Dona and Joe’s European Vacation: 2022 Version – Day 2

Sorry for the delay on this entry, but there’s a pretty good reason, as you’ll see.

The pasta making class turned out to be a blast—when the six of us were finally able to do it. We were originally scheduled for 11 a.m., but a series of misunderstandings pushed the start time back to 3:30, and then to 7:30 p.m. But—homemade pasta! Tortelloni, ravioli, and tagliatelle, so easy when guided by our host, Irena, who graciously opened her home for the class. Dona and I have already vowed to try this at home. We haven’t included any photos because the flour really did fly. All it takes is a tiny bit on a dark shirt, and you think to wipe it off, forgetting that your hands are covered in flour, and soon that dark shirt is mostly white. But the results were great where it counted—in our plates. That had a lot to do with Irena’s preparation, too.

But since the class started so much later than we planned, it wasn’t over until after 10:30 p.m. We were on the opposite side of the city from our apartment. First we tried to book an Uber. A car would be listed as on the way, and then a minute or two later it would disappear. After a few attempts there we tried to call for a taxi, but the taxi company had ceased for the night. (This is Bologna, not New York, remember.) By the time we’d tried all these options it was too late to see if Irena could help.

The six of us walked out to the street. A city bus went by. Maybe… We found a bus stop. According to the info posted there were two more buses to come before they shut down for the night. But there was one small problem. You needed a bus ticket, or coins for the fare, and we had neither. By this point we considered making an appeal to the driver, or even bribing him with bills to let us on.

In just a few minutes our group of six had transformed from respected adult professionals into a group of scraggly, desperate teens. It wasn’t a good feeling. Two guys in a car with no headlights cruised by a few times. Walking would take about 90 minutes, according to Google maps. The bus turned the corner. It cruised into the stop and we got on.

But instead of the driver demanding payment, he never even turned his head to acknowledge us. We found a machine that took credit cards, but even then we were only able to get passes for four of us. At least we made it look like we were buying fares, and maybe that was enough. We managed to make it back without further incident, but it was now after midnight and we had an early start time for the next day’s activities, in Firenze.