It’s 2:44am and I am sleeping in a convent in Rome. Rest assured, I have not found God just yet (I’m still too busy looking for Wally) but instead am staying at a hotel that was once a convent. God it’s a big room, but holy hell these Roman hoteliers know how to squeeze way too much furniture into one room.
There’ll be no more religious jokes or puns in the rest of this post I promise … there’ll be nun of that.
Anyhow, you may be wondering why I’m awake and writing at almost 3am in the morning. Or you may not, but imma tell you anyway.
I’ve been woken by my brain. Happens quite frequently, honestly when it’s not the urge to pee that wakes me, it’s a rogue thought in my head that’ll have me up and more on edge than a choirboy in a monastery. Yes I went there.
This is my second time to Rome, and I always find it intriguing how the second time around things can seem completely different. When I was last in Rome in october 2008, I loathed Paris and loved Rome so much I wanted to move here.
Now a year later, I find myself in a quasi ‘meh’ sentiment with Roma.
At first i thought, maybe that had something to do with my missing a train and ending up being ‘shipped’ to this city in a carriage full of Swiss Mountain bikes. But then I thought about it some more and I’ve come to accept that whilst I’ll always have a soft, no doubt, pasta-filled spot for the Eternal City, it’s just really not that amazing to me anymore.
Sure there’s the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and The Spanish Steps, but there’s also the off-putting Italian waiters, pushy Nigerians selling rip-off designer handbags (Proda anyone?) and the cover charge just to use the dunny.
Oh sure I sound like a spoilt whinger, and I’ll admit, I am being one slightly, but the point I’m trying to make is that the Eternal city is just no longer lighting my Eternal Flame (Bangles reference FTW)
But it’s not all bad I guess. There’s the fact that the food is awesome (hello gelato), walking down cobblestone alley ways is lovely and there’s culture pouring out of every Roman crack… even the ones on humans
In 2008, I stood misty-eyed and Peroni-filled by the edge of the Fontana Di Trevi. I turned my back to the fountain and threw three coins over my shoulder, as is the romantic tradition. Each coin represents something different, one a wish, one a true love and the third coin is a promise to yourself (and the city) you’ll return one day to the Fountain.
Now a whole year later, I find myself once again standing by the edge of the famous fountain. I guess the third coin was right, I have returned.
So I once again turned my back to the fountain, clutched the three coins in my hand, then took them and walked around the corner to get some hazelnut gelato.
It’s 12.30pm and I am lost in Milan. I’m supposed to be nice and warm right now, an hour into my luxury overnight train to Rome.
I went to a strict prostestant school growing up and remember fondly our teachers trying to instill the fear of God into me by describing the fiery depths of hell and how you’d have an extremely bad time there because people breathed fire and they didn’t have chocolate in the Underworld.
The one thing they could never explain was exactly where Hell was, in fact at one stage I thought that Hell might just be able to be found if I borrowed Dad’s shovel and digged for a few hours in the backyard of our very suburban house.
It turns out I found hell. For those of you wanting to visit, simply take the train to Milano Garibaldi station in Italy near midnight and get lost on a multi-platform station you’ve never been to before.
Don’t bother asking for help though, even I, asking in Italian, am shrugged off with a dismissive ‘Check the screens” by the rude big-boned Italian Polizia.
I check the screen. Nope, no train to Rome listed. There’s not even a train departing at the same time as that printed on my ticket. I’m well and truly lost. Suddenly, a beacon of hope in the form of the Trentitalia Customer Service Desk.
Or at least I think.
"Your train has left" he stares at me blankly. I’m waiting, half in shock and half in brewing anger, for him to continue the sentence. He doesn’t. He simply looks down at his paper and keeps reading.
I enquire politely, okay not so politely, ‘Okay then. What can I do?’. He looks up at me, visibly disgruntled that I’ve interrupted his story time. “Wait till 5am, another train will come”
I look at him, now with rising anger (boner) brewing to the point where it might just boil over. “I was here, 30 minutes before my train departure, I asked for information, I looked at screens. Nothing. Not one train that said it was going to Rome”
The misinformation officer looks at me, unapologetic, and offers up in a half-spit of a voice “The train you should have been looking for was Salerno. Not Rome. Rome is a stop on the train line, nothing more. It is not the destination on the screen”
I am furious. And upset. But mainly furious. “But I was told to look at the screen for the train to Rome, not the train to Salerno, and besides, the train to Salerno left at 11.24 and my train was due to leave at 11.35pm”
Once again a blank response and he coughs out “We changed the time”
My heart sinks. Not only have I missed the train but I’ve also managed to attract the most unhelpful man at an information desk in the world. Maybe you should consider a job change buddy.
I go off in a half-English, half-Italian, slightly Indian rant, including mentioning what I do for a job (yes I went with that card as you seem to do when in desperation) and through to saying something along the lines of ‘your uppance will come’
The disinformation clerk hands me a piece of paper. “Because you make a mistake this time I give you a new ticket. Take the train on 17 to Verona. Then change. You’ll get to Rome … eventually.” he spits, adding “It leaves in 5 minutes. You best run”
And so here I am. Out of breath. Drained of energy and severely tired, sitting on a graffiti covered, smoke-filled carriage on the way to Verona.
Verona. That’s where the balcony where Romeo and Juliet gazed into each others eyes and whispered sweet nothing’s into each other ears.
I am also currently whispering under my breath. But it’s far from nice.
that’s like impossible ahaha sorry!
yeah hey what’s up lol
find something you love to do it and do it. be yourself, talk to new people and hopefully they’ll accept you as you are. don’t be negative. negative thoughts lead to a negative life. who cares about having a boyfriend? living a happy and healthy life is better than having a stupid boyfriend.
be strong and keep your head up (:
<3 Adam x
you don’t, you wait
and in time, you’ll get more than you wanted to begin with <3
You have a good conscience, Complaining is all apart of the ‘process’ ..it shows energy and desire and thats motherfucking important!
Try it! You never know! c:
you live and learn
stop complaining about everything, and get over it yourself
once you realize that you don’t need someone else to make you happy, you’ll be a lot better off