Enrico Maso, translated into English by Ruth Stephens
Chapter 4 – Fasten Your Seatbelts
“What a boon the internet is!” thinks Alberto.
In no time at all he has managed to find all the information he needs and has booked a low-cost flight to Venice.. On arrival, he’ll go directly to the Lido and then…..we’ll see!
Let the adventure begin!
Grandfather, as always, accompanies him to the airport.
“Don’t forget,” he says, “be bold, fearless. Chin up!”
Alberto smiles. His grandfather is a one-off.
Climbing the steps to the aircraft, for a moment he enjoys the beautiful Sicilian sunshine and wonders what the weather will be like in Venice. The flight passes smoothly until just before it is due to land when the ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign comes on.
The captain announces that there is a veritable cloudburst over Venice and the control tower has suggested they divert to Treviso.
“Never mind,” thinks Alberto ”I can get the train.”
Famous last words! Having landed at Treviso and retrieved his baggage, a sign in the arrivals hall advises him that there is a rail strike today. By now it is after 6pm and no trains are scheduled until tomorrow morning.
“This is a good start!” exclaims Alberto. He checks his wallet to see if he can afford a taxi. Hearing the tariff, he begins to regret his grandfather’s advice. Perhaps it would be better to spend the night here in a hotel and carry on to Venice in the morning. After all, the Festival doesn’t finish today.
Outside the airport Alberto sees a B&B. He studies the prices and decides that it’s a sensible solution. With a slice of pizza and a coke, the matter of dinner is resolved and Alberto finally goes up to his room.
Let’s just hope that’s the end of the bad luck, he thinks, stretching himself out on the bed.
He falls asleep at once, still fully dressed.