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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Italian Vacation 2010

Italian Vacation 2010
By C S Wan

The photo was old and faded. But, the four faces that smiled back at me were young and beautiful. I remember sitting at the edge of the Trevi Fountain under the heat of a Roman summer. I watched and smiled, as the girls threw coins into the fountain. Perhaps, they harboured dreams of returning to Rome. But, I was not going to waste my money on a silly belief.

At the Trevi Fountain

As I looked at the photo which evoked fond memories of a trip made more than fifty years ago, I asked my wife, “Why don’t you go to Italy for a change?”
“I love to, but there’s no one to accompany me.”
Accompany her? Pottering about the garden was already exhaustive for me. Walking the streets of Rome and climbing the many steps were unthinkable.
Then one morning our son, Lenny, rang and informed her that he was at the Matta Fair and there was a package tour to Italy.
“Would you like to join the tour,” he asked her.
“Yes,” she said without hesitation.
So, on a fine May morning of 2010, my wife and son joined twenty-one other tourists on the much awaited trip to Italy. Although I could not join them on the trip I was happy to keep track of their journey through the daily calls and sms from my wife’s mobile phone.
‘At boarding gate’
‘Going 2 Venice’
‘On board a gondola’
“Wow! Wish I could be there with po po,” Shanita, said as she read the message on the phone. Her younger sister, May May, snuggled up to her, amused.
A few days before the tour group was scheduled to depart for home, the messages from my wife ended abruptly. “What happened to her?” I wondered. Then on the day of the departure a message on Lenny’s phone read: ‘Coming home. At boarding gate’. I gave a sigh of relief.
Later I learned from my wife that she had lost her phone. “Must have left it in the hotel room,’’ she said.
One weekend we waited anxiously for Lenny to bring back his new digital camera so that we could view the photos and upload them in the computer. The moment he entered the house he rummaged through his bag for the camera, but it was not there. "Must have dropped it in the car park while loading my luggage," he said. Fortunately, my wife had taken some photos using her relatively old but reliable Kodak camera. As I looked at the photos in the camera, I noticed there was no photo of the Trevi Fountain.
“Did you take any photos at the Trevi Fountain?" I asked.
“Oh yes, but they were in Lenny’s camera.”
On the whole they had an enjoyable and memorable Italian vacation. All went well except for the missing phone, the missing camera and the missing photos of the Trevi Fountain. Perhaps, I should have thrown a coin into the Fountain fifty years ago.

Below is a slideshow of the trip.

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