This story goes back to a time when I was in my late twenties and an advert for a coach trip to Italy, caught my eye.
I remember feeling a bit down and in need of a ‘pick me up’ so after a quick call to my sister two places were booked for the week-long coach trip.
Along with our ‘girlie’ holiday to Fuengirola this Italian coach trip turned out to be one of the funniest trips I have ever taken. From the pristine coach and it’s ‘caring’ driver through to the toilet that not one of us was ever allowed to use.
I cannot imagine putting up with this now.
But at the time we took this to be part of the trip and it became a ‘running’ joke amongst us holiday makers.
Certainly, remember the Venezuelan couple and their expression ‘Prego’ – which we adopted and used whenever the driver said no to someone using the loo, eating food, stopping to use facilities, just about anything really.
Though it was not so amusing when due to our late arrival at our first ‘official’ stop we were then not allowed to use the available facilities. We ended up having to go and use a nearby field in the dark. Still can’t quite believe we just went along with this as a group, especially as we had such a mix of ages amongst us.
It was a miracle that we didn’t leave anyone behind in the dark and even luckier we didn’t step in anything and bring it back onto the ‘blessed’ coach. This was our first clue about the character of our driver who appeared to me to be doing everything for own his comfort and ease, with little or no care for his passengers.
He clearly didn’t want to clean the toilets, didn’t want to clean the bus so no food was ever allowed on the coach. The coach radio only came on at the times he wanted. I’m sure extra stops were added in, to places where he got a cut of the takings. Which might explain why we were so late for our first ‘official’ stop. He then had the almighty cheek to expect a sizeable tip at the end of the trip. It wasn’t happening.
But despite all this it was still a fantastic trip. We travelled, to Florence, Venice and Rome for me the first time ever. This one trip made me determined to return to Rome (which is another story) helped by a great host who knew her stuff and could bring the history to life.
We also met up with another group of women similar in age to us along with the Venezuelan couple. People with humour and fun and who shared our love for the coach driver.
And the trip did the trick it picked me up and gave me a new sense of optimism and perspective.
I notice this is something I have tended to do over my life, if feeling a bit ‘stuck’ for right or wrong I like to take action, either in the form of new study, travel or a hobby.
I find I like ‘shaking things up and getting a fresh perspective.
So, there you have it, until next time.