The gray, steady rain continues, and it is making me crazy! It started in early November, and I think there has been less than 7 days of sunshine since then. While I was in school, it wasn’t so much of a problem, but now school is finished, and I am in a new neighborhood, eager to explore. With that in mind, I decided to take an excursion a little outside the city to visit IKEA, for some things I needed for my new apartment. I got on the internet to explore the bus routes and found that there is a free bus on Saturday and Sunday from the station, but since it was Wednesday, I needed the number 29 or 30 bus to Sesto Fiorentino.
I walked to the station (a 20 minute walk) in the rain, and begin to look for the signs for the 29 or 30. Once located, I waited, umbrella in hand. Bus tickets are purchased at the tabbachi shops and I usually have some on hand. My phone rang and it was Kabbour, off from work for some unknown Italian holiday. We were caught up in our conversation when the bus came. I boarded, and was lucky enough to find a seat and I continued on with my conversation. After about 5 minutes, I noticed a flurry in the crowd standing on the bus, I asked Kabbour to hold, and saw that the control officers were on board checking tickets. Dammit! I was distracted by the phone call and did not stamp my ticket. I told Kabbour goodbye and looked around to see if it was possible to stamp it at this point, but the officers were at both ends of the crowded bus.
When the officer came, I handed him my unstamped ticket and he pulled out his ticket book. I handed over my permesso and answered his questions about my address like a common criminal. Others on the bus stared. I was mortified. He completed the ticket and I inquired about the payment. He said if I wanted to pay now it was 45 euro, or if I paid later at the commune, it was 90 euro. I handed over the 45 euro totally disgusted with myself and that I had forgotten to stamp the ticket. I am always warning others about this!
I did have to laugh in the end, when I paid the fine and he gave me the receipt, he said to hold on to it, because I could ride for free today with the ticket. Gratzie!!! I said and laughed. For 45 euro, I can ride the bus free all day.
I made it to IKEA, and purchased my good, which as it turned out, cost less than the bus fare!