(I understand that it is obviously not October 17th anymore, and I apologize, but I forgot to post it after I wrote it on the 17th).
Alrighty. it has been a while indeed. I think the last time we talked, I filled you in on Rome. Or maybe I had just gotten to rome and was filling you in on Paris. I think that’s the one. Well. I am currently on a train from Florence to Venice, so I suppose I have to fill you in on both Rome and Florence (Whooooopps!)
Rome was possibly the most entertaining place I’ve been so far. The very first night I was there, I ended up sleeping much more than I wanted to. I spent the night in an airport in paris, after an amazing night (I’m pretty sure I told you that). So I ended up in Rome, showered, took a nap, and then went for a walk around the city.
It turns out that Rome is remarkably small in comparison to Paris or London. I was able to easily walk through the city, and ended up near the Spanish steps, across from the Vatican, and at the Colosseum. Granted, I didn’t identify many of these places at the time, cause my historical interest in Rome has been lacking at best. There ended up being no one in my hostel room that night, so I basically had the place to myself. Quick note about hostel hopping. You’re never truly alone. You begin to crave it a little bit. You know, the freedom to bump some Kanye without judgment. The freedom to change your shirt without having to go to the bathroom to do it. The freedom to stub your toe and scream curse words cause you know it hurts thaaat much. You get that. Of course you do. I miss that.
The next day was the start of the entertainment. You see, I found out there was a pub crawl with an open bar and drinking games proceeding it. This, my friends, is always a bad idea. I spent the day catching up on homework for my one and only college class, and then I was off to the races. I met a canadian guy in the Army named Shawn, who had just spent the last week in the Cinque Terre and was awfully friendly in hopes of securing a job on the Stella. Poor dude. Little did he know, those jobs doesn’t come easily. Little did I know, he was going to buy me pre game drinks just in case it was a possibility. While talking about strangely opposing Canadian politics, we met another couple from Canada – both poli sci-fi majors. I got out fairly quick and took off towards the open bar. This is where I found my wing women. chugged 7 mixed drinks in the space of an hour, and discovered my true calling in flip cup. Twas an amazing night. We pubcrawled for quite a while before I met Tabea and Jamie. They’re traveling from New Zealand and have been out in the backpacking world for almost 3 months. (My kind of people). Turns out, they were on their way up to Florence as well, so I was quickly added to their plans. The next morning, after a late morning, I came down to the common room to meet up with the Kiwis. It was there that we met Cameron.
I loved Cameron. He’s an Aussie, a psychology student in Holland, a fiend for surfing, a ridiculous drunk, and hands down one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever met. We all took off on the metro to the Vatican. We ended up bothering the hell out of every single street vendor. If they came up with selfie sticks for 5 euro, we’d barter higher. If they came with paperweights, we would ask really ridiculous questions about the pope, and if they were just walking by, we would insistently ask them for a selfie. Hands down the best day I’ve ever had. We walked up to a Swiss Guard named Emmanuel and spent 20 minutes interrogating him about his life and imitating the boot click salute combo used for all the priests. After emmanuel, we wandered and on a whim entered a korean catholicism exhibit. The guy behind the desk was an Aussie as well and we spent enough time giving him shit that he eventually agreed to get lunch with us. Homie John turned out to be a really great guy and showed us the best place in the Vatican to get pasta. 10/10 to John. I’ll be sure to give a good yelp review for the exhibit. Cameron, Jamie, Tabea and I spent the entire day like this, popping in and out of shops, harassing people on the street, and laughing our asses off. Eventually, Jamie left us to find his friend and we came back to the hostel. We met Orlando here (another Kiwi) and went out on the town for some great pizza and pretty great wine. For whatever reason, I was exhausted and went to bed soon after we got back.
The next day was one for the books. Orlando and Tabea headed on a scooter for the coast, so Jamie, Cameron and I wandered through the city. This time with a little bit of a clue where we were going. We spoke Spanish up the Spanish steps, imitated gladiator battles at the colosseum, and got some of the best damn gelato I’ve ever had. It was truly a great time. As it turns out, there was a Roma v Napoli football (soccer) match that night. Jamie took us to the ticket office last minute and we began our pre game. Keep in mind, this was my last night in Rome, and I was going to make the most of it. After a quick stop at the hostel, 2 heinekens and quick charge of my phone, we took off for the match. (This also happened to be the time when I lost my poor speaker to the clutches of some forgetful stoners. Don’t trust travelers to keep an eye on your stuff). Jamie’s friend Leonardo was planning to meet us at the stadium, along with Tabea and Orlando. As with most sporting events, you’re not allowed to BYOB into a game, so we hopped the metro with a 10 pack of beer and succeeded in downing them all in the 20 minutes prior. (Never a good idea). The game itself was brilliant. Although Napoli made the one and only goal during the first 10 minutes of the game, the hype was unreal. I even learned some Roma chants and drinking songs (which came in handy later). Before I knew it, the match was over and we had to make our way back to the hostel. In the rush of people, we kind of all lost each other.
Tabea ended up stranded on her own and hitchhiked with some germans she met back to the hostel. Jamie and Leonardo ended up, somehow, going to an 18th birthday party with thousands of $$$ worth of fireworks??? And I managed to find a very very drunk Cameron and attempted to corral him in the direction of the hostel. After walking for nearly an hour, we hopped on the nearest tram and somehow?? ended up near the colosseum. The journey that should have taken us 20 minutes took well over an hour and a half. Pro tip.. Don’t get drunk in Rome if there’s any remote possibility that your friends might abandon you. It’s not as fun as it sounds. When we finally ended up at the hostel, Tabea had made enough friends while waiting for us, that we were added to a bit of a pub crawl. There was a hostel around the corner where we ended up dancing until well into the early morning. I regretfully don’t remember much of it. (If you’re reading this mom, I was a very responsible and sober traveler and didn’t drink much. If you’re not reading this mom, I got truly and absolutely shattered.)
I’m not actually sure how I ended up waking up early enough to catch my bus to Florence, but I do know it was possibly the worst experience of my life. I’ll tell you all about it in the next post. Thanks for hanging in there!