Ladies and yentlemen

  • 30 April 2022
  • Prue Scott

How difficult can it be?

All I have to do is walk 5-6 minutes to the station at 5.15am and catch the 5.35am train to Pisa from T1W – platform 1 west.

You know how this is going to go, don’t you?

West is right when you head for the platform. I head left – east. Two trains waiting. I pace. I check the departure board. Oh well, it’s a bit early, maybe they haven’t posted the time, yet.

I pace some more. Check inside. Nope, it’s listed. So, why are both trains shut?

Finally, ask a passing Trenitalia chappie. He points to T1W.

I set a new record for the 100-metre-dash-with-carry-on-suitcase. Slip through the doors and they close. Boom, we’re on our way to Pisa.

How could I get it so wrong?

(There was a later train that would have got me there)

But wait, there’s more (like all good ads). Pisa airport is still quiet but there are quite a few flights scheduled. I grab a coffee and grancornetto vuoto (large croissant with no filling like crema or pistachio or chocolate – watching the weight).

No one pays the slightest attention to my bag size or weight. Slouch down in a seat that happens to put me at the head of the queue for quick loading. A chap leaves his wheelie bag at the front and disappears to have breakfast. Smart. Here, there’s no security announcement about unattended bags.

The queue starts to grow and snake around the tiny space.

Outside, an unmarked private jet of the expensive kind goes past; vans with tinted windows go back and forth. Someone famous? Important? Ah, now there’s another private jet. A great deal smaller but it’s metallic beige with some fancy paintwork. V expensive looking.

The Ryanair crew are endlessly helpful as we stow huge numbers of bags into lockers.

Nothing happened during the flight apart from me falling asleep and dribbling a bit, so we’ll keep going. Just as we start our bumpy descent, the captain addresses us:

              Ladies and yentlemen, we are about to land in Seville (etc)

Yentlemen? Is he related to the pilot who took me into Wenice?

Seville is beset with torrential downpours. The bus ticket machine is out of paper, but the driver happily accepts cash.

Plonk down into a café for coffee, dripping everywhere and complimenting myself on wearing boots, taking an umbrella, and packing a waterproof jacket.

Maria at the pension warns me about the soccer game and fireworks. Fireworks? Yes, in the street. Really? Yes. Seville is playing Valencia and the visitors like fireworks with their soccer. They let off things with sparkles and something with the word “thunder” on it that should also have “stun” added. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.

A LOT of beer is drunk. There is singing of their respective songs – almost brings tears to the eyes. Every bar/café is packed. The plaza around the cathedral is awash with cans, bottles and spent fireworks. And then they bring out the smokers, so we have clouds of coloured smoke.

Here's the thing. The game isn’t Friday night – it’s Saturday night at 10pm! A full 30 hours away.

(It’s 1-1 at fulltime and Sevilla wins 5-4 on penalty shootouts)

Here’s the other thing. It’s all terribly good-natured; there is no aggression, no violence (that I know of) and no problems. The policia stand back.

Sunday, Maria says, will be quieter. 

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