Italy – Rome

I’ve stored a huge amount of photos here, but for good reason. This space remains, to me, the best place to keep my memories neatly packed. I know that years from now it is here I will turn to for the favourite pictures, the greatest details.

Italy was, undoubtedly, one of the best and most memorable trips in my life. 
‘Life is definitely at one of its best right now’, I wrote in my notebook five days ago. It’s hard to put forth exactly what/when is “best”, because “best” is defined in different aspects; it is multidimensional. Nonetheless, in terms of consecutive days of bursting happiness, that surge of freedom coursing through my veins, this is it. When you juxtapose the saddest period of my life with the happiest, this happiness is intensified and seared into every bit of my heart. 
And that’s why this will always be the top 3 phases of my life.
On the plane, upon take-off:

The bone-chilling intense fear, swirled with bits of excitement that makes you want to scream aloud- goodbye, goodbye!
I’m going on an adventure.

The screaming engine echoes your thoughts
– and that surge of deep satisfaction when you land.

Nothing excites me more than landing, and being surrounded by flurries of foreign words I used to hear only on shows. It is almost magical, this.

Most importantly, I met Kasia (Kate) and Magdalena, 2 Polish girls who showed me around the city that first day. 
There are few things that can bring much joy and relief to one alone in a foreign land, and that is good company :’)  We (finally) managed to find each other in the morning at Roma Termini and its multiple Macdonalds, and from then on it was so easy to talk about anything. Laughed aloooot, these were 2 hilarious girls who told me all their stories with Italian boys – you hate them but you gotta love them 😉
As I’ve learnt – bacio, bella! :3
yummy carbonara + wine + happy company 🙂
Gelato shop with 150 flavours!!! But we opted for the other shop nearby – apparently the best gelato in the world. It was the best gelato I’ve ever tasted – nutella/pistachio :O :O :O

secret door place where you peep through the hole to see the Vatican

 nope, i did not join the long queue to pay 0.50euros to take a photo like this

 The Pantheon

Fontana di Trevi
throw a coin and you’ll return to the Eternal City
 In the Vatican Museum
Met a Texas teacher on my way, a solo traveller whose family doesn’t quite know that she’s alone. I told her my circumstances, and we laughed.

Vatican City
/ Sistine Chapel

At the Spanish Steps (Spagna), where an extremely kind lady helped me :’)
She stopped eating her biscuits, tapped her metro card and ushered me in, just to show me exactly the way there.

One thing I really love is this: watching how we struggle to communicate with each other. Is that sadistic? I don’t know, I love the earnest expressions and sincere attempts to help, using hand gestures, whatever we can to try to understand. 

This reminds me of my second morning in Rome, where I was struggling to understand how to catch the bus to the city centre. This lady looked at me intently and spoke Italian words I could not understand. I smiled and shook my head but she earnestly continued to speak, while looking at me intently. She held my hand and throughout the bus journey she continued to try to speak to me, smilng every now and then, patting my hand, and when it was my stop she gently let my hand go. Grazie 🙂
 Totally witnessed the ‘tourist trap’ I’d read about, where a man hands you a rose and tells you you’re beautiful, and to take a picture with it, and then charges you 2 euros for them. HAHHAHA
It was really funny, because the lady who looked thrilled initially had her face turned black as she vehemently refused to pay afterwards :p

Was wandering back to Roma Termini from a random spot and met a Russian family. They could speak only very basic English, so we didn’t talk much except for our names, ages, and their occupations. Both were doctors, both were children of doctors. ‘And are both your children doctors?’ I asked. They shook their heads and laughed. 

4th November, draft:

How do I describe this feeling?
I’m just happy, so happy. I don’t know why, but I am 🙂

The I-want-to-explode-with-happiness kind of happiness

I’ve never felt more free.

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