Getting from Ciampino Airport to Rome central was an adventure in itself.
There was a bus laid on, sure, if you wanted to fork out ten quid. I didn’t. But at the airport… well, I search around a while to find a lady behind a snack counter, who nodded sagely when I asked about getting to Termini. 1 euro for the bus to the train, and I jump on happily. The bus takes a while, no-one on it knows what’s going on, and then it’s off, rattling through the streets like a train off its rails. I’d heard about the driving here but hadn’t seen it. When it pulled up at a red light I was ecstatic, because there at last was proof that there were in fact road rules in Rome.
Then at the train station the machine wouldn’t take Euros unless it was primed with smaller coinage first. So I borrowed a 2 cent coin from a friendly local and promptly gave it back when it spat it back out with a ticket. And then on a train to Termini! Patrick the French-Canadian kept me company, equally as bewildered, and we shook hands as wished each other well as I sought out Naomi.
Naomi is a wonderful friend who I made at Massey Design School. She was a student, which is how I first met her, but then got a job doing admin and some design work in the office. We became good buds and when she went to London to work – well, good on her, actually. Anyway, when news came she was leaving London to wander Europe when I came over, and wanted a companion, everything fell into place.
So the wee gem had booked and paid for my bed for the night, and waited for me to give me an extensive night walking tour with running commentary. Excellent fun! I saw lots of postcard stuff, none of which I’ll go into here, but it was quite awesome in its way, although not quite so awesome perhaps as the way people drive here. As Nomes says, to cross the street you just walk out in front and they stop. Well, it’s worked so far.