Sunday, March 6, 2011

White Knuckles from Milan to Venice


Mr. Suitcase and I are traveling together and teaming up to keep you entertained (I hope) with bits and pieces from our archives. This is one of my favorites that he's written. He's a bit of a scoundrel you know. 

Having flown over the Alps from Paris to Milan we landed in beautiful Italy to lost luggage for some of our travel party (someday I shall write an expose' on just what goes on once we leave the watchful eyes of our owners) and a driver who first took us to the wrong van for the drive to Venice. The travel snafus they'd all been coping with by drinking and laughing had, sadly, caused them to miss the entire first day of their trip which meant Verona. Trying to comfort herself with a French stamp in her passport was the best my owner could do.

Our very loud and expressive driver tossed me in the back with (most) all of the other luggage. I was quite concerned about my friends although The Brute arrived on time, completely empty (a sad bit if irony for my owner's friends who needed the items in their luggage). Things momentarily settled down, a sigh of relief for finally having arrived in their destination country was given and then- THE HIGHWAY!!! All us poor suitcases were thrown out of our original positions and frankly, I think I was molested by Samsonite's handle.  There was screaming and gasping which I'm kind of used to but I'm generally hearing it from a hotel closet. Another sharp turn and I was shuffled into a position to see what the problem was. We were traveling down an Italian highway at about 90 mph (not sure about the metric conversion), weaving in and out of traffic, missing huge trucks by inches while our driver yelled in Italian and waved his arms. Most unnerving.

My owner and her friend repeatedly gave each other little looks that I think meant "If we don't survive, I'm still glad I came." There was a good deal of hand holding going on when my owner thought of the headline (as she often does in such situations).  5 American travelers killed in high speed accident on the A4 while en route to Venice.  Unfortunately she said this out loud and was then encouraged by her companions to perhaps try out her Italian instead.


 "Come si dice in italiano del tunnel?" (How do you say "tunnel" in Italian?) Now the driver just looked all confused and spoke quickly, which meant she couldn't understand him until he said "tunnel" Lovely. My genius owner had asked how to translate a word that is the same in both languages.  I was wondering if she'd wasted all those hours of practice.

Eventually they became accustomed to the ranting of the driver, he had a lot to say about the "Japanese stupido" and warned them repeatedly about pickpockets. They eventually settled into watching the Italian countryside whiz by and dozing off and on. Just as the sun had set they arrived at the hotel in Venice to meet up with the other
members of the group.  The only two words they wanted to hear...food and wine.

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