the particulars of travelling

It’s the details
the minutiae
a long series of challenges and puzzles
all day, every day

Oh, sure, the sights are wondrous
But it is the interactions
the interpreting
the map reading
and the trivial accomplishments

Everything unfamiliar
Nothing can be assumed
All to be deciphered, understood

How do I order coffee?
Do we drink it at the counter?
No, no
That’s only in Italy

Where do we buy the tickets?
Can we get a weekly pass?
No, no
You can’t buy a ticket on the tram

Those are the wrong tickets
Say all the ladies on the bus in French

You’re going the wrong way
Says the man in Italian
As the rental car gets stuck
trying to turn
down a medieval lane
And he makes the traffic behind reverse
while he escorts us out

I am so grateful I would kiss him
But he is gone on his scooter

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