Stranger Danger in Florence

So it might have been the long layover or the lack of sleep, but what i didn’t realize was how small the Florence airport was.  Since my connecting flight was delayed for a few hours due to bad weather in Frankfurt, i wasn’t able to catch my affordable airport shuttle when i arrived at Florence (12am) AND the airport was CLOSING !…seems like i caught the last flight of the day.

While i was wondering how to get to my hostel – i didn’t want to take the taxi because i heard it was a tourist trap – a guy approached me asking if i needed a ride to my accommodation and said his rates are lower than taxis… i guess a private concierge service or just some guy trying to make some extra money on the side.
 I wasn’t thinking right and started following him to his car.  this was 12am, me by myself half way across the world, tired and trying to save a few bucks, at a airport that was starting to empty.  when i got to his “car” i started getting a really bad feeling about it…i guess my unconscious finally kicked in when i saw a VAN that had dark curtains over the window.  i was about to get into the van when i was finally to chicken (which i think was a good decision) to get in.  images of me getting kidnapped was getting too real.  i finally had the courage to say that i didn’t want your service and after several rounds of them asking me why i just said i don’t trust you and walked away.
dispite my first decision to not get into a taxi and getting tourist trapped, i think it beats me getting kidnapped in italy on my first day there in the beginning of the trip.
When i finally got into a taxi, the the group of taxi drivers at the taxi area that saw me follow that guy to his van, ask what that guy wanted.  I told them that they were trying to offer me taxi service and they just scoffed.  I wonder if they were regulars at the airport and taking business away on their turf.
i am glad i decided to take the taxi that night…i actually had a sigh of relief when i go into the taxi.  To this day, it still gives me the creeps to think about what would have happened if i had the guts to get into that van….
***Note to self – don’t book flights where you’ll arrive at night when travelling by yourself !

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