul Plane" (that MGM movie with Kevin Hart, Method Man, and Snoop Dogg, etc.)...the speakers all around us were throbbing with the base of party thug music. Bahahahaha!!!! Let's just say Janise, Brian, and I couldn't have been happier to get off that thing.

But it was still totally worth the time and money savings :)

8:15pm: Arrive at Gatwick Airport, London, England

The next 2.5ish hours: hop on a National Rail train to the Metro (the "Tube") to another National Rail train to Mill Hill Broadway, our home sweet home away from home just northeast of London proper. This part of the trip went perfectly smoothly.

When we got to Sara and Paul's we got to meet Sara's brother. We had apparently missed a lot in the news of the world while traveling around Italy. Three weeks prior to this Sara and Paul had finally successful smuggled her brother and his wife out of Tripoli...yes, Tripoli, Libya. They described their apartment's location as like living on 5th avenue in New York and the bombings, shootings, and horrible killings are taking place in Times Square or closer. We stayed up with Sara's brother and Paul for an hour or so talking about it all. It's incredible what these people, these children, these innocent human beings are being subjected to and for no reason within their control. It's nauseating. And to think, how often things like this go on around the world and for how long before other countries realize and take a stand. He told us how they weren't just hearing all the things we were hearing about on the news they were watching...out their window. When I was out having the time of my life, living one of my life's dreams, out backpacking around Europe, my little disconnection to the world left me unaware of the travesty that was occurring in and around someone else's homes, down the streets of their neighborhoods where their children are supposed to feel carefree as they dance around barefoot in their imaginary worlds between here and there, now and later, and reality and everywhere else.

With a glazed look, that seemed to have settled in across his eyes months previous to our somber meeting, this beautiful 30 something year old man gently excused himself and slowly trudged up stairs to the loft bedroom only accessible by pull-down ladder.  I will never forget his face. A face life has scared with creases of sorrow and pain far beyond that which I could ever accept as "fair"--and yet, what do I know?  In this life "fair" is considered relative.

What a life.  What a world.  What a day.

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