La macchina fotografica – Matera, Italia – 14 ottobre 2015

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Karma.

Go away.

Amy will be exploring the sassi without me today because I need to look for my camera!  The camera with more than 1600 photos on it!  The camera my ex-husband loaned me.  Who could have seen this coming?  I can’t believe I let my mental foreshadowing turn into reality!

I was fairly certain I left my camera on the bus, but, I checked with Luigi, our taxi driver, first.  I carefully crafted my question for him in Italian, then called.  He hadn’t found a camera in the car.  One of our hosts, who didn’t speak any English, also called Luigi – just to be sure.

So, I skipped breakfast and headed back to the bus station.  I really just had a general idea about how to get there – things looks so different in the daylight.

On my way, I passed an older woman on a sidewalk – plodding up the hill.  I politely said ‘buongiorno‘ to her.  She mumbled ‘magari‘ to herself.  It means ‘I wish’.  Yep, I get it lady.  I asked another man to point me in the right direction.  He dismissed me with a wave – like a was a minion.  Geez, I asked politely in Italian!  Two seconds later, he was asking another for directions.

I finally found my way to the station, but it looked like the train station, not a bus station.  Is this where we got off the bus last night?  It sure looks like it, but, there aren’t any buses.  There’s a train underground.  And, a train ticket window – which was closed.  Shocker, right?

I asked around.  A man pointed ‘over there’.  A woman pointed me in the direction I just came from.  Miles later, I ended up back at the train station.  Finally, there was an agent in the window.  And, he was being a pill with two English women at the window.  He actually told her to go look ‘it’ up on the internet – whatever ‘it’ was.  She told him she didn’t have internet and showed him her unimpressive flip phone.  Ok , I like this lady (flip phone camaraderie).  She left the window really angry.

I decided to give the agent a go – and, got the same chilly reception.  I decided to head back to the B&B to regroup.  Miraculously, during my walk, I saw a tiny bus ticket office tucked away.  By the way?  This train station is also a bus station.

Matera stazione and bigletteria

the biglietteria

 

M to B

The biglietteria was only a three minute walk from the station, but, as you can see on the map, it’s not visible from the station.

 

The woman in the ticket office told me no one had turned in a camera.  She made a phone call – I heard her ask for Franco.  I think he’s in charge of the buses at the end of their runs.  He hadn’t come across a camera either.  I left my phone number and email address with the woman – and, left the biglietteria with little hope of getting the camera back.

I walked back to the B&B.  I decided my afternoon mission would be to find an inexpensive digital camera to get me through the rest of the trip.  The B&B host told me to try a shop called Gaudiano – and, to hurry because they would soon be closing for the afternoon.  Well, I did find it – but, they sold smart phones!

Time for a break…  My Acer Chromebook won’t connect with the internet at the B&B.  And, when I tried to use their computer to check my Hotmail account, I was denied access because the computer wasn’t recognized.  Hotmail requested I verify my account with my phone – you know, the phone that was stolen in Napoli.  Roll eyes…  So, I took my little notebook to Ridola Caffè I had no problems connecting and it felt good to sit down, eat a bit and drink a little.

Amy was at the B&B when I went back.  We kicked around town for a bit.  I passed on a disposable camera (10 € for 27 photos- ouch!), but found an inexpensive digital camera (99 €) at Foto Genovese.  The owner, Antonio, was so nice.  (Wow! I have met a lot of Antonios on this trip!)  I didn’t commit to buying the camera because I was going to make one more trip to the bus station.  But, he opened the package and started charging the battery anyway.

Amy continued shopping and I headed back to the bus station.  I figured the same buses would be making the same stops, tonight, so, I was hoping to find the driver we had last night.

There was a controller at the bus station.  I told him my dilemma and he called Franco.  Poor Franco.  He had already been called by the woman at the ticket office.  Soon, three more controllers and a couple of teens were involved in my dilemma.  The teenage girl made a comment to the controllers about my red legs (I had on leggings with a tunic).  She was pretty shocked when I responded – thinking I didn’t understand any Italian.  There was a lot of loud talking, laughing, and joking.  At one point, Franco showed up in a car with a camera.  But, it was not mine.

A short time later, all of the controllers and the teenagers got on buses and left, but, the first controller told me to just stand there and wait.  I had no idea what I was waiting for!  Half an hour later, Franco returns in his car – again.  WITH MY CAMERA!  I was so happy.  I smothered the poor man with kisses and hugs.  Who would have thought I would ever see that camera again?!  I stopped into the biglietteria and shared the news with the woman who had helped me.  Good peeps!

I returned to the B&B.  Amy and our host couldn’t believe my good fortune.  After discussing it with Amy, I sheepishly returned to  Foto Genovese. He was very happy for me and not the least bit upset about losing a sale.

Dinner was really enjoyable – especially after this emotional day.

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Amy and I were seated in the lower level of the restaurant.  There was a table of three next to us.  They were from Grand Junction, CO!  Two adult children were celebrating their mother’s birthday in Italy.  Nice!  I was really shocked to hear the young man speaking Italian.  He told me he had worked at an Italian restaurant in Junction – and, that’s where his learning began.

Our waiter was adorable…

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Amy and I shared una panna cotta…

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But, our waiter thought we needed another…

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I missed a lot of sight seeing today, but, learned a lot more about people. Buona notte!

Oh, and a quick Italian lesson – camera translates to ‘room’ in English!

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