Alright, where did I leave off? Ah yes, the fantastic train ride from Milano to Roma…Well, despite obvious setbacks with the Gucci man, the rest of the train ride was beautiful. The train itself felt faster than a speeding bullet (not as fast as Superman), and we were able to arrive much sooner than I had expected. Even clocked in at a good 220 mph at one point.
I plopped off in Roma just short of sunset with no clear plans and no clear sense of direction…so I went with the plan that seemed most fitting and poetic:
Follow the setting sun.
I began making my way down the street. Almost made it five steps and heard:
Five more steps.
After what seemed like the millionth ciao Bella in a row I found one of the “smoothtalkers” was walking alongside me. He nearly got the wrath of all the others but I stopped myself short. By this point I was more curious than ever.
Well, what comes next?
Then, in broken English, we almost had a conversation.
The conversation consisted of me saying a lot of “Buenos dias” and “Como estas”…not even Italian I know, but at least I tried.
Luckily for me, this good-looking swooner understood the term “wi-fi” (or weefee as everyone kept saying). He led me to a bar and pointed at a sign-
“Itsa free weefee!”
We went inside and he very kindly bought me a beer as I anxiously typed away phrases for my iPhone to translate.
It did not take me long to realize how easily one can misinterpret messages using apps like that…Definitely makes for a semi-awkward conversation when you are asking for a hotel and it comes out you want to sleep with them.
Somehow the message wound up getting through and he called two of his English speaking friends to come over to the bar.
One of these friends knew a guy that ran a bed and breakfast so off we wandered through the city, dodging all the erratic drivers along the way.
I’ve found out that drivers here are worse than LA.
Now, I’m sure that where I was staying was safe and I was never in any real danger, but I think my mind functions quite differently than most.
Instead of seeing a quaint little Italian room in a heavily fortified building…
…I saw the start of nearly every single exorcism movie I have ever seen.
It was nearly that moment where the woman down the hall gets possessed by the devil and we need to make a mad dash to go find the pope.
Good thing it was still light out. I still had time.
I even propped the chair against the door like in the movies. Although I’m pretty sure if a demon was coming to attack me, a baby wooden chair would be the last thing stopping it.
After much tossing and turning I sat and watched the night make way for day and I forced my big booty out into the streets.
Side note: I think 80% of my trip has been spent in places where I’m technically not allowed. It seems that people either think I’m an idiot and do not want to bother correcting me, or else it looks like I know what I’m doing. Either way, I continued this theme in Rome by entering as many random buildings and grandiose churches as I felt necessary.
Finally I realized that there is not nearly enough time in the day to cover all areas of Rome, so I wound up taking one of the city tour buses. This allowed me to see all the sites and still have the opportunity to wander throughout the ones I chose.
It was incredible.
I got to live out a good 4 years worth of art history classes while I was there and I must say, things are far more breathtaking in real life.
After my long day of sightseeing, shopping, and wish-making in nearly every fountain I could find…I was walking back towards my room and came across a small gate I needed to climb over. Apparently there was a guy walking that needed to do the same…He offered me a hand in getting across and somehow what then ensued was a 5 hour adventure throughout the city of Rome. I believe it was from around 9 until about 2 that we wandered and saw every little nook and cranny.
We even spent a good half hour trying to break into one of the overlook sites. Our plans were unfortunately foiled due to the fact that A. I was wearing a skirt (climbing capabilities were depreciated), and B. All video cameras in the area were turned and pointed directly at us.
We had long talks about life, the Italian mob, and Telenovellas.
At one point we even stumbled across a giant party for Vogue that was taking place in the streets, transforming each store into a club with screaming Italians dressed in Highfashion.
In the end we said our goodbyes and planned to meet in the morning.
The place I stayed at in Rome was more like staying with grandparents in their home…there was an old man and woman who ran the place and spoke not a lick of English. Regardless, we sat and talked for a good hour or two. Neither of us knowing exactly what the other was saying . They gave me one of their only pens as a souvenir which I thought was precious.
Morning came and I wound up on a frantic journey to make me flight to Vienna
From there I ran to the train station to head to the airport.
I had no idea how big this train station was.
The ensuing hours were a series of near misses.
I nearly missed the train.
Nearly missed the plane.
And nearly missed getting hit by a rail car once I got off of the plane.
I felt like I was in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
Spent the last few days in Wien and it was incredible. I had my first Cuban cigar, learned some skate tricks, got some injuries, and had hours and hours of uncontrollable laughter. My couch surfing host for the last few days probably wants to kill me by now.
He wound up hosting another couch surfer for a few hours since she was on her way to Bruno…Unfortunately for him, this other CSer was like another version of me. Together we drove him insane trying to speak Austrian-German, taking pictures like Asian tourists, and screaming SCHNIZTEL! every two seconds before laughing our asses off. I think I now have a few hours of footage with us just talking about Schnitzel and Schnitezel, SS and Gus. All code names we came up with within a days time.
I got to go to an amazing photography show.
Got to go out dancing and see the fantastic dancing man. I must upload that video. His movements were magical and angelic.
…like a grown man who was just learning to walk for the first time.
Wound up getting a new skateboard with “regular wheels“, not the rubber ones that I get made fun of for.
Spent a few hours at the skatepark with the guys trying to learn how to be like them.
I look like a bruised banana.
Lost my phone at one point and told my host that this was a test for the Austrian people.
They Passed with flying colors.
Great people. Great times.
Find myself getting sad every few days. Sad that my time here is slowly coming to an end, and sad that I have to say goodbye to such awesome new friends.
Each train I get on leads me to a new adventure but it’s a bummer to leave the last one behind.
I am currently on my way to Prague (Praha), and can already tell that this will be a very interesting portion of my trip. I have already run into a couple Czechs on the train…they don’t speak English. At all. I don’t speak Czech. At all.
The sun is going down and I have no idea where I’m going. I have nearly two more hours before I arrive so I guess I’ll find everything out soon enough.
Just seems like out of all the places I have and will be traveling, Czech republic seems to be the most intimidating.
I think it’s because I associate them with the Russians.
And I associate Russians with the mob.
And I say that with endearment.
Maybe it’s because just this last week the entire country has placed a ban on hard liquor. 19 people have died from methanol poisoning so far.
I don’t know.
Maybe it’s that one.
Probably just another case of bad associations brought on by years of American media.
As badass as any Slavic language sounds, it still seems like such a “I’m going to murder you and then drink my vodka” language.
Nevertheless, I’m quite excited and will be here until Saturday. Then I venture off to Munich for Oktoberfest and plan on consuming so much beer that I turn into a damn SCHNITZEL!
Doesn’t make sense but it felt right.
Until the next entry.