Prior to my departure for Castiglion Fiorentino, a small city in Italy, I had the misfortune to walk for 4 miles to the station I was supposed to catch my train from. Once I got to the station, I began looking for the train track I was supposed to go to in order to catch my train. The screen I looked at said I needed to be on the train track number 2 by 11:09.
But before I could make my way there, I decided to stop for a snack because I was a bit hungry. When I got to the snack bar, I grabbed a bottle of water and a Kinder chocolate. As I was pulling out my wallet to pay, I accidentally dropped my the little booklet containing my passport and my U.S. residence card (green card), or at least that's what I thought. I then picked up the booklet and made my way to the train. When I got on the train, I sat down and opened up my passport-booklet to check everything was where it was supposed to be. As soon as I opened it I noticed that my U.S. residence card was not there. In that precise instant, I grabbed all my stuff, jumped out of the train and ran back to the snack bar, where I thought I had lost my card. When I got there, I asked the vendor if she had seen it. In reply, she said "no, I haven't seen it."
Consequently, I quickly searched all the places I had been in the snack bar, but after failing to find the card I followed my instincts and ran back to the train I had once boarded to keep searching for my card. While making my way back to the track, I kept telling to myself, "Emilio you're an idiot. Dad will kill me if he finds out."
Fortunately, I was fast enough to re-catch the same train I was supposed to board. When I returned to my seat, I began to silently freak out because I couldn't find it. My uneasiness led me to desperately look up on my phone, how to replace my residence card and how long it would take me to do it.
In the middle of this moment of complete desperation, the woman sitting in the set of seats next to me spoke to me and said "Hey, are you ok? Do you need water?" I turned around and replied "No grazie." Then she paused for a second and asked what had happened to me. In response, I told her what happened and after listening to what I had just said, she put her suitcase and jacket aside and asked me "let's go find it together right now." Obviously, I kindly turned down her offer and told her that she really did not need to do that. Nonetheless, she kept insisting and said: "look, we can catch the next train, I don't have any rush of getting to my final destination." As soon as she said that however, the doors of the train closed and the train began to move. You could probably imagine what I felt like, I was absolutely livid because without that residence card I would've not been allowed to go back to the United States, and to make matters worse, I saw that it took 6 months to replace that card, so... Yeah, I was in feeling both terrified and hopeless.
But in the midst of my desperation, this mysterious woman said, "I'm so sorry, is there anything I can do to help?" and once more I said, "No, grazie." After a brief moment of silence, she looked at me with pity and told me that everything was going to be alright. I didn't really believe her, but she kept talking to me in order to make me feel better. Eventually, she did get me to feel better and our small chat suddenly became a conversation. When she left, I asked for her name so I could put a name to the person who had shown me an endless amount of kindness in a moment of complete anxiety. She told me her name was "Valeria" and then she asked for mine and told me "In bocca al lupo con tutto", which literally means "In the mouth of the wolf with everything"; but in reality, it is simply a colloquial way of saying "good luck with everything". I then thanked her for everything and waved her goodbye. Sadly reality struck once more because this sweet distraction was finished. After one and a half hour more on the train, I got back to Castiglion Fiorentino and the hotel.
When I got off the train in Castiglion Fiorentino, I went straight to my room so I could get free wifi and consider several options as to what could I possibly do about my lost card. But before I could start looking for alternatives, I had to secure my passport in the safe, but as I was taking out my valuables-bag from the safe, I took a quick glance at what it had inside before putting my passport in it... And sure enough, my "long lost" green card was there.
So yeah... I never lost the card or took it with me to Rome and all I could take out of this experience were two things. One, I am one of the most oblivious people I know, and two, I met Valeria, one of the most caring people I've ever met and she, in fact, reminded me that there are lots of great people out here. So, grazie Valeria.