Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Internet Laundromat

I am in an internet laundromat in Rome, not far from the Train Station Termini and not far from my hotel. My room will be ready for me in about 15 minutes and I am seriously considering a good nap before heading out to explore the city today. It is cool here, comparatively, to many of the cities I have visited, but that could have to do with the large number of fans that are running in this place of washers/dryers and computers.

The train from Nice to Rome was not nearly as bad as the train from Madrid to Barcelona had been. There had been no linens put on the beds, so the conductor wrote on the back of our tickets that we are due for a refund. I forgot to get mine, so will have to return to the station as well today.

In transit, I shared my cabin with an Italian mechanic who is buying a house in Menton, France and with 4 women: an Australian of about my age whose husband is on sabbatical from University there and is visiting Rome, a German student and two Korean girls who teach middle school. The Italian guy only spoke Italian, French and a tiny bit of English and the rest spoke their own languages and just a little English. There was a lot of sign language being tossed about during the night.

On this train, it was possible to open the windows, so there was some ventilation. It made all the difference in the world. Having access to air made this train feel like a luxury hotel.

We debated whether there was a cafeteria car on the train, but decided that there was not when we reached Vintimiglia and found a man on the platform selling sandwiches and drinks from a cart. Sally, the Aussie lady whom I intended to interview (sound was an issue on the train) but never did, bought some cookies, a ham sandwich and bottle of water as the train was pulling away toward Rome.

We arrived this morning to a beautiful sunrise and I walked in circles for a while until I finally found my hotel. In the time it will take me to walk back to it, my room should be ready, so I am going to go sleep for a while. I went to a newstand to ask for a map of Rome and the guy handed me one and then turned away from me to continue a conversation. I figured it must have been free and walked away. It wasn't until a bit later that I found the €3 pricetag on the map. I am debating now whether to go back and face him or just take this as a gift from the universe. I don't much feel like being screamed at in Italian!

The visit to Europe is fun, but it is taking its toll on me. I am tired and have lost weight from all the walking. Catch me on a travel day and I can be downright bitchy! However, when the weather is nice and the people are friendly, and the food is is beautiful.



Blogger Vickie said...

Don't you dare lose any more weight and dwindle away to nothing. You'll be home before you know it! Take good care, dear.

8/10/2005 04:28:00 PM  

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