Tuesday, June 23, 1998

by Jonah

Lost my pencil. Haven’t really needed it except to keep accounts because I’ve been too busy having fun. I wanted to get a nicer one, but I’m about out of money. Have to change some travelers cheques.

Yesterday was so wonderful. I hadn’t been planning to stay in Assisi more than one night but got talked into it. I’m now on the way to Roma with an American chick, a Mexican guy, and a fellow from Chile.

I got into Assisi when it was dark. The hostel book said to take the bus (didn’t give a line number, just a picture of a bus), so I waited at the bus stop with several other people. A bus came by, but the driver said he wasn’t going to the hostel. You’re going to have to watch out for me, I told God. After many minutes later, another bus drove up. “Ostello della pace?” I asked.

“Si!” he said slowly, smiling. I got on and took a seat. In Italy, you’re supposed to buy tickets for buses ahead of time, but at that time of night no place was open. A couple of Japanese girls stood near the driver, holding money and looking confused. At the next stop, they got off, but the driver motioned for me to come up to the front with him. He said a bunch slowly in Italian, drove a few meters, and then made an unscheduled stop. He pointed straight ahead and then to the right. I nodded and thanked him. I could have kissed him.

But once the bus left, I wasn’t sure where to go. I tried heading straight down the road, but it didn’t have sidewalks and did have a lot of traffic. After a bit, it curved off to the right, but that just appeared to go back down the hill. I turned around and headed back, turning into the open gate of what looked like a huge church complex. No hostel signs, but I walked around the building anyway in partial hope I’d find someone to tell me which direction to go.

I heard someone running behind me. It was one of the Japanese girls. The other one followed close behind. They asked me where I was going. “Oh! The hostel is this way!” they giggled. They led me back to the main road and straight through the curve to a small side road. They’d run couple hundred meters to come find me, but it’s a good thing they did. I never would have found the place by myself, and the hostel closed for the night at 11:30. We walked down a completely dark, narrow, winding road with fireflies blinking on either side. The stars were beautiful, the night was beautiful, and I had two Japanese guardian angels on either side of me to guide my way.

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