The arrival

On Sunday morning I left DSM to ORD well aware of my 5 hour layover…only to find out my first flight is delayed by 3.5 hours. And later it got delayed further. I think I roamed for a total of 10.5 hours. This layover gave me ample time to eat Mc Donald’s twice, sushi once, and to order a pretzel, a shake, and a banana. Before I finished round two of Mc Donald’s, I realized I lost my phone and had to gobble my chicken nuggets and cheeseburger (no onions) much too quickly which I regretted soon afterwards me so bought another cheeseburger. 

I embarked on my journey to find my phone only to find a lady standing in the middle of try terminals waving it. She said she had tried calling people but that it was locked but knew my face from my photo on my phone. Insert embarassment of having my own face on my phone, lol, but 10 points me since my subconscious vanity is what saved the day. 

One cool thing was this captain who stopped to play the piano in the airport. Beautiful music. Thank you captain for doing that. It made my day. 

My flight left after10 pm and was uneventful. I eventually landed in Rome to meet Meredith here forth called Edith. Customs was a cluster-F and took 2.5 hours in Rome. So long that Edith surrendered her welcome Steph! sign and threw in the towel and left. 

Here is the custom “line.” My first clue at lines in Italia.


I found her upstairs with the rental car people looking warm, unamused, and I think happy to see me. After a quick welcome cry we made our way over to the Enterprise rental car line…and over an hour later were at the same counter stop waiting to get our car. That’s when the dude with the socks arrived. 

He had a round head and a ledge chin. Im not sure if he had teeth, I think so. His shirt was fine and that morning he had decided to pair it with the feminine-masculine  pants we call man capris. I was really fine with this, Dado has been known to sport some man capris and rock their socks off. But speaking of socks, that’s where this story took a turn. Not Italian, not American, the man was asking for a smaller car than the one he had ordered online. The lady at the counter obliged and began to process his paperwork. He handed her his drivers license from his wallet and his passport from his pocket. His total came out to 700 or so Euros and the lady extended her hand for his credit card. 

I happened to be leaning on the counter looking his direction as this was happening and watched him suddenly get a life&death type of itch on his foot. He whipped off his shoe and rolled his sock down by wedging his whole hand of fingers down his calf and deep into his sock all the way past the instep of his foot. He dug around down there really struggling and I couldn’t help but watch along with the other room full of people. That’s when we heard some crinkling. Satisfied he had gotten a hold of the goods his face relaxed and he pulled out a small 1/4 quart plastic bag. He wiped the sweat off and and proceeded to bring it to the counter. Appalled, I looked on. That’s when he did it. He reached in pulling out a sock of cards and then took a big whiff to see if they smelled before giving one to the lady at the desk. Here you go ma’am, I hope this sweaty card that was by my toe cheese works. Sorry if it’s wet or smelly. Here’s a picture of him. We were pretty grossed out.    





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