Pauline and Juliette

Today started out to be a dreadful day. The internet would not connect and that was the kiss of death for me. I NEED to get some work finished and I hardly think my current employers will care if I say, “hey, I’m in Italy – and no one cares if the internet works or not…”

I tried all through breakfast then went to the front desk and complained. “Oh we’re working on it” they said. I didn’t know what to do but take a walk and cool off, so off I went. Well… I rounded the corner and lo and behold there was a HUGE street market going on! I could hardly believe my eyes. Vendors of all sorts were lining the promenade and shoppers were absolutely everywhere!

I had started out in more than a bit of pain… after yesterday’s walk along the surf, my shins were really, really sore. I didn’t think I could walk far, but all of a sudden I was SHOPPING and the ground flew by beneath my feet. Until I ran out of money…

I didn’t have much on me but I bought a couple scarves and realized I had no money left for a cappuccino break. Drats! But I needed to get back to the hotel and do some work, so I left the shopping zone and turned round. That’s when I realized how far I had wandered. It was a long way back…

Now I was in real distress and the new scarf round my neck did not help one bit. My shins were screaming and I plodded along at a snail’s pace. I thought about stopping to sit but that only seemed to prolong the agony. I continued my personal death march on the world’s worst feet and ignored the fact that two of my toes were rubbed raw and bleeding when I got back. I hobbled up to the desk and asked if the internet was fixed. No…..

Back in my room I bandaged my feet and switched to my walking shoes (which I should have had on in the first place) and returned to the lobby to check on the internet. Still not working.

All I could do was go back out for a sandwich, spend a bit of time with my sketchbook and roll with what was happening. By then it was past noon and the street vendors were tearing down their stalls. I was surprised by this, but since most shops here close at noon for 2-3 hours, I guess they are done for the day at that point! Hard to believe, but true!

Back I went to the hotel to check on the internet. By this time I had been trying to connect for 5 hours or so and was getting pretty frustrated. And sure enough, the connection was not fixed. THEY thought it was, but since I was the only one actually trying to WORK, it took me to tell them that things were not in order. Help was called once again.

Meanwhile, I went off to a corner of the lobby and had what I thought was a private meltdown. I am TIRED and my blasted feet are KILLING me and I am worried about the WORK I am not getting done. So I cursed my feet and I cursed the casual-ness of the Italian lifestyle (which I normally love) and I let a few tears fall for show.

Then all of a sudden a manager appeared holding a card with a name written on it for me to take to the much-larger hotel across the street to use their internet service at my hotel’s expense…

Hot Dog! I dried my tears, commanded my feet to carry me on and went to the lobby of the Piemonte Hotel. It is very grand and a bit intimidating, but I had my pass. A clerk showed me to a nice reception area, gave me a password for the internet and I got busy.

Next to me were a couple English ladies having wine but I really didn’t pay much attention. I was determined to get some work done until one of them went to the loo and the other turned to me and said “are you English?”

“No, I’m American,” I replied.

“Oh, then you are hearing all we say in our gossip fest here!” she exclaimed.

“Well, I could if I was listening,” I said, “but I’m not because I’m working. But you do make me wish I was not working so I could join you!”

And that’s when Juliette (who prefers Julie) and Pauline and I became friends.

All I can say is… the “dish” was on!

ImagePauline (left) and Julie are event planners from London. They are here being “wooed” by the Viareggio hotels to drum up tourist business. So we chatted quite a bit and I ended up switching over to their table for more girl talk. My how the hours fly when you’re not working!

We covered everything from the royal family (which they LOVE) to the recent Olympics (which were a total bust as far as London tourism goes) to my boyfriend since I was 12… Paul McCartney ( who they are not at all impressed with! Julie’s office is near “Abbey Road” and she has seen Sir Paul twice in the last month coming and going. She says he hasn’t aged well and has quite a chubby face!)

Now how’s that for a real comeuppance! I love it! And here’s a photo they took of me… Imageplease notice my new Italian scarf because I think scarves (only Italian ones) will be my new obsession. They are ridiculously cheap and everyone here wears one. I spent some time people-watching today and almost every Italian woman wears a scarf of some sort. And Italian men as well.

At any rate, I did NOT get my work done, but the session with Pauline and Julie was totally worth it. They have convinced me that I must visit London next and they will be the ones to show me round. And tomorrow we are meeting in the hotel bar to catch up on the day’s events.

Both ladies said they would love to be “blogged” and now they have been. It has been a surprising and delightful day to spend time with them, so now we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

And… while I was gone, my hotel did a major upgrade to their internet service. There is a new contact point that even works in my room, so I am thrilled. Maybe if I stay inside I’ll actually get some work done!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pam
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 15:37:48

    Love your scarf, Starr

    Reply

  2. Ellyn
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 16:43:54

    I’m sure there’s gotta be a few Italians out there who care whether or not the internet is working, lol.

    Sorry about your shins and your poor potato shaped feet! Rest up and get some work done! 🙂

    Reply

  3. bdauby
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 23:36:10

    I must admit that Sir Paul does look like a little old lady from the right angle these days. Actually a little bit like the queen. The same queen who was on the throne 12 years before the Beatles invaded the US. Wrap your mind around that!

    Anyway sound like the day was salvaged,

    Reply

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