Subject: Re: Shopping Story
Hi! My favourite shopping experience came when I tried to buy tickets to the Doge's Palace in Venice last spring. It was hysterical. Let me save time by inserting the story from my travelogue ...

While Mom and Dad continued to stay in line for the Basilica and fight off the pigeons, I wandered around the palazzo in search of the ticket office. I eventually found it and joined the line-up for tickets -- I hoped. There were no signs and I was just guessing I was in the right place. It's good I went early; when we did enter the palazzo an hour later, the line-up was about four times longer. So I stood in line. And stood. And stood. I kept wondering if I should give up and go back to Mom and Dad. But I stood. Finally, I was one person away from the ticket seller (again, really bad organization). That one person in front of me engaged in a classic, stereotypical Italian exchange. The woman wanted to buy tickets for two adults and three students. The seller explained the students had to have student ID. The woman insisted the seller could use her eyes and see that they were students. The seller waved the printed ticket rules in front of the woman's face. They began to yell at each other. The woman dragged two of her kids to the ticket window and yelled that of course they were students, any fool could tell. The ticket seller yelled at the woman. The ticket seller yelled at her fellow ticket sellers. I simply watched in awe and hoped they wouldn't yell at me. Finally, it was my turn. I didn't dare ask for senior's prices! I meekly asked if we could enter at any time (many tourist sights have timed entrances, where you can only enter at the specific time printed on your ticket). The ticket seller was very calm and told me any time today would do. I heaved a sigh of relief, grabbed the tickets and ran back to Mom and Dad, sending pigeons into flight with every step!

That was a memorable purchase! Janice Toronto