Litkicks Message Board Archive

canal scene #4

Posted to Roadgoing




Arriving in Venice during high tourist season with 90 pounds of luggage is not for the faint of heart. Sure, I had been told to pack light, but I figured, hey, my suitcases are on wheels, what's the problem?

The vaporetto. That's the problem.

I stood on the dock with my other travel-weary companions thinking that I'd just get on a boat and float down a canal for awhile until I got to my apartment. I was wrong.

The vaporetto arrived, looking nothing like I'd expected it to, and instead of calmly waiting my turn to board, I was shoved from all sides by throngs of pushy people who moved like a group of crazed fans rushing the stage at a concert. Instead of finding a place to sit with my bags, I ended up pushed to the opposite side of the boat from where I started, hemmed in by my luggage, the boat's railing, and a large, loud American tourist woman.

I was enthralled by the beauty of Venice for all of two minutes. Because we stopped. A man in a blue shirt who had an attitude the size of Montana tied the boat to a dock. And then in a voice that completely lacked inflection he said, "Ferrovia," and then to my horror, more people got on.

After a few more stops, I got into the swing of things, and somehow got used to the pain in my lower abdomen that came from being pressed against the edge of the boat. Every time more people would get on, my suitcases were pressed tighter against my body, pushing me further and further forward. Just as I was at the point of falling overboard, someone told me we were getting off.

Good, I thought. We were near my apartment.

Well, it wasn't the first time I was wrong that day.

I somehow managed to drag my suitcases and myself off the vaporetto before it left the dock. I was all ready to get home, get showered, and get to napping. But then Christian, our guide from the Istituto, indicated that my roommate and I were to wait there for him.

So we waited. And then, to my dismay, we had to get on another boat.

While I haven't had as much fun on a vaporetto since that very first trip, the experience has helped me form my opinion of Venetian public transportation. I hate it.

And the next time I come to Venice, I'm taking a taxi.