We had nowhere except the station to spend the night, so we wanted to get there as late as we possibly could.
We had dinner at a fancy Italian place instead of on the street: it took longer. After dinner, we walked slowly towards the bus stop and discovered that the next bus (which was the last bus) to the station was 45 minutes away. After the day’s adventures, we were more than a little tired, so we made our way to the river and sat around for half an hour just looking at the city lights.
We got back to the bus-stop well in time for our 22:35 bus. Except that it didn’t come.
We waited till 23:00 before approaching a girl waiting at the stop.
“Hello, do you speak English?” I asked.
I had to rethink my plan now.
“Bus?” I pronounced it the Italian way, and then realised what a stupid question that was because it amounted to Are you waiting for a bus at the bus-stop?
She smiled. “Si.”
I pointed to the board on which the list of buses was displayed, gesturing, “Which one?”
“Stazione?” I hazarded.
“No, no!” She uttered a string of words with elaborate gestures that communicated to me that there was no bus to the stazione.
Gestures followed gestures, but now we knew the words for ‘here’ and ‘where’ in Italian, which helped.
She helped us out and we got into a bus that was too crowded for me to punch my ticket. We got off a little later and walked to the station, exhausted.
Technically, we spend a long time outdoors in Florence, not just the ‘few hours‘ I claimed yesterday. Because we spent the whole night outside the station, sitting on trolleys, playing Name-Place-Animal-Thing, and listening to drunken brawls, crashing glass and ambulance sirens in the middle of the night.