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Rome Travel Blog

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‘Whoa, I’m still in Rome’ were my thoughts as I gazed at the morning glow on the old stone facades. The view from the old bathroom was breathtaking the rusty old bidet and brass taps completed the Old World charm, no hot water ‘oh well, this is Rome’.

At breakfast I had some good conversation with some hostel-mates over a plastic cup of coffee (absolutely dreadful) and a croissant. Jillian who I had met the other night was listening with a bemused look at a depressive Brit. “Life with all these people has just become to much for me” he moaned with droopy eyes, “I just want to go off and live a cloistered existence.

” “Why is that?” “I mean it’s just the monotony of meeting new people all the time” obviously this guy had been living in hostels too long. “That’s true” here came my two cents, “It’s the same routine everytime ‘What’s your name? Where are you from? Blah..blah’ you wont even remember the majority of those you ask because they’re too boring to be memorable” “Yes, that’s it spot on” the sleepy Brit looked up. “Well..” Jillian was always grinning even when she disagreed, “I don’t think it’s all useless. Every meeting can be memorable if you put more effort..”

This was my last day in Rome and I was determined to not spend it alone. Jillian was a great companion. Every time I’ve been at my lowest in life there has always been an American girl to cheer me up. There wasn’t any physical attraction but her commonsense, casual style, optimism, and sarcastic wit was endearing. We wandered down some tree-lined avenues and quiet lanes. The gold and red leaves were fluttering softy in the autumn wind. We shared stories of travel and life experiences. She had been on a working vacation in the north of Italy (equestrian trainer) for the past few months. “And how was that?..” “Well..it wasn’t everything I thought it would be..” Her local employers at the horse stable had been less than scrupulous and she knew better “I guess I wasn’t prepared for the business ethic here”. The romance of travel soon fades when you settle down to the nuts and bolts of everyday life. To survive in a foreign environment that requires sometimes going against standards you’ve maintained a lifetime brings you to new decisions. When I was young and new in the world I also had illusions that things were better elsewhere, how foolish.

“What about romance? Did you find your own Italian stallion?” some ribald humour might lighten the mood. “Ha ha..great knowledge of vernacular” we had good laughs as we joked about failures in love. At a small basilica we paused to take in the peace and tranquil. The interior was warm with polished oak and simple pieces. Churches usually turn me off but this one had a humble air much unlike St. Peter’s. We whispered, like in a library, even though it was empty and she didn’t even believe in God. “I’d like to do the confession will you be my priest?” she laughed (softly) at that. “I wouldn’t reckon God is stuck in here. Its nice and all but its too sleepy” I winked, “These places aren’t any better than in my lounge where talk to Him.” “What does your faith do for you?” “It guides my life and helps me stay the course” I thought a bit, “It means everything to me.”

Life is full of ups and downs even in the hard times something can be gained if you try harder. Just laughing and kidding around with some good people made all the fuss and ill-will from the previous days fade, at least a bit. When the metro was delayed for 15 minutes (at colliseo) we joked about how I was going to miss another flight and be stuck in Rome always. At Termini she gave me a hug and we parted ways.

I went to a an internet cafe where I had left my bag and there again was the depressed Brit. He was working there and gave me a dreary ciao he looked like a charachter out of Dickens with

‘Whoa, I’m still in Rome’ were my thoughts as I gazed at the morning glow on the old stone facades. The view from the old bathroom was breathtaking the rusty old bidet and brass taps completed the Old World charm, no hot water ‘oh well, this is Rome’. At breakfast I had some good conversation with some hostel-mates over a plastic cup of coffee (absolutely dreadful) and a croissant. Jillian who I had met the other night was listening with a bemused look at a depressive Brit. “Life with all these people has just become to much for me” he moaned with droopy eyes, “I just want to go off and live a cloistered existence.” “Why is that?” “I mean it’s just the monotony of meeting new people all the time” obviously this guy had been living in hostels too long. “That’s true” here came my two cents, “It’s the same routine everytime ‘What’s your name? Where are you from? Blah..blah’ you wont even remember the majority of those you ask because they’re too boring to be memorable” “Yes, that’s it spot on” the sleepy Brit looked up. “Well..” Jillian was always grinning even when she disagreed, “I don’t think it’s all useless. Every meeting can be memorable if you put more effort..”

This was my last day in Rome and I was determined to not spend it alone. Jillian was a great companion. Every time I’ve been at my lowest in life there has always been an American girl to cheer me up. There wasn’t any physical attraction but her commonsense, casual style, optimism, and sarcastic wit was endearing. We wandered down some tree-lined avenues and quiet lanes. The gold and red leaves were fluttering softy in the autumn wind. We shared stories of travel and life experiences. She had been on a working vacation in the north of Italy (equestrian trainer) for the past few months. “And how was that?..” “Well..it wasn’t everything I thought it would be..” Her local employers at the horse stable had been less than scrupulous and she knew better “I guess I wasn’t prepared for the business ethic here”. The romance of travel soon fades when you settle down to the nuts and bolts of everyday life. To survive in a foreign environment that requires sometimes going against standards you’ve maintained a lifetime brings you to new decisions. When I was young and new in the world I also had illusions that things were better elsewhere, how foolish.

