Car disaster

This is one of many of my (mis)adventures while in Italy! The make of the car and the rental company have been removed….

Mother of Jesus what a day!

I am writing this down as it almost feels like I lived through a nightmare today!








Everything seemed to be going reasonably smoothly with the car people, I phoned at 9am, as I didn't think there'd be much point before this in case they'd to phone garage. Got on to a great girl, Amber, who seemed to grasp the problem immediately, and said she'd phone as soon as rental car was sorted. It was 11.30 ish by the time she got back to me. I said I could be in Poggi in 30 - 40 mins, and she said she'd have a taxi arranged for about 12.30 at the garage to take me to the car rental in Siena. (There is a car rental in Poggi, but they mustn't use it). I then got a call from Italians who wanted to know where I was in order to tow my car. I told them I thought this was a little over the top as it was only a problem with the roof mechanism. She sounded a little disappointed.


So I got to the garage in plenty of time, even though there were road works/diversion in Colle.  Gave the keys to the lovely Mattia, and also showed him in my documents about the used car warranty business. He looked as if this was new to him, but he said he'd look after it. I also pointed out the name and number of the crew in Belfast in case that would help....can you imagine them trying to understand the norn accent?

I then got a phone call and an SMS from the Italian end of things....they were sending a taxi at 1pm to the garage. I thought it a little odd when she asked if there was only one person to be picked up. But then I thought maybe it was a Smart car, or laughably, an Ape! Then I remembered I saw a motor bike taxi to Rome airport, could it be this? A bit scary, but what the hell....

At 1.10, an enormous pick up truck/ car trailer pulled up to the garage, with two of the most unattractive Italians in it, (they actually looked like two dreadful Mexican baddies from a western). I couldn't believe my ears when they said my name, THIS was my TAXI! I got into the cab with them, and the situation was even worse....the smell of sweat, dirt, stale cigarettes.....

As we took off for Siena, I really thought this was my final hour. I thought if they took off in another direction, what could I do? the only Italian that came to mind was AIUTO! I know I had my 1970's phrase book in my bag, but didn't think this was a good time to take it out, or if it covered such a situation. What would I look up? and if they saw me looking up words like "rape", "attack" "molesting", they might just think I was looking for the something along these lines. I tried not even to think of the words in case they drifted into their heads telepathically. I asked myself why, oh why did I wear this dress? Was it too revealing? Too short? Then I thought, horror of horrors, when I go missing, and the police issue a "latest photo", it will be the one I tried to send you of me in front of my "notice-box" drawing looking a holy show!!!! (That's the photo above)

That settled it, I was definitely not going to let the general public see that shocker! I kept thinking positive thoughts for the rest of what seemed endless journey. Actually, if I'd been thinking straight, they wouldn't have touched me if they had glimpsed my "offending" eye, (which is still bright red and seems to have no intention of clearing up).

Then when we got to the car rental company, I was like a hare out of a trap, but the bloody office was bloody Chiuso. The notice said it reopened at 15.30! It was in a sort of no-man's-land. So, while I was looking around for a phone number, I spotted a back door, but no bell and the door shut. About 15 minutes later a couple of people emerged, and I asked them to help me. They were very grumpy, said that as it was "out of hours" this would cost €20, which I ignored, and eventually got a Ford Fiesta.

I am now safely home, on the terrace typing this, watching a thunder storm in San Gim' in the distance, and contemplating...will I have a G+T, a Pimms, or a glass of white. After today I deserve all three!!!

X Marie

ps I think I will have to change the phone ring tone, there are so many things in the flat chirping the same tune I'm all over the place trying to find it! There was an enormous cricket in my hair this morning!