Both companies running international ferries to Italy have the same prices listed in euros in their brochures. We go to the Jadrolinja office. One lady stands at the information desk. We ask about the differences between the grades of seating and the prices of the tickets, and then we ask here where to buy tickets. “Window Four,” she says. We walked left past a pillar to Window Four. It is empty. The lady from the information desk walks over to stand behind it. She looks as ashamed about the whole thing as we do. And then she sells us two reclining seat tickets abourd the Dubrovnik for the next day.
The Dubrovnik leaves at 9pm. We are told to report with our tickets between 7pm and 8pm. We show up at 7:12. It’s a short but argumentative line. Up at Window Five, our lady from Windows Four and the Information Desk gives us customs forms and directs us to the door in the back and to the left. A lady in an Italian uniform looks at our passports and lets us by. We join the monks standing on a corner outside the ferry terminal, waiting in the new dark for the Blue Line boat.
Eventually Officials arrive to take our tickets and lead us past the traffic streaming to the ferry’s lower automobile hosting decks. We climb up to the lobby, where a disinterested lady sells customs-free liquor and cigarettes and no one can tell us where in Ancona we will be landing or where the train station there.
The signs direct us to our reclining seats in a large open room divided into a front and a back by a glass partition. Each section is thirteen chairs across and about eight rows deep. Each section has three television sets at the front. We are the first people in the room. By the time the boat leaves there are three other people in front and three or four people in the back. By the time the boat leaves we are completely engrossed in a Bruce Willis movie that we have missed the beginning of. It is about an autistic boy who breaks a government code and the secret government agents that are out to get him and only Bruce Willis can stop them.
And the alarm goes off in piercing, rattling groups of three. Bruce Willis confronts the corrupt government official in his home at a party. Then the television goes off and we are informed of safety procedures first in Croatian, then Italian, then English. By the time the movie resumes the battle is over and Bruce Willis is visiting the autistic school in this new orphan’s new home.
ONE WAY TICKET RESERVED RECLINING SEAT 315HRK (ABOUT $54.50USD)
DEPARTS SPLIT TUESDAY, THURSDAY AND SUNDAY 9:00PM (LOW SEASON)
ARRIVES ANCONA NEXT DAY 7:00AM