It was earlier than either one of us should have been awake and the tapping rain on the windshield made me want to go back to sleep. The driver’s head bobbed with the jagged melody of the Chili Pepper’s Californication.
You’re kidding me, I thought, making sure my passport was within reach and my boarding pass had been properly loaded onto my home screen before we pulled away from the hotel’s wifi. I was almost annoyed with the fact that the Chili Peppers continued to stalk me when my thoughts were interrupted.
“Mamma Mia,” the driver said, his hands outstretched over the steering wheel.
An Italian in Switzerland, not that uncommon. The van went quiet and he tried again.
The engine wouldn’t turn. He stiffened the collar on his jacket, scratched his head, and turned the radio up. Yes, up, as if the Pepper’s would somehow hide his embarrassment. The only thing was each time he tried to get the van to start the Chili Peppers would cut into and out of my tired brain.
I heard a Mamma Mia a half dozen more times before he finally got out of the van and placed a phone call. Within minutes, he was back in the car and the engine hummed while we were on our way. Once out of the hotel parking lot, he shrugged his shoulders, mumbled something very familiar to himself, and turned the radio off.
When he handed me my bag at the curbside, he – wait for it – gave me a hug, and I mean it was a real hug. Relieved it was all over? Perhaps.
I looked back at him and simply said, “Momma Mia.”