Friday, September 19, 2008

Do you think you can change?

Listening to Pink Floyd this morning brought back a good memory.

In 2002, Ryan and I went to Europe on a climbing car camping trip for 35 days. We started in Amsterdam, drove south to Paris and onward to Fontainblue, south to Chamnoix, down to Nice, and hoped on a ferry to the island of Sardinia (continued on through the Dolomites, up to the Black Forest in Germany and then back to Amsterdam). We stayed 5 days on the island of Sardinia and decided to meet up with friends at this villa they were renting in Tuscany for their wedding.

As it turned out, the day we decided to take a ferry from Sardinia back to the mainland was our 1st year anniversary. Neither of us spoke Italian so we fumbled through the country via a handbook language guide that we seriously mispronounced. But it seemed to do the job. (One time Ryan asked a French ferry ticket attendant if he spoke French, in French. The guy responded by saying, YES, in English.)

So on September 2, 2002 we drove south on the island to buy a returning ferry ticket. Good thing it wasn't heavy tourist season - because we didn't have reservations. But the ferry wasn't going to leave until 1am. Since we arrived in the morning we had some serious time to kill.

We spent time on a beach, soaking in the weather. Then we headed near the ferry terminal and caught a marathon of Pink Floyd (the entire Wall album) on the radio and just hung out, laughing at ourselves for spending our anniversary so lamely. At 11:30, people started showing up and getting into line for the ferry. As soon as the ferry came, it was a mad dash to the line. There was no order - no reasoning behind it. First come, first serve. I remember telling Ryan to get on it - don't let that jerkface in! But as fate would have it, we were lucky to get on when we did.

The ferry system in Italy is crazy. They pack you in like sardines. We were on the second level, near the front of the ship. The ceiling is maybe 6'5", no over sized vehicles are allowed. We spent the night in the upper decks, surrounded by hundreds of other people (and come to think of it - we probably stunk from camping). Sleep was non-existent.

When we arrived in Rome, we hoped back in the car, waiting to start it until it was our turn and discovered a dead battery. The ferry attendant was screaming and waving his arms at us in Italian. I gave him the international, Oh shit! It's not working! look and he got behind us, pushed us down the ferry ramp, we jumped started it and off we were into Rome. We did our sight seeing of Rome via car in fear that if we turned it off we'd have bigger issues to deal with.

So when I hear Pink Floyd, I can only smile to myself about how life will throw you unexpected curve balls - but in the end, it always works out.


Brian said...

Love ya, JT.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing such a great memory of you and Ryan. We love you and think of you every minute of the day. Stay strong, we are here to help you stand!!

Michelle Stiles said...

Still up for QT up in Bellingham Sunday morning? Pedal around some trails? We would love to give you a tour!
Michelle and John

Heather said...

Funny story. You and the international "oh shit" sign is a great vision. Thinking about you tonight. Keep writing to us :)