Buongiorno Roma!

Well, I’ve arrived safe and sound, with ALL my luggage, thank the Lord! The flight was uneventful, but (after China trip) that’s a good thing. We left Adelaide on time and there was room to breathe at the Singapore end with the connecting flight to Rome. No customs or immigration dramas in any of the three countries I’ve gone from and through and to in the past 24 or so hours.

I must say I like Singapore (Changi) airport very much. It is huge – ginormous, in fact! – but very well organised. It’s easy to travel between terminals using the SkyTrain – it’s fast and efficient. And Changi is not in the least bit confusing. It’s extraordinarily well sign-posted. THAT’s how you engineer an airport, engineering airport type-people!

Rome’s airport, on the other hand, is confusing and old and a little bit scary. Do I get out here? Is that immgration? Do I pick up my bags over there? Or over here? Was that brief, perfunctory look at my passport customs? And where is the transfer to my hotel? And why is the transfer lady telling me off? (It did arrive… eventually.)

Driving from the airport to my hotel, I was struck by the amount of graffiti on anything that is, well, graffiti-able. And how quiet Rome is, with hardly any shops open at all, minimal traffic. I was expecting the busy hustle and bustle of a major European city. Until I realised that it’s Sunday here. And I was being driven through the streets of Rome quite early.

The houses are built close to the street. Off main streets, from what I can make out, there are no footpaths. Houses literally open their doors on to cobbled streets, facing other houses, shops, hotels and restaurants. I like that a lot. It adds a sense of vibrancy to the street scape. I can’t wait to start taking photos.

I am super keen to explore my neighbourhood, but really need a shower, change of clothes and something decent to eat. And to dump my bags (figuratively speaking). And to charge my iPhone. Apparently I am here at the hotel too early, with check-in* being at 2pm. My airport transfer dropped me off at 8.30am. That’s a bit of a wait for an exhausted traveller like me (will be paying more attention to the “time difference” next time I book to go away).

So I’m writing this post while I’m waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last couple of years is that waiting is the unfortunate lot of the global traveller.

And wait we do.

*Have just been checked in (but still no room** as yet) and found that the hotel, while serving breakfast, does not do room service (so I have to go out when I really don’t feel like it – another thing I didn’t check and just expected to be provided.). They will, however, bring me wine. So I will forage for food, and then come back to my room to drink my wine. And sleep.

** I now have my room, that is teeny tiny, but super clean and has wifi, TV and air conditioning. If only it had room service, I would be in heaven.

5 Comments

  • Gary Lum September 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I look forward to reading if your travels Diane 🙂

    Reply
    • The Diane Lee Show September 24, 2012 at 1:23 am

      Thank you, Gary. Hopefully this trip, I’ll have both the time and the free wifi access!

      Reply
      • Gary Lum September 24, 2012 at 5:06 am

        I will live vicariously through you 🙂

        Reply
        • The Diane Lee Show September 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

          I’m a big fan of vicarious living, and will shamelessly encourage it at every turn 😉

          Reply
          • Gary Lum September 24, 2012 at 7:45 pm

            Excellent 🙂

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