I Almost Got Shot In Italy

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We arrived at the train station in Florence. Deciding we were not in too much of a rush, we sat ourselves down on the floor and carelessly watched two of our Pisa-bound trains go by. We continued babbling, not realising that we risked being late and missing our flight from Pisa. Eventually, around 12 AM, we decided to get on a train. Google told us that there would be one leaving in just fifteen minutes. When the time to board approached, we got off the floor and walked towards the screen to find the platform. Not seeing our train listed, and assuming the screen was messed up, we ran from platform to platform trying to figure out which train was leaving for Pisa. It was 12:30 AM, the train would have left and we had not located it on time. We shuffled back to the screens to search for the next train only to realise we were looking at the wrong screen before. Arrivals, not departures!!!

Captured during a morning walk along the Arno River

Third train missed. The next one was our last chance if we were to make our flight on time. An hour goes by, we get on the train but alas, it’s filled with rowdy men causing a brouhaha all around us. It was about 2 AM now. So exhausted from the entire day, we passed out and payed no attention to any of the stops. Much to our luck, a kind gentleman woke us up to tell us to get off the train before it turned around for Florence. We sprung up from our seats and raced out disheveled and with our heads even more in the clouds.

After a good fifteen minutes of walking around Pisa Centrale, haphazardly looking for the exit, we decided that it was too cold. Right then and there, we stripped in the middle of a platform. We removed our shorts and put some pants on as if we had not one care in the world of anything going on around us. And we didn’t. I’m not really sure what was going through our minds but we clearly passed a state of complete disillusionment.

Now warm, we continued walking and managed to find the exit. We started our meant-to-be fifteen minute walk towards the airport. Now, I feel like I can put part of the blame for what happened next on Google Maps. Following the directions on my phone, we showed up at a military base. I assumed we could find a way through since it was what Google was suggesting but I was mistaken. I could see the airport entrance on the other side of the base but we were completely fenced off. Walking back around the base would surely take us more than thirty minutes.

It was at this moment, that I suggested climbing over the fence. I repeat: I contemplated climbing over a secure barbed fence to go through a military base because I was too lazy to walk. Brianna agreed. The airport was RIGHT THERE. Why would we not break into a military base if it led to a shortcut? Mind you, neither of us have had any alcohol. It was pure tired talking. As we approached the fence, some five men started walking towards us with guns. Deciding we didn’t feel like getting shot that day, we backed away and made our way around.

Some thirty-five minutes later, we arrived at the airport only to find it closed. It only opens at 5 AM in the morning which I have never heard any airport doing. So, we hoboed-it-down and slept on the floor outside for about an hour before being able to check-in.

Now I don’t remember much of what happened after that but a one-hour flight, a two-hour bus ride and three metros later, I arrived in Paris. Back home….. and in one piece.

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