Chapter 1 - Parking (or "You're better off with a taxi")
Let's just say it's sorta a nightmare. There are all these restricted zones that can get you a thousand dollars in tickets - you have to be VERY careful. So, we parked in a nice, designated lot - you know, the kind where you take a ticket, the bar raises, and you drive in and park?
Chapter 2 - After Dinner (otherwise known as "The foreigners are reminded they're in Italy")
We drive up to our exit - which, of course, is blocked by another bar - insert our ticket, and...nothing. Bar doesn't move. There isn't even a place to pay the stupid ticket. So, after realizing that no amount of pulling will get that bar to move (ahem), me and Anthony walk over to where we actually bought the ticket to see if we were supposed to pay there. After much grumbling and seeing no signs of a "pay center", Anthony finally sees a sign saying we are supposed to pay in a little triangular glass building across the street. Like that makes sense. *rolls eyes* We cross the street, find the little glass building with the "pay center" inside and...no service.
We try and try to insert that ticket...nothing. We hit the service button and get someone on the other end. "Non e funziona," we say (it's not working). The man spews all sorts of Italian we can't understand and hangs up. Me and Anthony look at each other, and try it again. Same thing, only this time, when we exclaim it's not working, Anthony catches the man say "I know," right before he hangs up.
Anthony and I are deciding what to do when an older gentlemen arrives with his ticket. "Yay!" we say, "Maybe he can help us!!"
The older man smiles, walks to the pay station, inserts his ticket...same thing. He hits the button to dial service (like we had done) while we tell him, in Italian, that it's not working...the voice on the other end comes on again and our dear older gentlemen says, "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?"
Now I'm contemplating cutting chains...
Chapter 3 - Our Italian savior (also known as "I almost feared for my life")
Someone younger with dark hair approaches...could it be?? He opens the door and, lo! His first words are in Italian! And, of course, he understands everything. He then explains there's another place to pay, and we should follow him.
So, we follow...
Out the door, down a dark sidewalk, into another set of doors, down a staircase...winding down and down that staircase...down a dark corridor (where in the WORLD is he taking us?!?!)...and voila! Another pay station. *looks around for vampires*
We Americans and the German shout for joy. We never would've found that. And it worked...well, you put in a 20 and get your change all in coins :) "Like slot machine," as the wonderful Italian said.
Gotta love this country...
Sent from Barbara's iPhone