During our trip to Italy, Kevin and I kept waiting for something to go wrong. It’s not that we are pessimistic people. We aren’t. But I think our past experiences of relocating have made a negative impression on us. It’s always been impossibly hot or rainy, and the truck is always a size too small. I haven’t successfully moved out without seriously contemplating leaving behind all of my possessions for the first willing taker. Since relocating within New England has been such a hassle, we prepared for even more complications for our international move.
When newscasters predicted Hurricane Earl would make landfall at the time we were scheduled to fly out of Logan, we weren’t concerned. If it was inevitable that something would go wrong, we might as well get it over with at the start of our trip. We headed the airport ready for the wrath of the God of Relocation. Charge us a fortune for our extra luggage, I dared as we proceeded to check our bags. But all 5 bags plus hockey sticks were loaded without a hitch. Our overweight bags were even generously overlooked! Alright, so hit us with an obnoxiously long delay, I thought. But the plane took off as scheduled! We were even randomly seated next to a girl I knew from Portsmouth who just so happens to be living in Torino this year. I made a connection in Italy before even leaving the runway in Boston!
In the following stages of our trip, we continued to anticipate complications. But the trip was all smooth take-offs, easy layovers, and gentle landings. In the Milan airport, there wasn’t so much as a single piece of lost luggage. A little girl even gave me 50 cents in Euros so that I could use a baggage cart! Her mother must have seen me look at the cart dispenser and walk away dismayed that, unlike the one in Boston, it did not take cash or credit. Just as I had walked back to Kevin to deliver the news that he would be carrying 300 pounds of clothes and equipment out of the airport, I felt a tap on my side. I turned to see a little girl dressed in all pink from her socks to her backpack. She smiled and handed me a gold coin before scurrying back to her mother. If first impressions meant anything, Italy was looking really good!
Upon exiting baggage claim, we were greeted enthusiastically by a little boy and his father. The little boy was holding a paper with colorful hand-drawn bubble letters spelling Regan. Although the father did not speak English, his son knew a little from school. On the walk out of the airport, with a broken hodge podge of Italian and Spanish, I asked enough questions to learn the basics about Gabriela. Quanti anni hai? He is 12. Hai una sorella o un fratello? He has a sister who is 7. Hai un cane o un gatto? They have a yellow Labrador retriever named Attos who is also 12.
We were certainly lucky to have been met by such a friendly and helpful duo. They had driven 2 hours from Torre Pellice just to pick us up! I smiled to myself as I watched the little boy proudly carrying Kevin’s hockey sticks., but I couldn’t silence the voice in my head that whispered, “too good to be true”. Then we saw the small hatchback that would be transporting five bags, six hockey sticks, plus the four of us. Kevin and I looked at each other knowingly. It had been too easy. This was going to be the problem. We made it to Milan, but we would not make it to Torre Pellice. Not in that car. Luckily, I am my father’s daughter. Tetris packing is in my genes. And Kevin had spent two moves as his apprentice. Within twenty minutes, everything was in the car. The father took the wheel. The little boy sat up front with our computer case on his lap. Kevin and I got in the back with a bag across our laps. When the car pulled away from the airport and towards Torre Pellice, I thought that perhaps there is no such thing as “too good to be true”.