Sunday 11 Oct
I’m pretty Screwed right now. I’ve lost my last credit card/means of withdrawing money. So I’ve got none left just the cash in my pocket. Luckily I’ve got enough money until I get back too Austria tomorrow, otherwise I’m rooted.
I’ve sobered up very quickly this morning. My senses for the first hour were on absolute edge, every sound was Clear as glass and the colours around me were the crispest I’d seen in a long time, I didn‘t even really feel like I was really with it. Walking through the train station people would bump into me to no avail. It didn‘t matter, they were all insignificant, the next corner and action was all that concerned me. Trying to sort out this money situation. It could be worse anyway.
I’m feeling quite philosophical this morning. I think what the lay man doesn’t understand relativity. And how Einsteins apllication to space-time can be applied to anything and everything. it’s a combination of this and self efficacy. I mean why do we think that because something happens to us that it really mattersz“. If I was a black guy living in Zimbabwe or Mozambique cash flow would be the last of my concers. If I was getting shot at in Afganistan do u reckon I’d give a crap if I’d just lost my last means of accessing my cash whilee traveling through one of the most beautiful countries in the world? Not likely. There’s wino’s on the street with nothing but what they carry in there plastic bags… I’ve just had a awesome night in Rome. What do I have to complain about? Note, this doesn’t make me complacent. Just realistic.
I got up early on Sunday. And it soon realized me that I’d lost my last credit card. I grabbed my laptop and opened it up to find the number for Westpac lost cards. It was an Australian number but I called it anyway. I got through to them after a short wait, cancelled my card and ordered a new one. They then put me through to MasterCard international to order an Emergency replacement card. Not long after I started speaking to them my phone cut out. I’d run out of credit making the last call an 20 Euro phone call!!
Really peaved I decided to go for a run. I first ran towards Termini station, the plan was to run around the collosseum and back. But soon after starting to run I needed to go to the toilet so I ducked into the station. Unfortunately this toilet was typically European and I needed some money to use it. None of which I had of course. I slowly, very slowly walked back to the hostel.
I had a quick shower and decided I needed to take a reality check. I grabbed my laptop and I walked out the door. Not far from our hostel was a really nice looking café with 80 cent coffees. Which were really nice too. I sat there and typed. I also sat there thinking way too much listening to the hustle and bustle of the Roman city.
That morning I had decided to go on yet another walking tour. This one was much shorter, going via the war memorial and the Forum to the Collosseum. I wasn’t really keen on going inside the collosseum, I’ve never really heard anyone say how much they loved the collosseum, everyone I’ve spoken too has said it was over rated.. I grabbed some Pizza and headed up to Drews hostel.
Out side the hostel I bumped into Drew’s sisters they were talking to some people who looked really really faamilliar. Turns out I’d gone to school with them, they’d been either in Fergus’s year or the one above them. Mum had even coached the two of them in various rowing crews
I had to go back down to Termini to meet drew’s sisters to get my passport. I was having real trouble getting onto drew, and he had my passport. The girls said they’de grab it and meet me at the station with it.
When they didn’t show up at the pre-arranged time I called them from a pay phone. They’d said they didn’t know where Drew was and hence where my passport was. I was starting to worry a little. Slightly dis heartened I started walking home. Drew called me 5 mins later and said he was on the way to the train station. I told him to message me with a store location when he got here. He was trying to catch the train his sisters were on and was running really late. He asked me to just like “look for him” in Rome’s biggest train station. - Dumbass
It came to 1500 and I’d figured he’d missed his train. I called him and he told me to go to the maccas. He was being really shifty about it and I was wondering what the hell was going on.
I went in there and he wasn’t there. I called him again. He’d gone and got on the train and had given my passport to an Irish girl that he’d met that morning to give to me. A “slightly round medium height girl with frizzy brown hair. She was no where to be seen I asked him if he had her number. He said yes, I send “send it to me” and hung up. Luckily not long after a slightly round medium height girl with frizzy brown hair approached me and I was re-united with my passport.
I was so angry with drew at that point. The problem is he’s so much fun because he doesn’t think. That makes him unreliable, a drifter and just useless in general.
I went back to The hostel and met up with a couple of Americans who I’d met on the pub crawl.
