Saturday, April 16, 2011

Life on the farm

It was 9:00 on a Saturday night.

The sun had set, but the day had provided a sunny sky and an italian breeze - perfect for a day of venturing to the distant land of Assisi, followed by a dinner of spaghetti in Perugia's city centre.

But at this moment, on this illustrious eve of April 16, 2011, Kimberly Ivany was no longer with her mate Hugo in the city. Instead, she was a half an hour bus ride away, deep within the heart of the Perugian countryside.

Oh yes, Kimberly Ivany was in a farmhouse.

Due to the lack of available sleeping quarters within the main square, Kimberly was forced to find another place to stay for the first chunk of her epic week of spring break. The internet had been cruel to her as she had searched for a hostel in Perugia a week before, constantly flashing little red flags of NO VACANCY to each place she clicked on. Alas, she was faced with one last option.

It was a quaint setting surrounded by mountains and donkeys, fashioned and advertised as a hostel. It had an old school sewing machine under the wooden window sill yonder, and a bathroom with your grandma's wall paper on the walls. It had a stone staircase leading to the upper floor, and there was a gas stove in the kitchen, perfect for boiling eggs the way mom used to do it.

Picturesque it was indeed. But it hadn't been so two nights before upon Kimberly's arrival...

It was 9:00 on a Thursday night.

After a 20 hour journey from Denmark, and a short visit with Hugo in the city centre, it was time for Kimberly to catch the last "Bus D" to the region of "Case Nuove" to reach her final destination. It was raining at this time, and her backed ached from carrying hair driers and lap tops in her pack. But she had to press on. There was no time to waste.

From the lovely stone steps of Hugo's Tuscan villa, she trekked to the main bus terminal a little ways down the mountain. At 8:13, just as the bus information lady had successfully communicated in italian, Bus D arrived. The adventure to the farm had begun, and Kimberly was in it alone.

The rain slapped the bus windows. The whole vehicle shaked as it careened over potholes in the uneven road. Outside was pitch black.

"Surely I won't make it," Kimberly said to herself. "It seems I am being driven back to Denmark."

Indeed, much time had passed...It was time to talk to the bus driver.

"Scuza," Kimberly asked the driver. "I need to get off at Case Nuove."

But he didn't speak English. Instead, he just made gestures with his arms as he spoke in fast italino, which gave Kimberly the impression that Case Nuove was instead an area of town, not a specific stop.

Panic doth ensued as she reached into her purse for the directions to the hostel.

"I need to get to Bar Olympia," she said, passing the directions to the man.

Again, he spoke in his native tongue as if she understood his every word.

Finally, something must of clicked. He kept speaking as he turned a few corners. And then, in the distance, a blue light beared the words "BAR OLYMPIA."

"GRACIA!" she exclaimed. There was still hope.

Or, was there?

As the bus pulled away, Kimberly was left standing here:

She DID have a street to look for. But after walking a ways in 2 directions, it was no where to be found. There was only one thing to do: Ask the patrons of Bar Olympia where to find this invisible path to the farm.

With her backpack, suitcase, and wet, tangled hair, she walked into the bar.

There seemed to be private party going on. There were hors d'oeuvres on the bar, and everyone seemed to know each other. It rather reminded Kimberly of a past birthday party in Berlin, and she couldn't help but smile.

"Speakay dee anglais?" she asked aloud. (Except she didn't say it like that.)

"Do you speak English?"

They did, but collectively. Together, the people inside the bar told Kimberly to leave the bar, turn right and walk FAR down the road, then turn right again.

Right, then right. Right. Off she went again. And to her great sursprise, she was not led astray.

She found the street she needed to turn down, according to the directions from the internet. But where she stood at this moment, it looked like this:

Call to mind, if you will, the scene in "The Holiday" when Cameron Diaz is searching for the Rosehill cottage when she first arrives in England.

Kimberly found herself in a very similar situation, although, in her case, it was pitch black and raining. (Although both she and Cameron had very wrong shoes for trekking down a country road.)

A surpressed anxiety pang into her stomach.

"Well, this is it," Kimberly thought outloud. "Surely, I will die here."

But she had no other choice. ONWARD!

Down the dark street she walked, getting colder and more hopeless as she went, tripping over rocks and getting her boots stuck in muddy puddles. It would have been quite the hilarious scene for an onlooker, seeing this girl clumsily manouver a rolly suitcase on an unpaved path unsure of her destination in the middle of east-italian no where.

Just as she was about to sit down and sleep upon the dirt, she reached an old looking tower...

She turned left...

And there, in the distance, she saw a light.


She walked to the door, plunged herself through it, and was greeted by a guy and a girl.

"Are you Kimberly?"

"YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M SO HAPPY I FOUND YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Oh yes, she had MADE it.

A long, long sleep came to pass, followed by a morning of hard boiled eggs and absolutely BREAKTAKING views.

Not to mention a turkey.

It wasn't a central location, but Kimberly grew to like the farm. She met some cool Aussie's and a guy fron California, and also some people from texas and a boy named Ruben from Italy.

The owners made pizza for them all on Friday night. It was just the taste of Italy that Kimberly was looking for.

And then, they all lived happily ever after...

Until the next adventure to Rome, that is.

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