Thursday, April 9, 2015
A Journey Within A Journey
There's always a reason...
Yesterday we took a water bus (vaporetto) towards the island of Murano (known for blown glass). At the last moment we decided to stay on the bus and go the other island of Burano first(known for lace). I thought I remembered the same bus making stops at both islands and we were going to catch Murano on the way back to Venice. Obviously my memory was incorrect because the water bus we were on turned into the lagoon, made a couple more stops inside the canals of Murano and headed back toward Venice.
Given there was nothing either of us could do about the change of plans, we decided it was a wonderful day to take a Venetian boat ride anyway.
Today we tried it again. Only this time I checked the signs a little closer as we checked the necessary vaporetto lines. We were at the front of the line as we boarded so I went straight to the back of the boat hoping there were open outdoor seats for the 40 minute ride to Burano from Venice. There were! We sat down together and the few remaining outdoor seats filled up quickly. Directly across from us a couple sat down and began talking in German and taking pictures as most people on board were doing. (Taking pictures that is, not talking in German.) :)
I asked them if they'd like me to take a picture of the two of them together. They said yes. That struck up a conversation and it quickly turned into a wonderful dialogue between us. He asked us where we were from and when we said Nebraska he said, "Wait. There's a Jim Carey movie about Nebraska isn't there?" I had no idea. We then tried to explain where we were located and what Nebraska is like to which he said his father had relatives in Ohio that said there is just corn fields, corn fields, and corn fields.
We said it was a lot like that in Nebraska too. :) The only thing I could think of was Chimney Rock so I told him to look that up when he got back to Germany and that is the area we lived in. *ha*
When I asked them if they were staying in a hotel or an apartment, he said they usually just sleep in a tent. Now that caught my attention! I wanted to know where they had been and where they were going. He brought out his camera and began searching for pictures of their last week. As he's looking for the pictures he says to us, "Talk to her, she knows good English." We all laughed. They told us incredible stories of how they had hitch hiked to a few Italian towns and found unmarked caves and trails. He says, "If you have something to write on, I'll write the names of towns down for you."
I found a pen and all I could find in my purse was a little receipt from the grocery store. I asked him if that will work.
"Sure," he says, "enough for three words." We laughed. So I dug through my purse and found my airline ticket. He wrote on the that instead.
He asked us what we did for jobs and I told him I was a teacher. He laughed and said he was a teacher too and then she laughed and told us she was studying to be a teacher. (She had been in the art field for twenty years but didn't think there was a future in that in Germany so decided to become a teacher.) We talked about our kids (he has 4, she has 1). We told him our daughter was a nurse and the other daughter a photography. "My brother is a photographer!" he said. "He'll be in Venice for an art show in May."
No way! This was just too cool. I'm going to be in Venice when this art show is here! So of course he motions to me, Let me write it down for you. He writes his brother's name and then he says, "In case you want to tell me about your travels, here is my email."
It was wonderful! I could have talked to them all day.
We talked about hitch hiking and how that wasn't a safe thing to do in the U.S. He told us people do it all the time in Europe. He's learned so much from the people that pick him up. I told him that people don't pick up hitch hikers in Nebraska. He innocently asked, "Why not?"
"Because you never know what they're like." I told him. This of course made us all laugh.
"It's the good people that pick up hitch hikers," he told me. "Those are the ones that want to help them and share what they know about their area."
"Okay, I may have to start picking up hitch hikers. When people ask me what I learned on my trip to Italy, I'll tell them I learned I should pick up hitch hikers." He gave his girlfriend a high five. Again, we laughed.
We reached the island of Burano far too quickly but before we left the boat I said, "This may sound strange but can I take a picture of you?"
"Of course!" he said, "the crazy hitch hikers."
After he saw his eyes in this picture he said, "Do it again. We look ugly."
What a wonderful afternoon.
I am so thankful we got on the wrong boat yesterday. We would have missed out on so many laughs with our new acquaintances from Germany.