16th August, 2011
Arriving at Rome airport - I was overwhelmed by the heat, and underwhelmed by the general casual atmosphere of the facility. The man checking passports gave me a half-assed effort of a stamp, which bothered me - because, hey - how many times in my life am I going to enter Rome, Italy?!
Finally we were met by our transfer driver - he was a kind, blue eyed man with a firm handshake, but no name. He drove us from the airport to our hotel - much of the ride, he drove one handed while juggling calls from two separate mobile phones - it was utterly ridiculous! The driving immediately struck me - I couldn't believe the way people were on the roads - every second of every ride, you felt as if you were on the verge of an accident - there are some lights and signs and road markings, but no one seems to obey! Our nameless driver gave us lessons in Rome, and the language - I wished I had the ability to converse with him properly. He was lovely.
Another thing I noticed about Rome, is that there is a lot of dog love - there were dogs everywhere, even at the airport. People were openly affectionate with them, one lady picked up her small dog in the airport terminal, kissed him exclaiming "ciao! ciao! ciao!" - as you would a baby. Fantastic!
I found Rome to be full of good looking, confident people - all of them oozing glamour, even if all they were doing was sitting there eating an ice cream. It was incredible; whatever they do, it is done in such a way that you feel like you are in the presence of greatness. What power.
Another thing I loved, that no matter what the context, the people talking in Italian all behave as if they are having an extraordinary time - it seems fun - hands are flying, faces full of expression and intensity - I just wanted to be a part of it!
When I arrived in the hotel, I paced the floor for the longest time, all the while in my head repeating - "I can't believe I'm in Rome.. I can't believe I'm in Rome". I couldn't tell you how many times I looked out the window to check. My view was nothing particularly spectacular, nothing obviously 'Rome' - I could have been anywhere... but I was in Rome.