Get Me Out of Brindisi, Pleasie: Honeymoon of the Damned, Part Two

It was 7 am and Staci and I were stuck in a bleak train terminal in a place called Brindisi, which I’m now certain is Italian for “you don’t want to be here.”

We didn’t plan to get off the train in Brindisi.  That was determined by the other four passengers in our six-passenger train cabin out of Venice.  Three of them smoked the entire train ride.  That was too bad because none of them were seated by the window, so all the smoke had to first be filtered through my lungs.

I was bummed about the seven packs of Lucky I didn’t plan on smoking, but I was even less thrilled by the fourth stranger in the cabin:  Signore Spitter.

Signore Spitter was an older Italian man who spit every ten minutes.

The good news about Signore Spitter was that unlike the smokers, he did have a window seat he could utilize for his unpleasant habit.  The bad news was that he didn’t utilize it.

A travel tip:  A long train ride is made longer when the man next to you is spitting on your shoes.

So when the train suddenly stopped at a town called Brindisi, we fled.  That might seem rash, but it was an improvement over Staci’s plan, which was to jump off the train while it was moving.

In fact, I’m not even sure Brindisi was a scheduled stop.  I’m fairly certain Staci pulled the emergency cord that hung above the train window.

Alone with our suitcases in an empty train station, we opened our guide book.

It said Brindisi had a ship terminal and was “the jumping off point” for many tourists traveling from Italy to Greece.  The phrase was appropriate because at that point in our Italian adventure Staci was willing to jump off the dock and swim for it.

We walked to the ship terminal, lugging our heavy suitcases the whole way. Staci was sweating like I’d never seen her sweat before, in the clothes she had been in since the day before in Venice.

Romantic honeymoons did not get any better than this.

When we got to the port, it was empty.  Not a soul in sight.  Like a bomb had dropped on Brindisi.  That would have been okay if it had landed on Signore Spitter and the three smokers, but not even they were dumb enough to get off the train in Brindisi.

The schedule of boat departures indicated that the first ship out of Brindisi was not until 7:00 pm at night, which meant we had twelve hours to kill.

That was more than enough time for Staci, who estimated she’d need just three to kill me and dump the body in the Adriatic.

Now let me just say here that twelve hours is a lot of time to waste even when you’re at home with a television and a refrigerator.  It’s even longer when you’re sitting on two uncomfortable suitcases in a post-apocalyptic ship terminal and your wife is homicidal.

The guidebook also said that Brindisi held the remains of St. Nicholas, or as we call him here, “Santa Claus.”  It seemed fitting that a place like this would bury Santa Claus.

Five hours into our twelve-hour wait, a boat arrived.  It was leaving for Greece. It was not on the terminal’s schedule.

That’s when Staci and I learned about Italian schedules.  They’re not actually schedules.  They’re more accurately termed, “Whimsical Suggestions We May or May Not Follow Through On.”

But the boat was here.  And it was leaving Italy.

So we got on it.  And learned it was going to some place in Greece called Igoumenitsa.

Igoumenitsa was a destination so popular that this large ship held at least three other passengers and a dog.

But the boat had beer.  So we bought six.  And sat down to drink them.

Then the dog bit Staci.

This, my friends, was a honeymoon.

24 thoughts on “Get Me Out of Brindisi, Pleasie: Honeymoon of the Damned, Part Two

  1. Please tell me you went to Turkey. I hear you’re real popular among the Turks. Bwahahahahahahah! They put up a fan video for you on youtube. Something about a llama……..

  2. Actually, the word you were looking for is “dump.”

    “…and DUMP the body in the Adriatic.”

    Sorry :p

  3. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    You have GOT to be the unluckiest cartoonist in the WORLD!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I’m eagerly awaiting for the rest of the honeymoon saga. And I promise not to let the fact that I am greek interfere with my expectations of a completely and utterly disastrous stay at my country.

  5. Actually, a dog isn’t a “who.” It’s a “which.” “Who” is reserved for people.

  6. Spaceman, all the characters who earn Pastis his living are TALKING ANIMALS. In such a world, a dog is definitely a “who.”

    And Karenpog, damn you for beating me to the Turkey comment.

  7. Stephan, I think I love your blog even more than I do your fantastic comic strip!

  8. Actually, I’m Italian and I have to totally agree with you! Now things have improved! No more smoking on the train (even if It happened to me to have a 60yo women I didn’t know sleeping with her feet on my lap for something like 8 hours), and hotels have a normal Shower! Not every hotel though: hotels in seaside towns usually have the same shower you got there, and you know why? Because of the sand. When you come back from the beach, you fill the bathroom floor with sand, so when you take a shower you clean it whilst😉
    As for Brindisi, I landed in the airport lot of times on my way to Lecce (in the far south of Puglia) but I never even thought about visiting it…guess why?😛 Dogs bite!

  9. I lived near Brindisi for 6 months! The port area sucks but there is a lot to see and great places to eat down by the waterfront near the Italian Navy base. English isn’t so common down there so I felt your pain for the first few months I lived there. And you’re right about Italian schedules. They do things when they feel like it, not when the clock says so. Just be glad you didn’t have to work there!

  10. Tell me that you and Staci have contacted Hollywood to sell your story. This is almost like “Just Married” with Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy but better. If you haven’t you should, and name one of the characters after me🙂 I’ll even be smoker #3. I don’t smoke, but I sometimes bring people to the point of jumping off moving trains.

  11. Doesn’t ‘Igoumenitsa’ mean ‘Abbess’ in Greek? This could get real interesting…

  12. The best thing about the ferry from Italy to Greece in 1989 was that the life-rafts on the boats only had instructions in the Norwegian language on them.

    hudry-burdy swedish-chef like. I’m sure it helped a lot.

  13. that’s hilarious.

    and i agree with the guy in the back about doing a full length book with Pig & Rat re-enacting your honey moon. It’d be classic.

  14. Are you sure you’re not talking about Bari? I lived this story as well, stuck on the dock for hrs waiting to get over to Greece, but it was Bari, not Brindisi, and that’s where St. Nick’s relics are too–the seediest of Italian towns I visited…

  15. Yeah, Nicole, either his guidebook made reference that Brindisi was close to Bari (where st nick’s body is), or steve’s mistaken. although Bari got st. nick’s body by italian sailor’s stealing it from Smyrna, Turkey, so dead bodies moving around Italy isn’t that far-fetched…

  16. waitaminute?? You were in Venice the day before and then in Brindisi – way South – the day after?? Intense traveling! Or just a general not so accurate recolection of facts…😛

  17. My hubby and I love Pearls and we enjoyed your appearance on cable tv. Now we are laughing our butts off over your blog. I was an aspiring cartoonist at one point a few years ago. I hope your marriage has been better than the honeymoon! Keep doin’ what you’re doin’. We love it!!!

  18. You need a movie made about all your adventures.

    It would rank somewhere between caddyshack and animal house.

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