“What about romance? Did you find your own Italian stallion?” some ribald humour might lighten the mood. “Ha ha..great knowledge of vernacular” we had good laughs as we joked about failures in love. At a small basilica we paused to take in the peace and tranquil. The interior was warm with polished oak and simple pieces. Churches usually turn me off but this one had a humble air much unlike St. Peter’s. We whispered, like in a library, even though it was empty and she didn’t even believe in God. “I’d like to do the confession will you be my priest?” she laughed (softly) at that. “I wouldn’t reckon God is stuck in here. Its nice and all but its too sleepy” I winked, “These places aren’t any better than in my lounge where talk to Him.” “What does your faith do for you?” “It guides my life and helps me stay the course” I thought a bit, “It means everything to me.”

Life is full of ups and downs even in the hard times something can be gained if you try harder. Just laughing and kidding around with some good people made all the fuss and ill-will from the previous days fade, at least a bit. When the metro was delayed for 15 minutes (at colliseo) we joked about how I was going to miss another flight and be stuck in Rome always. At Termini she gave me a hug and we parted ways.

‘Whoa, I’m still in Rome’ were my thoughts as I gazed at the morning glow on the old stone facades. The view from the old bathroom was breathtaking the rusty old bidet and brass taps completed the Old World charm, no hot water ‘oh well, this is Rome’. At breakfast I had some good conversation with some hostel-mates over a plastic cup of coffee (absolutely dreadful) and a croissant. Jillian who I had met the other night was listening with a bemused look at a depressive Brit. “Life with all these people has just become to much for me” he moaned with droopy eyes, “I just want to go off and live a cloistered existence.” “Why is that?” “I mean it’s just the monotony of meeting new people all the time” obviously this guy had been living in hostels too long. “That’s true” here came my two cents, “It’s the same routine everytime ‘What’s your name? Where are you from? Blah..blah’ you wont even remember the majority of those you ask because they’re too boring to be memorable” “Yes, that’s it spot on” the sleepy Brit looked up. “Well..” Jillian was always grinning even when she disagreed, “I don’t think it’s all useless. Every meeting can be memorable if you put more effort..”

This was my last day in Rome and I was determined to not spend it alone. Jillian was a great companion. Every time I’ve been at my lowest in life there has always been an American girl to cheer me up. There wasn’t any physical attraction but her commonsense, casual style, optimism, and sarcastic wit was endearing. We wandered down some tree-lined avenues and quiet lanes. The gold and red leaves were fluttering softy in the autumn wind. We shared stories of travel and life experiences. She had been on a working vacation in the north of Italy (equestrian trainer) for the past few months. “And how was that?..” “Well..it wasn’t everything I thought it would be..” Her local employers at the horse stable had been less than scrupulous and she knew better “I guess I wasn’t prepared for the business ethic here”. The romance of travel soon fades when you settle down to the nuts and bolts of everyday life. To survive in a foreign environment that requires sometimes going against standards you’ve maintained a lifetime brings you to new decisions. When I was young and new in the world I also had illusions that things were better elsewhere, how foolish.

“What about romance? Did you find your own Italian stallion?” some ribald humour might lighten the mood. “Ha ha..great knowledge of vernacular” we had good laughs as we joked about failures in love. At a small basilica we paused to take in the peace and tranquil. The interior was warm with polished oak and simple pieces. Churches usually turn me off but this one had a humble air much unlike St. Peter’s. We whispered, like in a library, even though it was empty and she didn’t even believe in God. “I’d like to do the confession will you be my priest?” she laughed (softly) at that. “I wouldn’t reckon God is stuck in here. Its nice and all but its too sleepy” I winked, “These places aren’t any better than in my lounge where talk to Him.” “What does your faith do for you?” “It guides my life and helps me stay the course” I thought a bit, “It means everything to me.”

Life is full of ups and downs even in the hard times something can be gained if you try harder. Just laughing and kidding around with some good people made all the fuss and ill-will from the previous days fade, at least a bit. When the metro was delayed for 15 minutes (at colliseo) we joked about how I was going to miss another flight and be stuck in Rome always. At Termini she gave me a hug and we parted ways.

Before leaving I made a quick stop for my stuff I left at an internet cafe and who did I meet again but the depressive Brit. He gave me a dreary ciao and I couldn't help but chuckle as he looked so much like an unfortunate Dickens character with disheveled hair and gloomy eyes. I also said goodbye to my four Brit roommates, they were a smashing lot they were.  

Off to Ciampino again for another shot at Romania. In the queue I met 4 university students from Sibiu who were returning after a student conference. They were extremely friendly (Transylvanians are the nicest folks) with large packs and larger smiles. When I told them my woeful tale they wouldn’t believe it until I should them the letter I had from the Romanian consulate. “What about Bucharest is it alright?” “Well you’ll see..” they seemed a bit sheepish, “of course its nothing like Sibiu. You should come visit us there.” As it turned out I had no problem boarding and was soon sitting on an old worn cabin heading for Romania. Finally getting somewhere...         

         

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photo by: vulindlela