Sometimes titled “How I got my shit back from the Roman Polizia.”
Say it’s your first Eurotrip. You’ve spent the past week on a Mediterranean cruise with your best of friends from uni. now it’s your last night before she heads home and you start travel semi-solo. Your flights are at two different airports at 7:10 a.m. She’s going to Houston, you’re going to Barcelona. You might be tempted to do a few things.
This is what you should NOT do…
Go to Trastevere, take 10+ tequila shots with Strayins’ , stay out until it’s time for the bus, sprint to the hostel, get your shit together (literally), carry a 50+ lb suitcase through the broken streets of Rome, squeeze yo friend goodbye, snuggle up on the bus and pass out until you arrive at the airport 40 minutes before the flight.
But I didn’t do that. Well, I was trying to avoid the last line. I KNEW better than to doze off in Rome, the Mecca of pickpockets, but I was in the double digits with tequila shots and ain’t no body staying awake at that point.
So, still wasted, I arrive at sunrise and get my spot in the queue to check in, happy as a mothafckn clam. A foolish, foolish little drunken clam. As the line shrinks, so does my happiness because I discover my purse is not hidden in my bag where I put it when I entered the bus. It’s gone. Along with EVERY single thing of importance, namely my passport that I didn’t make a copy of. Foolish little clam. The check out lady ain’t had no time for my BS and sends me to the police. No wallet, identification, or communication device? I wasn’t letting my first solo trip abroad end like that, would you?
Did I mention it’s 35 minutes till take off?
If you haven’t had to deal with the polizia in Italia let me put it like this- I had a better chance asking the local neighborhood mob family to hunt it down. Literally, I’ve made friends with one in Napoli but that is another story for another time. I had no choice but lay my life in the hands of the polizia.
I stumble over, last night’s make up streaming. I start begging them to call the bus I just left because I had heard rumors that bus drivers work with pickpockets on the bus. They kept saying “no English, go to embassy.” And I’m like “look muffa I don’t even have my wallet to make it to the embassy, over my dead body, etc.”
Naturally, they kept ignoring me.
I start speaking in my broken Spanish. “Por favor no tengo un otra idenificacian!”
25 minutes till take off.
I finally started getting some verbal replies other than “U.S Embassy” but time was running REAL damn short and I had to get to Barcelona where another good friend was staying.
20 minutes till take off.
Did I mention the polizia station is a glass box in the middle of security so every single person had to walk by and look at the situation that was unfolding? I did what any 21-year-old woman who was facing a big damn dilemma would do. I started bawling viciously. Big, chunky, wailing cries that were echoing the whole entire airport.
(On a side note, I’m notorious for being loud. My family was kicked out the the hospital 2 hours after I was born because I was keeping all the other babies up #hellraiser)
When the 5th or so person came by waving their aggressive Italian hand gestures at the polizia. That got them going. Within 5 minutes a polizia came sprinting up with my purse!! Oh the surge of mixed feelings- did you all have it? Were you just holding it hostage? Where is my wallet?
I didn’t give a flying FUcK however because my passport AND iPad were still in there so I’d be able to get on the flight to Barcelona and ahold of my friend Amber when I arrived.
But it didn’t end there.
With 15 minutes to take off a security guard rushes me to to the gate only to discover I missed the chance to check my 50+ lb bag which clearly can’t be a carry-on. No biggie yeah? A big biggie because I didn’t have my credit card OR cash to pay for it. So now I’m breaking the point of wasted and hungover, watching the people get driven away to the airplane, shameless.
This is the MAIN reason why I don’t drink before international flights anymore.
The checkout angel came up with the idea that they could charge the card that I used to buy the plane tickets but I’d need to remember the last 4 numbers of my CC. This is where I vividly remember the first time I cursed drinking for something other than a shitty hangover. I was drunk enough that they sat there with me with a piece of paper trying every 4 number combo I could come up with.
I honestly don’t know if I ever figured it out but the angel flight attendants took control and whisked me away AND put me up front in an empty row AND got me lots of free water to sober up 😊☺️☺️
Okay, I admit, it was fkn HILARIOUS once I was on that plane headed to my Saint of a friend that would house me and provide me with funds. Sometimes all you can do is laugh… And vow to never do it again.