Never in doubt, or a bit late setting off for Pisa airport

The taxi driver screeched into
the villa drive and slammed his
brakes on. Gravel spat out from
under his hot tyres. We waiting, looking
at our watches, knew he was
there, flung ourselves down the front
steps, suitcases bump bumping downwards,
falling at odd angles with us in disarray
between the diving cases and he, the
driver humped the cases and tossed
them into the back and muttered all
the time – Presto! Presto!  And lots more
hard to catch – just more – Presto! So
we arranged ourselves on the
seats of the people carrier and belted
away with black smoke billowing,
blowing behind. Too hot so the windows
down, to make a breeze, a gale and
the radio blared out, “Good vibrations”
but the vibe was not good, it was
reckless. We careered along
the packed highway and at any queue
the driver drove round  and
pointed his bumper right into
the very front.  There was
beeping and honking but the airport
was still 10 kilometres  away and
we found ourselves behind a multi –
queue so the driver turned round
and we tried another way over the Arno
but the red lights flashed,
the bridge was closed. We turned
again and we had been going
very very fast but we went much faster
and then –
We saw the airport.
We arrived at departures.
With exaggerated cool
our driver pulled in to the pull in
and gentle, and calm, he
placed our bags on the walkway.
‘Grazie’ I said, matching his cool
but with my hair horizontal behind my head.
‘Prego’, he said, ‘Ciao’.

Rosie Cantrell

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