Skip to main content

Roma Coma Part 1

My time in Vienna seemed to speed by.


Rome was to be my next stop. I said my goodbyes to Karl ... Mr. Kindergarten movies, Bob Fumo ... big red beard with a laugh to match, Candy Stein (she was the lower school principal, from Ohio and not Jewish ... first Stein I ever met that wasn't). Candy told me to keep in touch and let her know if I ever wanted to take a more permanent position.

Little did I know then how important those words would become.

The train between Vienna and Rome had regular coach cars and special sleeping cars. The sleeping areas were called couchettes (a fancy name for solid boards covered with a blankets and stacked up in fours.) I sat in the regular coach with my bags until it got dark. One of the conductors told me to leave my bags at the spot that I was sitting and move to the cachette in the next car to get some sleep.


I said good night to my luggage ... I should have said goodbye.

The next morning my bags were gone. Worse still ... all the conductors were Italian and I had no idea what they were saying, nor could I communicate with them. Apparently, in the middle of the night we crossed into Italy and a new crew came on board. I asked what happened to my bags and no one seemed to pay any attention.

Now ... I must tell you ... there's a big difference between the Austrians and the Italians.

Ausrtrians are precise ... their trains are always on time and spotless. There are very clear business rules to follow and very little flexibility. Italians were ... well let's just say. I used to think Fellini movies were so exaggerated and bizaare that no one could possibly live like that. I was dead wrong. Italians have no rules. Their work style is ... socialize for an hour ... eat for two hours ... sleep for six hours and then work for 15 minutes. Yelling is a national pasttime.

Needless to say, I found out nothing about my bags until I got to Rome and begged the officials in the Dogana (Customs Office) to help me. Four days later they had a POSSIBLE answer (truth!). Apparently. someone sat in my seat over night and asked the (Italian) conductor to remove my bags because whoever owned the bags wasn't there and ... obviously ... just decided to leave the bags there in the way.




So ... the conductor threw my bags off the train somewhere between Vienna and Rome. My frustration had ONLY just begun.
  

Popular posts from this blog

SAMMY: The Novel (An Overview)

I finished writing Sammy:The Novel. 

So ... I called my good buddy and excellent writer, Dave Scheiber, to help me write an overview to pique the interest of publishers. The stuff that Dave wrote made me want to read my own book! We combined our efforts and here's what we came up with:

SAMMY (An Overview)

Sammy Levine, 86-year-old resident of Star of David nursing home, was not happy with his daily existence and dreamed of taking one last trip with his wife Esther (presently residing in an urn on the third shelf in his room). Sammy was careful about not exposing his plan to anyone, especially his son, Barry, who dutifully visited regularly and tried to make sure that he lived out his remaining days comfortably.

Through a carefully choreographed plan, Sammy managed to access personal information on three recently deceased residents from the nursing home’s computers. Then he applied for and obtained three new credit cards. Armed now with available cash and credit, he loaded up Esth…

Close Call

I was just putting the finishing touches on my new novel, Sammy, which will be available to order in November (shameless self promotion!) ... when I started thinking about some of the characters in my past life. One character I've actually written about in the past just popped into my head. It's a repeat story but I hope you enjoy it ... again.

When I was a Freshman at LSU, our dorm was set up like a suite with two adjoining double rooms and a common kitchen and living room. "Suite" really makes it sound much fancier than it was. Actually, living room makes it sound much fancier than it was. The walls were cinder block and the living room was about 100 square feet. I don't think four of us could even stand up in there at one time.

One of the four guys in our suite was the place kicker for the LSU Tigers. His name was Phil and he was from Bogalusa, Louisiana. He had the bed next to mine. Phil was about 6'8" and weighed well over 300 pounds. He was a big …

Princess Grace's Diary

We surprised our little princess, Grace on Friday with a last minute visit to Savannah. She and her BFF Stella had a joint princess birthday party.

It was of course no surprise to Deb and me that the trip had a few surprises for us, too.

It started out with a light show at the airport (we chose to fly rather than drive the 12 hours back and forth for one day). Lightning strikes were coming fast ... so the tarmac was closed until it settled down. We had to get to Atlanta in time to catch what had become the LAST flight of the night to Savannah at 11:20 PM.

We made it ... barely ... and fell asleep at 2 AM.

Up at 8 and out the door via Uber to The Landings (a mere 45 minute drive) and just in time to see this adorable duo.

Big brother Cole was  one of the "hosts".

Pony rides were there for the guests.

Matching Princess cakes (of course).

Lots of fun.

At about 2, Deb and I headed back to the airport with Nikki driving and made it in PLENTY of time to find out that there were n…