The Italian Job

The girls and I awoke early to head to Al-Hambra.  If we had any chance of getting into the hugely popular, Moorish palace, we needed to get there early and get in line.  However, the four Italians – Luca, Maria-Grazia, Agnese, and Marisa – we met at the hostel yesterday were still asleep.  We had all agreed to go together.  It was already 10:00am, I think, by the time we headed out.

It was a pleasant walk through town.  It was a cool morning and few people were out, so it was still quiet and peaceful.  We had been walking for a good twenty minutes when Agnese discovered that she didn’t have her cell phone with her.  The Italians decided amongst themselves that Angese would return to the hostel to retrieve her phone while the rest of us proceeded to Al-Hambra.

When we arrived – after toiling up the long, gradually inclining hill – we were shocked.  There was already a huge line to buy tickets.  We took our place in the queue.  The sun climbed high into the sky, and it got very hot.  Still we waited.  An announcer got on a PA every few minutes and updated us on the number of tickets still available.  They were selling fast.  At this rate, we would never make it in.  I had heard stories of people who had waited in line at the Al-Hambra all morning only to be turned back.  Luis’ words to me in Madrid rang in my head: “It would be tragic to visit Granada and not see the Al-Hambra palace,” he had said.  It really did seem tragic.

Agnese finally joined us.  She had found her phone.  She spoke to Luca and went off again.  The line barely moved.  Suddenly there was Agnese again, practically jumping up and down in excitement.

Agnese had tickets.  When she saw the miserable situation we were in, she did what she had to do: She cut in line.  There was a separate line for people to buy tickets from automated machines.  She marched right up to the front and slipped in ahead of everyone else.  She bought the four tickets she was allowed to buy, came out, took another credit card from of one of the girls, and went back to buy four more.  Despite the ethics of the matter, I admit I couldn’t be happier.  Had it not been for Agnese, I would not have been able to see the unforgettable Al-Hambra.

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