Italy: Day Twelve

This morning, we woke up in Florence, had breakfast, packed up our much heavier suitcases, said goodbye to the sweet lady who ran our hotel, and grabbed a taxi to the train station.  Getting tickets to Venice involved a 20+ minute wait in line... I keep thinking of a line from one of my favorite movies, Before Sunrise: 
The two main characters are sitting together in a cafe waiting and waiting and waiting, and the American says, "Not. Service. Oriented. Observation about Europe." 
This goes through my head at least a dozen times a day here.  No one in this place seems to have anything to do, anywhere to be, any agenda of any kind... Except to be rude.  And slow.
Once we boarded our train, we were then delayed for about 45 minutes.  They kept saying something over the loudspeaker in broken English about a passenger in Florence involved in an ongoing police investigation and sorry for the delay.  I got to read my book for a while, so I didn't care.  
Once we finally set off toward Venezia, I was excited.  The landscape was not as gorgeous as it is in Tuscany, but it was still nice.  Listening to Of Monsters And Men on repeat on my iPod really felt like it went with the feel of the trip.  Definitely my version of my sister's UK trip U2 tape.  Loved it.
Only other moment of note on the two hour trip to Venice was seeing a filthy beardy backpacking kid repeatedly pick his shoes and eat the contents.  So that was pretty charming.
When we arrived at the Venice train station, we went to the buffet to grab lunch.  Their buffets here made zero sense.  You pay first and then order. Uh... Ok.  Whatever.  We had surprisingly good sandwiches, though, and I found my Sanpelligrino Aranciata again finally, so I was stoked.
Then, with a great deal of confusion involving the boat ticket selling ladies whom had NO idea what mum was trying to ask, she finally triumphed (yay, mum!) and got us three unlimited three day tickets to the boaty thingies that take you up and down the canals to get places.  I can't imagine ever being, like, in a hurry here.  Everything is soooo slowwww!
We finally boarded our water taxi and about three stops in, I think I ACTUALLY figured out the boat map.  Who knows, though. I'll probably just keep getting back on whichever one ends up at the train station, as that seemed to be where I ended up every time I got lost in Florence.
I'd be lying by omission, however, if I did not admit that around halfway to our stop, I started to have a MAJOR panic attack.  Heart racing.  Trying to swallow tears that I did NOT want to come on this stupid boat.  Just full-on uncomfortable.  Part of it was the crowds, part of it the water, part of it not feeling like we'd be able to find our hotel in these stupid alleyways.  But the MAIN part of it being the realization that this is it.  Venice is our last stop.  And then we go home. And then I have this scan.  And I'm completely terrified.  Arriving in Venice made the scan, like, the next thing on the agenda.  I wasn't prepared for that mentally, I guess.
When we DID make it safely to our boat stop AND down two dark alleyways to our hotel, the panic only escalated.  The hotel is BEAUTIFUL, but absolutely strange.  The stairs make no sense and go off in every direction up and down and the ceilings I can tour without even stretching my arm fully upward.  They are COOL, though, with crazy exposed wood beams.  And all of the wallpaper is ridiculous brocade fabric with rope accents in the corners.  And every single light fixture is a completely overdone looking intricate glass chandelier type shennanigan.  
The chamber maid was actually IN our room when the porter led us up and down various stairs to get to it.  So we had to wait in the hallway for a while until she was done.  While the room has sort of a "white trash fancy" air to it, I am ok with it, despite the low low ceilings and the windows that open up to a lovely view of a concrete wall so close you can touch it.  There is something magical about it.  Very cute and kooky.  And the bathroom is actually the best one so far with a tub that I have a feeling I will be taking ore than one swim in while we are here.  
I did, however, once we got in and started to get settled, realize that I was not going to survive the rest of the day without a little help from my friend, Xanax.  One happy little yellow pill washed down with delicious orange soda, and a quick lay-down on the (much softer than the ones in Florence) bed, and I just concentrated on breathing and trying to slow my heart rate back down to normal.  When the girls realized I wasn't doing so hot, they got me to admit that the upcoming scan and the fear of the unknown surrounding that is what was freaking me out so much.  And I know it's irrational, because all the worry or lack of worry in the world will not change whatever the outcome might be.  But it's just difficult not to focus on.  This trip has been a marvelous distraction thus far, but as we near the end and the flight home (which I am definitely almost ready for) the fears just keep coming.  And coming. And coming.
Right now, I am alone in our room writing this.  They went out to see Saint Mark's Square and I stayed behind to try to calm myself down.  The Internet is only available in the lobby, so I will have to go down there at some point to actually post this... (it also means no Draw Something for the next few days - boo!)
As for first impressions of Venice... It's pretty, but I absolutely don't get it.  Seems like it would be a giant pain in the ass to live here.  It smells pretty bad.  And despite the tourist allure being similar to that of Rome and Florence, these suckers just do not speak much English.  Not that I want to be that crass, vulgar American that just expects everyone to speak English wherever I go, but I guess we were just spoiled by the fact that they mostly do, or at least TRY in the other cities.  Here they seem kind of, I dunno, FRENCH about it.  Snooty.  Maybe it was just the train station people and boat ticket people, though.  Maybe it'll get better.  Fingers crossed... I may write more tonight...
Xxo, Phoebe


I know exactly what you are saying and how you are feeling about the scan as I was JUST in this position of worry. And yes, no matter how much you worry or don't worry, the results will be what they are. It's already decided. And you'll deal with whatever they are, good or bad. You already know you can handle it because you've come this far.

But I do truly believe that everything will be fine. 2012 is our year. Yours, mine, Becky's, and everyone else who had a less-than-stellar 2012. You've been put through the ringer enough. It won't happen again. At least, not where vag cancer is concerned. I'd say it wouldn't happen again PERIOD but we both know life is not a cake walk (an Italian chocolate cake walk).

TRY and enjoy your last few days abroad. Then yeah, you'll come home, get scanned, and move on with your life when your good results roll in. I'm sure of it. Remember, I control the Earth.
Less than stellar 2011, I meant. Dummy.

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