Both of my regular readers may recall that my bank rang a little while ago to say my main bank card had to be cancelled due to fraudulent transactions. All good, I have my back up. You can see where this is going.
I was getting ready to go out the door to grab breakfast (which is a story in itself) when I realised my wallet wasn’t with all the other ‘stuff’. Ah, I don’t need it, I’ll come back for it later. I casually walked past the restaurant we had dinner at last night and enquired about a missing purse. The language barrier ended in me being passed a menu and told something cost 15 Euro. Right. After breakfast I came back to the room and searched high and low. Panic set in. All I had was a measly 20 euro note, so without my bank card I was up shit creek big time. As the saying goes, I’d come a cropper. I was prepared for this to some extent – Aaron you said it would happen right!?
I texted Sara who is my contact at the hotel in lieu of there being an actual ‘reception’. It’s called a B&B and whilst I’m not well-versed in this style of lodging, I dare say it is not in fact a B&B. Some people live here, sure, but they are not your ‘hosts’ and there is no food provided. Our “breakfast” is at a cafe up the road and only consists of a coffee or juice and a pastry, depending on who serves you and at at what time. Sometimes I pay nothing, sometimes 5 euro. Shrug. We will probably die of scurvy here from the lack of sustenance. Yes I’m complaining about pastries, what have I become?
Anyway, I told Sara the details of my missing wallet and she said she would look into it. I was coping pretty well because I could see via my app that the card hadn’t been used yet. But when I phoned the bank to ask them to at least put a freeze on the card and to ask what the process was in this kind of situation, I couldn’t get the words out – the tears had finally come. ‘Oh love,’ said the lady, and she was so proactive and positive about getting me the help I needed. “Thank you,” I sobbed. She froze the card and put me on hold while she spoke with Visa who would be the ones issuing any emergency cash and organising a new card. Whilst on hold, Sara messaged me. HOLD YOUR BREATH.
They hadn’t found it.
But what did it look like and where was I sitting in the restaurant?They would keep looking. I rolled my eyes – how hard could it be to find? I figured someone had grabbed the cash and just dumped the rest. But how could they? When they opened it they would have seen Hardy’s cute little picture from kindy. What kind of heartless person would rob from someone who had a child that looked like that! Come onnnn.
The bank lady came back to say it would take about three days for a new card (mentally doing the maths to see how far 20 euro will get me – ok we die of starvation instead of scurvy, not to mention NO WINE) when another WhatsApp from Sara comes through. ‘We found the wallet!’ she said. ‘I bring it up to you now!’
‘WAIT’ I said to the bank lady, ‘they found it, can you please hold on while I check the card is in there?’ By this stage she’s very confused. And there it was – the cute picture, my bank card, and ALL of the cash. What unbelievable fucking luck. Guys at work – please tell sweet Carmel I’m out of the work lotto syndicate because I just banked all my lifetime’s worth of luck right here and now. So much luckier than the time I won an Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1997. Even when we saw a shooting star the other night, and when a butterfly landed on me not once but twice in Kotor. As Tys would say, praise the Lord because he is real and present here today. PREACH. The fact no one swiped any cash just blows my mind. I didn’t actually even ask where they found it. I assume a waiter put it in a safe place, similar to my mum’s safe places which are so safe you never find them again.
So after that tumultuous morning, we were able to keep our date with our driver ‘Angelo’ who was taking us to the Trulli villages in Alberobello and the round city known as Locorotondo. My luck continued, because he was H.O.T.T.O.G.O. as per the Moreton Bay College war-cry of 2004 (hot to go). Dayam there’s that Lord again. He had a cute little Fiat (of course) and with the windows down and sunroof opened, we felt super swish.
Alberobello is a UNESCO-listed heritage site and for good reason. It is absolutely incredible. Because we didn’t have a tour guide (we just wandered around ourselves which was actually really nice), you’ll have to read about what they are here. But they are essentially tiny stone homes with a conical roof and the Bari region seems to have the best ‘collection’ so to speak. They are adorable. Hardy was in the throes of a midday mood which was soon fixed with a toy Bugatti and a limone gelato served INSIDE a lemon. It was delish. I opted for a salad because I’m still scared of scurvy.
Meeting back with Angelo we had a short drive onto the next village Locorotondo which is known for being the ’round’ village. But, you can’t really sense this when you’re inside it, you’d have to see it from above or another vantage point I assume. We didn’t have much time to spend here but because it was during siesta, it was very quiet – hardly anyone around and most of the shops and restaurants were closed. I really loved being able to wander about and soak it up without the hustle and noise of heaps of people. It was charming. Something new and beautiful around every corner. We went into one shop, lured by its pretty ceramics and linen clothes. Just to double check the bank card worked, I gave it a work out. Hardy desperately wanted a lobster ceramic but it was a bit big and heavy, so we settled on a fish instead. Obviously he wanted the lobster because he likes to eat it, remember? Hmm sure thing. Wouldn’t even have more than half a prawn last night! Actually interestingly tonight he refused to eat any meat, claiming to be a vegetarian (didn’t use that exact phrase). He said he couldn’t even eat eggs because chickens were so cute! When I told him about animals we eat as opposed to animals who give us food “just because”, he relented a little bit. I think only because most pizza has cheese?
Tomorrow morning we hope to see the Grotte de Castellana and also Ostuni which Angelo said was his favourite town in the area. Whatever you say buddy, whatever. you. say.