Friend of a friend

When a friend of a friend asked me to deliver something to a friend of hers in Firenze, I wasn’t surprised. Some people have outstanding antennae for finding couriers in their network… Before you know it, you have a last-minute to-deliver list. I still don’t know how this person found out I was going to Firenze. Anyway, she asked me to give a box of Belgian chocolates to an Italian priest, in the very old city centre. Say whut?

I have to admit, this was different from the usual “It’s this gift I have for a friend and it’s been lying in my house forever, and I never make it to the post office and since you’re going I was wondering if…”  This was a priest!

The only argument that usually shushes my apprehension of dragging unnecessary stuff, is the fact that I get to meet new people. The receivers are often locals and in 99% of the case, the receiver likes me. Not because of me (well maybe, who knows), but because I’m travel-freaking-Santa! Aren’t we all children when it comes to packages and gifts? I mean, my brother gets so excited (think of a toddler on speed) when the postman delivers his new Smartphone or any other brand new device! And if I’d receive something from a friend abroad, I’d welcome the messenger arms wide open; “Have a drink or 5 and tell me all about how she/he’s doing!

None of that happened with the Italian priest though. I had a name and a so-called description of where he lived. After the frowns and weird faces several shop keepers made, I was getting impatient. The chocolates were sweating in their little box and surely this was all a practical joke! I was about to give up. No more mysterious priest. But with my last attempt, I found a doorman whom eyes did recognize the name I uttered in poor Italian (and with an awkward smile). He opened a massive gate that led to a big church, took in the gift and told me to write a note with the “message”. Afterwards, Mr. Doorman kindly showed me the way to the exit again. I did my duty. The crazy conversation with this priest still exists in my imagination: maybe he secretly wants to give up his celibacy for this woman and all she does is sending him (virginal) chocolates to tease him with all delightful sins of this world…

But other than my twisted mind: no wild story here, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. I’m an atheist courier after all.. Not so sure an Italian priest would appreciate my thoughts! And all in all: I learned my way around town, learned a bit of Italian with confused shopkeepers, and got rid of the chocolates before I could eat them myself. But most importantly: I kept a promise and hopefully made two people happy. There are worse things in life.