Guest blog time, again! Grace (a.k.a. "My Mom") agreed to write one if I would illustrate it. You will probably be able to tell where I get my 'voice' from. This is from her first trip to Italy, wherein she also bought a killer red leather jacket that I illustrated here.
Okay, the main thing to know here is that I am absolutely phobic about heights. The third rung of a ladder is too high.
That established: for some reason I agreed, when my first and only trip overseas reached Sicily, to go on a tour called In The Footsteps of the Godfather. I did ask if this involved any heights, and was assured it was perfectly fine by the lovely clerk who sold the tour, but obviously I didn’t really appreciate that in the movie The Godfather, they go up to the top of a rather severe mountaintop with a fantastic view. The bus ride up was a nightmare, sometimes such sharp turns that we had to hang out over space while we backed forward and back to get around them. We got off the bus at the top, where apparently the rest of the group were just tickled to be invited to go up further to another part, while I attempted to get comfortable plastered against the wall of the cafe where Michael Corleone sits in the movie.
I felt a little like Michael Corleone, but not in that part of the movie.
Absolutely nobody there could speak more that the slightest bit of English, which is to be expected when travelling, but I managed to slide along the wall to the door, go inside, and get a cup of tea, it being a universally recognized word. My sister, her friend, and the others were gone for a long long time.
The tea had the expected effect, and I slid along the wall and entered the cafe again, in search of the loo, which was a dark short hole of a closet, I couldn’t see anything. Business finished, I zipped up and tried to stand up, at which point I realized that in the dark I had zipped my pants somehow with my purse strap running through leg hole of my underwear, and somehow the whole thing was completely locked into my zipper, and I couldn’t stand up. It was so dark in there, and I had new bifocals, and I couldn’t see what the problem was. I worried that the rest of the group would not know where I was, and I’m pretty sure my sister wouldn’t have left without me but I started to panic and wasn’t rational.
After struggling and whimpering for several minutes, interspersed with hysterical giggling, I finally ripped the underwear through and removed the purse strap, and was able to zip up and stagger outside, sidling over to the table by the wall, and sagging into my seat.
I was still absolutely petrified to move from the wall, and quietly hysterical. A man was sitting right at the edge of the mountain terrace, and he beckoned to me to come out and see the fantastic view, I refused to move from my spot. I hate scenic views.
When the tour came back the guide said we were going to a village with what sounded like 'Porto' in the name, fantastic, a port! Low, near the water! Nooooooo, it wasn’t port, it was 'Fort'! Fort’s are on tops of hills! It was an even taller mountain, the road was terrifying, and I refused to get off the bus when we got there. The driver was not sure what to do with me. I sat and waited for everyone else.
I can laugh now, but at the time it was absolutely terrifying. I’ve been waiting for someone to start a website for people who are phobic about heights but want to travel! P.E.I. was excellent! Holland would probably be good. The first time in San Francisco, Chinatown, aaaaagh! Anyone got any other ideas?
Background image taken by ciccioetneo