Flood Flashbacks – Roma, Italy

I was awoken in the middle of the night by booming cracks of thunder and lightening that lit up the room like laser show. It was my first (but not last) Roman Thunderstorm! I listened to the pounding rain and reflected on my travels over the last few months before drifting off again.

The next morning, I decided a rainy day would be perfect for sitting around relaxing while catching up on my writing. I said goodbye (but see you soon!) to Calen, Heath, Fiona and Damien (the Halloween kissing bandit) then had a leisurely breakfast. It was absolutely POURING outside. I mean, when I say buckets, that`s not even enough. It was more like garbage trucks of water falling from the sky. So, I went downstairs to pay for my next night and I was informed by the receptionist that I was too late. I would have to find somewhere else to stay because they were completely booked. ARHG!

I had to hurriedly (is that a word?) pack up my stuff and then ventured out in the storm which just seemed to be getting worse! What a day to be hostel shopping!!! So Jane, Lizzie and I trekked around but EVERYTHING was booked solid because it was a holiday. Apparently, all of Italy was in Rome for the long weekend.

We finally found a place but it was reallllly dodgy. There was a curtain and from behind it came the strangest noises. Cackling, cat shrieks, and evil noises that I cant even identify. I was a little scared but we didn’t have a choice so we booked in. At least it was warm and dry even if it was haunted or mafia owned.

After such a fun filled morning we did what any other stressed out women would do. We went for lunch at the yummy pasta place. While we were in the restaurant the storm worsened. There were moments when you couldn`t see 2 meters in front of you. The lightening was getting more intense and the thunder was rattling the windows. I asked the waiter if this was normal and he said nope, not at all.

I have to admit that I was getting concerned when I saw the wind picking up dramatically and people jamming into the restaurant for shelter. Jane and Lizzie began to witness the beginning of a Carmella Freak Out. Not another flood! Nooooooo! I noticed that the water in the streets was starting to well up but it wasn`t until the power in the restaurant went out that I started getting scared. I know that some part of me knew that it would be Ok because after the initial shock of the power going out, I worried that they wouldn`t be able to cook my pasta…and man, I was hungry!

I relaxed when the power came back on 15 mins later then my food followed shortly after. By the time I was done eating, the rain had subsided. I parted ways with the girls and walked with my happily full stomach to meet up with Lauren and Kate. They waited patiently while I did a few travel errands, then we made our way back to the Colosseum.

I was feeling much better now as the sun even began to peek out from behind the clouds. On the way, we ran into the best Gelati shop ever! It had what seemed like a hundred flavors and the names of them were all digital. High Tech Gelati. We also sampled some pizza nearby which was also quite good. I love that you can choose how much you want and of whatever kinds then they just weigh it. Anyone who knows me will know that this is a major plus as I can try out all the different kinds without getting too full.

We arrived to the Colossium where everything seemed closed so we just sat and people watched. Two freaky looking guys came up to us and said, `Hey. I`m Italian`, then waited for us to jump on him or something. Lauren said with an exasperated tone, `Good for you`. I mean, seriously, that has to be on the top ten worst pick up lines. Really. We are in Italy, buddy. How original can you get? So we brushed them off then went back to the hostel.

We got changed into dry clothes then went back out to the Spanish Steps where I wrote for a few hours while Lauren and Kate went to grab a bite to eat. While I was writing, Rie from Denmark sat down beside me with her mom and gave me some excellent advice on Vietnam. I had been feeling a little nervous about Asia as I have done 0 research and planning for that leg of the trip. But in the last 2 weeks, random people from everywhere have been coming out of the woodwork to give me info and encouragement. She even drew me a map!

It wasn`t more than 2 minutes after they left that the sweetest Italian family came along. Three young girls Diletta , Sarah, and Shaneda all practiced their English with me. They were absolutely stunning with their big expressive eyes and genuine smiles. They translated best they could between their parents and I. They carefully wrote some Italian in my book with their near perfect handwriting. I was impressed with what composed and elegant little (8 years old) ladies they are.

Lauren Kate and I walked home in the chilly night air then parted ways after grabbing a midnight pizza snack. I am surprised that I am losing weight here in Rome despite all the pizza and gelati I am consuming. I supposed it may be due to the marathons that I seem to walk everyday. After that one horrible metro experience, I am determined not to go underground again in Rome or any other big city if at all possible. It`s better to see the city above ground anyway. All in all, it was a long and eventful but very gratifying day.

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