It was much cooler out than it's been lately... and as I walked through the gate to my apartment building, it was beginning to mist.
Mist or no mist... I bundled up some more, got my bicycle, and went to CoOp for some groceries.
Leaving CoOp with a few bags... I packed my bicycle... pretty much like a packhorse. I packed the two saddlebags on the back of the bicycle and got the rest into the basket up front. I then put on my raincoat, hat, scarf, and ...there was only ONE mitten left in the bag!
I hate that feeling...
...Looking around hoping that the mitten turned up.
...I know that I had both mittens when I went INTO CoOp... so the mitten is somewhere between my bicycle in the garage parking lot and the store.
I didn't want to unpack the bicycle and carry all of the groceries back in with me. But I also knew that if I went home to put the groceries away... I wouldn't ride back to the store in the rain. ...And the only way I have a chance of finding the other mitten is if I went to look right away.
[Really... it's terrible to lose just one mitten, isn't it?! The one left over is useless... and only serves as a reminder that you've lost the other one... and can no longer use it unless matched with another mitten-leftover.]
So... what did I do?...
...I walked my bicycle packed with groceries back into the store!
It's actually more of a plaza, which contains the grocery store... so I walked back into the entrance of the plaza... up the escalator... through the main doors... past shops... and towards the grocery store.
I stuck out a bit. I knew that it probably wasn't allowed. But then I thought to myself: Well, who's going to stop me?
Just after that thought... I heard a repeated, "Excuse me lady?!" -- in Italian... and turned around, realizing it was directed at me. It was a security guard. I suppose THAT is who is going to stop me!
He did NOT like that I had a bicycle inside the plaza.
I held up my one, lonely mitten to show him and said... "Uno... ma, due!" (meaning only, One... but two! and probably not making much sense) ...and I pointed to the front of the store where the registers are.
He still did not want my bicycle to go any further.
He pointed to a set of closed doors with a sign on them in Italian... I think he even said he would keep my bicycle while I went and did whatever it is that I wanted to do...
This took a few minutes... I slowly continued walking by bicycle toward the store as him and I went back and forth over my being inside with a bicycle... and finally I was at the register where I had checked out... but alas... no mitten in the area.
At this point, another guy came over... he seemed to speak about as much English as I speak Italian... but he was going to try and translate for the guard.
I was rambling at this point... "Is there a lost and found area? If my mitten had been picked up, would they bring it to the front counter? I don't want to go inside, I just want to walk to the front counter and ask if they've found a mitten. Then I will leave with my bicycle. ...Non al dentro... non al dentro... Well... I would be done by now if you would just let me ask..."
The security guard told me to wait (with the bicycle) where I was... and he began walking towards the front counter of the store.
I went to follow him... since I had the matching mitten to show what I was looking for... but my bike was stuck.
I looked back... and the 'translator' guy was holding onto the seat of the bicycle! I said, "Please let go of my bike." He looked at me questioningly... I look at his hand holding my bike... pointed at it... then looked at him... and said, "Let go."
He let go of my bike. I followed the security guard. Translator Man followed me.
...No mitten at the front desk.
I am done now. My bicycle and I can leave the premises. ...Not happy ...but leaving.
The guard followed me out... I rolled my bicycle onto the escalator and began going down.
Once again, there was an "Excuse me lady... Excuse me!..." coming from behind me. I thought... "Oh no..." turned around... and there was the security guard...
...holding up my MITTEN!
I told him, Thanks a million! - Grazie mille! ...Held the TWO mittens to my heart and said again, Grazie mille!
I didn't know how else to communicate to him how much I appreciated it. ...Not only him finding my lost mitten (and I wonder where he did find it!!)... but also for actually chasing me down to give it back... after I had been a hassle for him. I wasn't trying to be rude... or a troublemaker... but I felt like I couldn't communicate and it was frustrating.
...Yet this guy still helped me out.
Thanks Security Guard Guy!
I turned back around... and got off the escalator with tears in my eyes. I wasn't crying over the mitten... it was more out of exhaustion from the school week leading to being overly emotional... as well as a mixture of relief... and sadness in not being able to fully communicate.
Vietnam was a totally different world for me... and in ways, that made frustrating, unknown events more 'alright' to go through. Everything was different! In Italy so far, however, it feels closer to what I'm used to... and today I felt myself wanting to communicate and not being able to fully. I wanted to let the man know that I was sorry for bringing my bicycle in... and that I'm so thankful he found the mitten!
Below are a couple photos of the mittens : D I figure after reading a long, dramatic post like this... you at least deserve to see the precious mittens. I bought these lovely mittens in New Zealand last December... in Wanaka to be exact... and they are partly made with possum fur! I've been wearing them everyday to and from school (along with the earmuffs or winter hat, which I posted about a couple days ago). So, all-in-all... I'm really happy to have my mittens and realize that I need to keep track of both of them from now on.
I also realize that I should say hello to the security guard next time I see him... and hopefully he'll say hello back (...maybe we can even chuckle a bit over the bicycle incident?? -- We'll see...) ; )