Last of the Roman notes for this time around.
It’s been fun, too, meeting and observing people at breakfast. There is such a wide assortment, from single women who may be nuns (hot not in habits) to large multi-generational families, to little couples from other parts of Europe. I met one totally cool couple from Lake Garda area. He’s Italian and speaks Spanish, she’s from the Dominican Republic and so speaks Spanish and English, and their five year old is adorable and trilingual as nearly as I could tell.
I saw an Oprah look alike on the street by the Termini yesterday. It was amazing. If she hadn’t been carrying a huge bag of merchandise (she was a vendor); had been a bit slimmer; and had a makeover; she would be a body double. I backed up, looked at her from all sides and asked her if I could take her photo. A man translated for me that I just wanted to send her photo to Oprah and try to get her a ticket to Chicago for a few days in the style of the rich and famous. She just wanted to charge me a hundred Euros for the privilege. Oh well!
Last night I went to a Cinese restaurant (note Italian spelling) on the corner of my block. OMG! It was like the old Kim’s; room after room of tables, waiters running to and fro and screaming into the kitchen with the added noise levels of Italian families at huge tables spinning lazy susans filled with noodles, beer and rice. As I was leaving there was a line down the street of waiting diners. I noticed several newspaper articles and reviews hanging just inside the door, so I guess I hit the jackpot again. The food was good but the noise level was close to intolerable and the waiters had a hard time keeping track of the orders. Chaos!
Blogging has changed the concept of traveling alone from potential loneliness to a constant inner dialogue with all of you as I go through my days. I am paying much more attention to details because I am thinking how each of you might enjoy doing things with me. At the same time I can do anything I like without accommodating anyone. I can go where I want, eat what and where I want and skip anything that doesn’t float my boat. You’re traveling with me, but in the past tense. It’s all done with by the time it gets to you; edited both on the ground and on the computer.
Works for me!
There is English speaking assistance in the Roma Termini. Don’t bother to go to the ticket windows and ask about train schedules. The lines are very long and the English very light on the ground.
Go down Binario 1 and look for the sign. They’ll check schedules for you, make suggestions (i.e. when the woman saw my bags she chose a option in which I needn’t change trains). They write in down, hand you the paper and send you to the ticket lines.
On the other side of the tracks on Binario 24 there is a conventional Tourist Information Office. The multi-lingual people know where to send you for almost anything.