I left Venice with one of the more interesting stories from the past three weeks. I camped out in one of the train station’s indoor waiting rooms in a comfy chair waiting for a group of Dutch people to leave so I could plug in my laptop in the outlet. In walks in a respectable middle aged Italian woman. No signs of crazy were present. She walked up casually to the outlet and unplugged the dutch’s plug that was charging his ipod and then slammed her plug to charge her cell phone.
The Dutch studied her casually and backed off as all of us watched her take her charger in and out multiple times growing more frustrated each time. By the third time she broke her charger. The Dutch intervened and told her they had the outlet first. A few minutes later she again casually removed their charger and went at it again now trying to charge her phone with her broken charger. She grew more frustrated and began shouting at herself when it did not work. She did not stop. She stood up from her chair to try and shove it in at a better angle all while shouting. She was nuts.
The Dutch left for their train and I moved over to take the other empty outlet and continued to watch her go at it with the other outlet. She soon approached me for help, asking to help her fix her phone. I responded in Spanish and explained that she broke her charger. It would be impossible to charge it. She did not believe me. I demonstrated how a broken prong means it cannot work…I could go on and on about her but believe me even after that she did not quit trying or stop bothering me to help her.
I completed my first trip via train to Rome and it was a far better experience overall than bus or airplane. No security and no extra fees. It was painless as I watched Human Target on my laptop and listened to music after the laptop battery died. The train dropped me off in downtown Rome just 10 blocks from my hostel. But checkin time was 3PM so I had 5 hours to kill. Without sleep or a shower I picked up one of the free maps and spotted a picture of the Colosseum.
I took Rome’s easy subway system to the stop, Colloseum.
Just a few hundred yards outside of the subway I spotted this, the Colloseum
It’s summertime and super touristy
Inside of the stadium I realized how huge it really is.
The view looking outside
By 3pm I returned to the hostel finally able to check-in and sleep. I woke up later that evening to watch a world cup match with a Japanese guy and American girl at the hostel bar. The next morning I was back to work as usual. I conducted a mock interview with a client over skype for nearly two hours. But the hostel environment is so inconsistent that the internet crapped out every 20 minutes and some guys were doing construction. In the end I just refunded him 🙁
It gets dark much later in Europe so I still had loads of time to go do something that day. I checked into a new hostel and then took the subway to Vatican City.
I walked through the square and of course the humongous church which seemed to never end.
On the way back I took a bus to the hostel and met a Mexican lady who I chatted with in Spanish for a while, which I love doing. I still have my Spanish skills! It was almost as if we were on the Rome hop on hop off
Back in the hostel room I met a really friendly pair of Australians who invited me to play blackjack for peanuts. We dragged the mattresses in the center of the room and played for a few hours with some of girls until I won! That night I watched another world cup match and met an interesting young sailor. It’s one of the more obscure professions when Djibouti is a normal stop on the sea.
I dedicated the next day to food.
Sepia Pasta (squid ink sauce)
I walked around some famous area of the city after some lunch. I mistakenly ordered half a liter of wine so by the time I finished I felt like a zombie wandering the baking hot streets until I finally made it back to the hostel by bus.