Finalmente! We are in Roma, bella bella Roma. I’m thrilled to be back in Italia, and happier still to be off that flight from Hong Kong – it was unbearable. Packed full and we had terrible seats. I was squished between two big blokes – Zorba on one side and and a big Asian on the other who thought that it was perfectly acceptable to sniff his snotty nose to make disgusting snorting sounds the entire trip. Revolting. After one hour of hearing repulsive bodily fluids being sucked into his lungs, I got up and went to the toilet and came back with a handful of tissues and gave them to him, motioning him to use them. He proceeded to dab the outside of his nose and continued to suck his snot back for the remainder of the 13 hour flight (besides when he was asleep). GROSSSSSSSSSSS.
Our apartment in Rome is in the best spot, just near Campo de Fiori and off Piazza Farnese. It’s functional, big enough, although a little bit dark with only one small window letting in light.
Given our “news”, I was keen to ring family back in Australia. Off to the mobile phone shops we went, looking for a vodafone store so i could reactivate my Italian sim card. Whilst power walking through Rome, I point out monuments and places of interest to Zorba… After two mobile phone shops and tramping half way around the historical centre, I’m told that by a shop assistant wearing too much make up that my sim was ‘dead’ and that I had to buy a new one. Ok then, let’s buy a new one. “No, finito,” she said. “Che cosa finito?” I said (what is finished?). No more pre paid sim cards left. So with some dodgy directions, we trudged off to another mobile phone shop. No pre paid sim cards there either… urgh! When we got to the forth mobile phone shop that didn’t have any prepaid sim cards, I gave up and explained to Zorba in a very animated way that this was SO ITALIAN! What is it with mobile phone shops not having any sim cards for mobile phones??
I got over my frustration and just called mum and dad, Susie, Auntie Anna, and Robbie from my Australian mobile phone. At $2.50 per minute, they were super quick calls!
We met Zorba’s mum for dinner in Rome – it was her last night in the city as part of a 7-week trip through Italy and France. She was delighted with our news! My gorgeous friend Cat who lives in Rome also joined us for dinner at Spaghetina in Piazza Cosimato in Trastevere, near where I used to live. It was a great night and I had a beautiful fish dish cooked with potatoes and cherry tomatoes. It was fab to catch up with Katie (future mother in law), Cat, and meet Jill (Katie’s travel companion).
The next day, June 2, is a national public holiday in Italia to celebrate the unification of Italy in 1946. The streets were blocked off and parades of every single armed forces regiment proceeded through the city. Brass bands, fire brigade, polizia, army, navy, medicos, airforce, national guard, women in defence, nurses, dogs (like Rex!), horses, motorbike polizia, carabineri, there was even a rescue boat on a float and a Ferrari Police car! It was quite a spectacle! F18 Jets flew over with green, white and red smoke following (Italian flag colours) and they were hot!! So many men in uniform! I was thinking of ‘Donna Donna do you wanna’ – she loves a man in uniform!
We walked and walked and walked. We walked to Piazza Venezia where we watched the start of the parade, up to the Roman Forum, the Colloseum, along the length of Circo Massimo (where they used to have chariot races), and then decided to have some lunch in Trastevere. But I got us lost and we ended up walking 15 minutes into suburbia. Oh well – we found a cool (but closed) Vespa shop and we’ll go back there to buy Zorba a cool jacket for when he rides my Vespa…still can’t believe I’m letting him ride my Vespa…..this must be love!
Lunch in Trastevere was pretty good – we had a couple of large beers, I had traditional Roman saltimbocca and Zorba had a pizza bianca with mushrooms.
It was an unexpected but awesome day. On the way home, we walked past a mobile phone ‘wind’ shop that was around the corner from our apartment. They had prepaid sim cards! It cost 15 euro, included 10 euro of credit and took 5 minutes to purchase and activate. Hurrah!!