April 23, 2014

A Near Hapless Event From Our Trip To Milan (Italy)

Our landing in Milan did not start on a great note. Sadly our luggages did not come through. Airport officials said they would send the luggage when they arrive. It was expected to be turned in by 7:00 or 8:00pm. So we headed to our hotel which was far away from airport (closer to city center Milan).
Thoughtfully we had one set of day and night clothes packed in our hand luggages each. So we set out to troll the road.

We were back by 8:15pm around to the hotel. We wanted to get some rest and rejuvenate our body for our next day's long trip planned for us. We were leaving Italy the following morning for Switzerland (by train). When we reached our hotel we were told by concierge that there was no delivery of luggage! We called the airport and found that our luggage did arrive but they won't be delivered until the next morning. But that wasn't good enough for us.

Italy is known for pickpockets, purse snatcher lurking around. Fearing to get out at wee hours due to the black alley stories that we have been warned about, we were in a dilemma what we want to do. We did not had our cell phones activated on roaming, so there was no way I could contact my husband while he is on the road (although he could call from paid phone when possible). With a  sleepy, cranky 4 yr old it wasn't advisable to set out altogether. So, eventually we agreed that I would stay back in the hotel with my son and my husband would hunt down for the luggage. Despite his fatigue he still carried on. It was 9:00 pm at night. We estimated it will take my husband about 2 to 2.5hrs to be back.

I caught up with some sleep for couple of hours but by 11:00 pm I was tossing in the bed anxiously. My mind was all on alert to hear the phone ring. Around 11:15pm my husband called from airport and said he got the luggage which was a huge relief. Now the next gruelling phase was until he reaches back the hotel safely. It should have taken him just about 45min to an hour to reach back. He wasn't back by then and so I started to fret praying for his safety. How can I describe those 3 hours - Here is an analogy: Have you ever seen the tension brewing in the NASA station when they have manned rocket mission that loses the radar briefly while entering the earth's surface and that they are in a total blackout phase until the rocket ship made contact again!

Finally I heard the knock on the door that I wanted to hear. When he arrived he smelt of bird poop. Unfortunately he had a close call with the bad boys on the streets.

In his narration: After he picked up the bags from the airport, he had to figure out the transportation connections to reach back hotel. It was already late and frequencies of transportations were slowing down. He took 2 buses and 2 subways to get back to the hotel (instead of just one bus ride and one subway from airport that originally we took).
At every stop and subway he was biting through his nails to get onboard the train/bus and be safe. He had a sigh of relief when he got out of the last train and started to walk out of the station dragging our 2 huge luggage and one duffle bag around. Our hotel was just a block across the train station.

It was pitch dark outside, possibly more due to the wide spread trees outside of the train station. Suddenly he noticed a couple of thugs approaching him from a little away. (I am sure he stood no chance in front of them). Right ahead on his way there were these passel of pigeons on the ground and they started to fly up hearing the luggage drag noise on the cobble stones. This helped him to turn around and lug the baggages towards a bunch of folks waiting to cross the road.

Thank god to those pigeons that swarmed the air like bees impeding the thugs. He has never been so happier being drenched in bird poop! 

PS: Please be extra careful when you are on a trip (especially when you are on an overseas trip). Hold on to your passports and all valuables (including your kids).

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