Vanessa and the latter were a lot of fun. His names Edher, well that’s his last name, which is what he goes by anyway. He’s a Mexican who’d been living in the states for almost 10 years. At first I was a little creeped out buy his overly flirtatious nature, not towards me just how he spoke in general. But apparently that’s just what it’s like in Mexico, people are just sleezy in general.
I actually really liked this guy in the end. Not many people make me feel like an inferiour human just by the way they talk and selective choose their diction. He was one of them, picking precise and quite complicated adjectives to fit his descripions. The real individual thing about Edher was that he was the first person whome English wasn’t their mother tongue to give me that effect. Actually no, I tell a lie, he and jasmina, Christian’s Friends are the only two who fit into that small group.
We decided to walk to Trestever via a few places Edher wanted to see and over a small island in the centre of town. We were standing on a bridge on the far side of the island when what appeared to be a bag of rubbish started floating towards us. Edher joked that maybe it was a body. It got closer and I said, “haha it looks like…. Hang on….. It is a horse!!” it was a dead Horse carcus that appeared to be headless just floating down the river.
We were headed to a restaurant I’d read in the lonely planet and after winding our way through trestever, which is old rome, we found it. We decided to go and have some wine at a wine bar somewhere else before returning. We sat at one bar and they wanted to charge us 20 Euros for a bottle of wine. We went to find another place.
We went back to the restaurant we’de found before and went to sit down. It was 730 and the waiter informed us that they aren’t open untill 8! Pretty dumb considering the restaurant beside it was packed. So we went and sat there. We shared three different pizza’s and a bottle of Lambrusco. It was great.
On the walk home we sat on the big round about looking at the war memorial looking at war memorial. This round about was a crack up. It was at least 5 lanes but none of them were marked, and it looked like Chaos. The round about of death in Melbourne has nothing on this death trap.
We tried to find another bar for some more wine and headed to the wine bar next to my hostel. It was shut so we went around the corner to a local bar. We grabbed a glass of wine each and I started falling asleep. I was so tired. I finished the glass and was ready to leave when edher decided he wanted one more. I joined him and the lady rewarded our commitment with 2 very large glasses of the house white. Which wasn’t too bad.
I woke up pretty early on Monday. After getting to bed before midnight, the first time in weeks I was wide awake by 730. I sat up reading untillat 830 and went for a run. The run was really cool. Not very practicle as the street footpaths I ran down were packed. But I really wanted to run around the collosseum. Something to tick off on my list of cool stuff to do. The run was a good short one, it only took me 30mins. However again I didn’t realise how much I’d run downhill un till the return leg back to the hostel.
I left the hostel at about 10 and took my bags to edher’s place where I left them for the day ratther then carting them around with us. As well as dropping my bags we grabbed a couple of vouchers form the foyer and went to a place around the corner where we could exchange these wonderful pieces of paper for a crossaint and a coffee for 1.5Euros.
The breakfast didn’t really hit the spot so we went around the corner to a pizza place for some more breakfast. This place was really cool. 5 Euros got me a massive slice of pizza and the guy behind the bar was really cool. This fat greasy wog with a goatie but a really genuine smile. He looked like he really enjoyed his life.
We then walked down to the station to ccatch the metro to the Vatican, Vanessa had decided to come with my but edher had already been. We could have walked but it would have taken close to 2 hours and my legs for some reason were really sore. The metro itself was absolutely filthy. It made the tube look like a sparkling oasis.
I think this really summed up Rome for me. It was the most overrated place I’d visited. There were so many beautiful magnificent buildings but the whole place was just a cess pool of filth. I’ve never seen so many mangy homeless people in my life. There was rubbish everywhere and all the walls were covered in Graffiti. That and the people are a******s, the service at nearly all the restaurants were terrible and you could tell most of the people serving us hated tourists. I mean really, what can u expect when you work hospitality in Rome.
We got to the Vatican museum and joined the line ride, I couldn’t even see where the line was going so I went to get coffee. I came back 10 mins later and Vanessa was almost at the front. I couldn’t believe it. The others had waited in line for an hour and a half, and I myself had only stood in the queue propper for lesss then 5. I wasn’t complaining though.
