TOMORROW KEY WEST

Tomorrow Key West!!!

I am ready. I have been away too long. Home beckons.

No blog tomorrow. I have to leave at 8 in the morning to get to the airport in Milan. I will not arrive in Key West till around 8 tomorrow night Key West time. Two in the morning on the time I have been living for two months. I will be dead.

I am exhausted this morning.

I did not sleep well. I am in Novara. No air conditioning. Yesterday was a run run day. Between the two, I am shot. On the other hand, the trip may be catching up with me. It was exciting, but on the go most of the time.

Wi fi continued to be a problem yesterday. I was in Courmayeur. The closest wi fi was 8 miles away at a Sports Center. I borrowed a car for the drive over.

I do not know if I was permitted to drive in Europe. Additionally, I had not driven a stick shift car since the late 1950s.

About 2 miles into the trip, the car stopped. No juice. Battery appeared to be dead.

A fix. I was in a foreign country. Did not know if I was permitted to drive. No cell phone. Verizon made sure of that.

I must have looked a pathetic sight standing outside the car. A SUV stopped. A family. Parents and child. The husband spoke English. He offered to take me to a garage down the road.

The garage man said he was too busy to deal with a dead battery. Woe is me, I thought.

My new found friend drove me to another garage. The owner did not speak English. However, he understood my problem. He drove me back to my car. Got the battery and car going. Then followed me to his garage. I needed a new battery, he said. Who was I to argue. A three hour wait. Somehow I got across to him where I had to go and why. My blog and KONK Life column had to be done. I suspect he thought I was some sort of reporter or TV star from the United States.

He immediately put in a used battery and told me to return in 3 hours or more. Off I went.

When I got to the sports facility, I was told that wi fi was on and off in the valley all morning. It would be hit and miss.

Great!

It took me 15 minutes to get on. I was on and off for several hours. Whatever, I got this week’s column off to Guy deBoer. The Athens beggar story. Read it. You will enjoy. The paper will be available Thursday.

Drove back to the garage. The new battery had arrived. The owner put it in immediately. A real nice guy.

He charged me 170 euros. $230 American money. I do not know if expensive or not. I did not care. The car was fixed!

Typical of Italian and Greek businessmen, he refused to give me a receipt and I had to pay in cash. Everyone tries to beat taxes. I can’t blame those that do in Italy and Greece. Because of the euro problem, they are being taxed to death. Italian real property taxes went up another 30 per cent. Just like that!

Later, the 3 1/2 hour drive back to Novara.

I still had not done yesterday’s blog. I was up till after midnight doing it.

Not a relaxing day. I am not complaining. I am happy to have had this year’s European experience. As I think of it, yesterday was the first tiring day of the trip. Not bad.

Enjoy your day!

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