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I awoke to my Airbnb apartment front door being opened. I leapt from the bed, my heart pounding and found our liaison standing in the entryway.
He said, “You were supposed to leave at 7am.”
Groggily, I answered, “Checkout is 11am.”
Basically, he demanded that we should have told him that my plans had changed. He insisted that I leave within 30 minutes. I threw my clothes on and the rest of my stuff in suitcase. Check-in at my new hotel wasn’t until 1pm. My original plan was to leave at 11am, grab a cappuccino, and then go catch a train west.
An Uber dropped me off at the train station just before it started pouring. It wasn’t a nice train station. I figured where I was headed would be better, so I got on an early train. I sat next to a nice couple from California.
The weather worsened by the time I arrived at my stop. The hotel had instructed me to take a bus from the train station, but when I arrived, I learned the bus station was on the other side of a busy road. The only way across was over a pedestrian bridge with about 30 slick stairs. I can’t pull my suitcase up 30 stairs in a downpour without seriously hurting myself. I ordered an Uber. The driver cancelled it. I lost cell service. Tried again. Uber couldn’t find a driver. This went on and on. I tried to use Italy’s taxi app. It wouldn’t download. Tried Uber again. Nothing. Two hours passed.
An American family arrived at the train station. I showed them how to work the ticket machine. They asked what I was doing. As soon as I started to explain my predicament, I couldn’t hold back tears. The mother insisted they stay until I sorted everything out. Her adult daughter called the hotel for help. They gave us a number to call to order a taxi. Calling didn’t work.
Eventually, while standing there, I got an Uber to accept my ride. The mother made me promise that if he cancelled it or didn’t show up that I would go back to Rome or call them.
It took 25 minutes for the driver to figure out how to get to me. I was drained by this time, but so relieved to get a ride. He started our journey to the hotel but was detoured. The street he was sent down was flooded. I could see it was almost 3 feet deep. The water was going into the houses. He drove his Mercedes down another flooded street and eventually got me to my hotel.