The Vatican museums were really cool. The only problem is I’m just not arty enough too be able to appreciate all the different art pieces. I mean to me they are all collectively lumped together in a pile of Beautiful paintings, I couldn’t really tell one from the other.
The sistine chappel was pretty cool too. But it was tainted by the guards who were patrolling around the place saying “Shhhhhhh” and “Keep moving” or “No photo’s” they were really really annoying. I still managed to get a few sneaky photo’s in.
I sat there looking at the ceiling for about 20 minutes. I’d been walking around for almost 2 hours and I was pretty exhausted. What I found amazing was that once you were static, it was nearly impossible to tell the shape of the roof. The paintings themselves were so realistic that the flat or curved surface they were painted on was indistinguishable.
Another s*** thing about the museum was the map. It wasn’t even a map. It was more a list of the places in the order you’de visit them if you went the correct way. How ever at thee start we ended up doing a 15 minute circuit because we had no idea that the left door took you through one museum and back to the start. We took the right door on the second try.
We got to the end of the museum and dropped off the audio we’de hired, in exchange for my passport. We’de heard that there was a short cut from the sistine chappel to st peters cathedral. So we asked a guard about it. He explained we had to walk back the way we’de come, against the tide of people coming our way. We followed an old lady, who’s carer was taking her the same way as us, the short way to the chappel, it was good, I don’t think that people would have taken as kindly to an obnoxious Australian as they were to a tiny fragile old lady.
St peters was absolutely brilliant. It was definitely the highlight of the Vatican city. It was so magnificent. And probably my favourite building in Rome followed closely by the war memorial. We sat in St Peter’s for a while just relaxing we’de beenon our feet for ages and I was feeling absolutely exhausted ot be honest.
We went home via some markets and a pasta place for lunch. The pasta was great, nice and cheap. The markets were good, Vanessa wanted to get a couple of roseries for her grandparents. This simple task turned out to be a little harder then expected. Apparently there’s way too many different colours to choose from and picking the right one was going to take time.
We just shared a plate with three different pastas on it. The highlight of the meal though was on the table beside it the waiter passed a meal over the table to a customer who took it. The customer mustn’t of had a decent grip though and she dropped it onto her friends plate. The way it hit the plate too meant that it scooped the contents of the friends plate all into his lap. He didn’t look very impressed.
We caught the metro back to Termini and went looking for a gelato store. I thought I knew where a decent looking one was ad led us around in circles for 10 mins. We eventually settled on a store in the station. It did look pretty good.
We bought our ice cream and I grabbed a coffee too and sat down. Not long after this waiter came up to our table saying something, cleared the plates and left. He came back again not long after and pointed at a sign on the table that said for table service customers only. I explained that we’de just bought the ice cream and coffee there and counter. He said no and pointed out side. We got up but just shifted to another table. I had a coffee in a cup so I could hardly take it with me. Shifting to another table gave me time to finish my coffee. But not long after this surly, fat, grumpy, dick head waiter was back on our case and we had to leave.
We went back to Edhers to wait for him. He was running a bit late and I was starting to Frett a little. He eventually showed up and we grabbed our stuff. I thought we had pleanty of time too and was tempted to have a quick play on the piano. I thought better of it though and I headed down to Termini station.
I grabbed tickets from an automated machine, thank goodness I didn’t have to wait in line to buy a ticket, and thank goodness I didn’t play th epiano. The train was way up the other end of the station, it was a good ten minute walk and I only just got to it before it was pulling away towards the airport.
After checking in I went and sat to wait for boarding. The plane was running late, so we didn’t end up boarding it untill 15 minutes late. We’de missed our take off window so we ended up sitting on the tarmac for almost an hour more.
I was a little worried about my connecting flight. I knew I was going to have to wait an hour and a half but this delay had chewed a fair hunk into this. After the sneaky meal on the flight we landed 5 minutes before my next flight was due to take off. Luckily they were both Austrian air and they’d held up the connecting flight for us. And I walked straight from one plane to another.
This next flight took all of 25 minutes and I landed grabbed my bags and went out the front to meet Martin. I was so glad martin was picking me up. Heaps heaps cheaper then a taxi. With the plan being to go straight to sleep when I got to martin’s we ended up sitting around for a good hour and had a couple of beers each.
I slept very soundly that night.