Saturday, March 3, 2012

The way back: 1 Marzo 2012

Our time here is over.

We must say our farewells and get to the bus.

With the gracious help of Dilip the building caretaker we carried, dragged and rolled our bags up to the bus stop. It was a must that we catch the 6:00 a.m. bus to make our flight connection in Palermo. All went well and we left as the sun came up over the land and city that we now knew so much better than when we first arrived. There was a sadness in our hearts and minds for what we were leaving behind. For a short time we were part of the lives that make up this wonderful place. We were part of daily events, the life of the city, the ebb and flow of port, the tastes of the food and wine that happened everyday just outside our door and that we were privileged to join in with. And welcomed in with.

The flight is a long one enough time to see two movies and then some. One movie we will recommend, "Basilicata Coast to Coast". Friends who have a band decide to walk and practice for a festival. Be prepared to want to do something similar if you watch this movie. Joey and I may take this idea and do it this summer when we get home...

Back in New York City/JFK it was cold and damp. But the person who helped us get set with the bus back to Grand Central Station was so nice. We arrived just in time to catch the 8:56 Metro North line to Wassaic, NY. We were loaded down with bags and barely dragged ourselves onboard. We tried to squeeze it all in facing seats but the conductor said we would have to leave room for passengers because the train gets crowded. This guy sitting in the back heard what was going on and offered us his seat in an area where we could put the bags on the end of the seats and not take up sitting places. That was so nice of him! The conductor came back and we were good. But now the guy who had helped us was in a jam. He had used the last fare on the Metrocard this morning on the commute in and thought he could just buy another on the train. But when he tried to use a credit card he found that they only take cash on the train, and he had no cash. He was told he would have to get off at the next station, use the card in the ticket machine and then wait an hour for the next train. The guy sitting in front of us, in a seat made open because we had our bags in the aisle, on account of the guy with no money giving up his seat, now spoke up. Oh, this guy had not seen that the no cash guy had helped us. He said, "Here's $8, that's all I have see if you can buy a one way ticket, don't get off and wait an hour". The no cash guy was very thankful and after a while accepted the $8. He said give me your address so I can pay you back. But the $8 guy said that's alright it doesn't matter. But the conductor came back and said the ticket was $14. The $8 guy then looked at me and asked if I could help and I said of course but all I have is $2. Joey said we only have leftover Euros. The woman who was sitting across from us said, "I have $2 here you go". There was this other man back in the corner reading a book. He had been there all the while. "So what do you need, a deuce? Here you are." We had just come from a small Sicilian town where people were so friendly and helpful and to tell the truth, we thought that that was a special difference. It was a wonderful moment coming home and seeing New York City commuters, strangers to each other, come together to help someone in need. We were glad to be a part of it and it was an amazing welcome home.

We arrived home in Canaan about midnight to snow on the ground but with warm hearts and true stories to tell about real, wonderful, helpful people whether from Sicilia or from New York City.

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