Ok. I'm on a regional train FINALLY heading home after one of the strangest days ever.
I had the second of ten Pediatric Courses, and right after I read the letter written by the mom who complains that pediatricians don't listen to parents when we express our concerns, a pediatrician took the microphone and started yelling at me...ME!!!!! Literally yelling things like "I don't need to sit here and be insulted by you, this type of presentation is useless and unnecessary.."etc. etc. I looked at him and calmly responded, but he pissed me off so much that I was tense the rest of the presentation- not sad... angry and amazed at his reaction. He left during the coffee break, during which time three other pediatricians came up to ask me questions and one just came to thank me.
Ok. I finish my three hour session and a wonderful friend takes me to the train station. I check the schedule and go to track number three to wait for my train. I ask a person waiting if this is the right train to go to Viareggio and he says no, it's that one. So, I hop on the train and ask the people on the train if this is in fact the right one and they say, no-it's the other one. I turn to leave the train and the doors slam shut. I'm stuck on the wrong train.
I ask for assistance and they tell me to get off at Lucca. The man who helped me got off at the next stop, so I'm left on the train alone. At the next stop, I peek my head out and ask the guy who gets off the train if this is Lucca. He says, yes. I see the conductor down the way- note the station is really dark and small, so I scream "Lucca!" and he yells, "Lucca!" This goes on for thirty seconds so I get off with the guy thinking it's Lucca.
It is a town called Porcari, the English translation of which is basically, "shit" and there I am wondering how to find my way home. I walk towards the station and a shady type sticks his head out of the two by four station.
I yell at the guy whose fault it is that I'm freezing my butt off in the middle of nowhere to stand next to me at all times.
He asks me if I'm Italian and I say yes. Only after he tells me that he's 18, running away from home with a guitar, a bag of clothes and books do I admit I'm American. He tells me his mom is English and an alcoholic and begins speaking to me in English.
Now let us recap a moment. There I am in the middle of nowhere, freezing my tights-covered butt off with James the 18 year old English speaking runaway. Who the hell runs away with books???? I ask him if he does drugs. He says no. I ask him if he's planning on selling himself. He says no, that's gross. I ask him if there is some reason he feels the need to run away during the winter, when it would be much easier to sleep on the street in the summer. I ask him five thousand questions and I don't think I've ever cursed so much in my life.
Then, my pediatrician calls to find out how the presentation went, and I curse some more, and explain the situation to him about James. He tells me that James is 18 and can run away if he wants. I say that is no help, so he tells me to tell James, "Go home, Lassie." I do. James laughs.
A train arrives and I try to get on it, but the doors will not open. Dris from Morocco tells me that that train isn't stopping at this station from hell, it is just passing. However, Dris from Morocco knows all of the times and stops and puts us on the right train.
I have no idea what happened to James. I only know that when I finally arrive at my destination, I miss my second train.
So, a group of Spanish and two Prostitutes from Senegal later, I am finally on the right train to return home.
And now...I'm going to try to sleep. Unbelievable.