The Theatrical Journalist

Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.

(Another) Idiot Abroad: Rome


Rome is exactly what you expect it to be. Old. Beautiful. Terracotta orange, yellow, and crème coloured with black cobblestone roads in the interweaving streets. I do not recommend walking in wedges or flat-forms. You will look like an idiot.
Trust me.

When I arrived in London two weeks ago, I expected to feel a specific feeling of “arrival” or to feel very foreign, but it didn’t feel that way; I felt at home in London. I imagined that when I stepped onto the foreign soil, it would feel completely different and I would know that I was not in Australia anymore. But London was familiar. Perhaps it was because I was there for two weeks and I had already established routines (I’m very good at establishing routines). Perhaps it was because there was no language barrier, or that I had many Australian friends in London at the time. Either way, I didn’t feel different in London, I felt at home. I understand why Australians love it there, it’s our home away from home.

Rome. Not Australia.

That foreign feeling of “arrival” I had been dreaming of smacked me in the face in Rome. Our flight was supposed to get in at 7pm, but it was delayed and we arrived after 9pm. From the airport we had to catch a train to Roma Trastevere stazione and get on a tram to take us to our apartment. This was more of a struggle than it should have been.
Firstly, the train didn’t use audio announcements, which was fine for a while because I sat in front of the screen that told you what the next station was. Unfortunately, the screen stopped crawling the words “PROSSIMO STAZIONE: …”  (translation: next station) so we had no idea what the next station was. Secondly, it was dark outside, so you couldn’t read the station signs. The only station that was extremely well lit was the one we had to get off at, and we fortunately figured that out just in time. Roaming the streets to find our apartment was a very similar experience. In daylight, everything is a lot clearer. At night, Rome is chaotic, lively, and impossible when trying to find your apartment.

I have this strange (but not severe) fear of being hungry. When we finally got to our apartment at 12am, we hadn’t had dinner and it was too late to eat a big meal, but it was still hot enough for gelato (it’s always hot enough for gelato, even when it’s snowing). Italy’s gelato game is off the chains, but everyone knows that. (An Idiot Traveller’s Tip: If in doubt, choose Pistachio gelato. Always.) The next morning I awoke at 10am, which is rather late for me. There’s no food in our apartment yet so we had to go out for breakfast, but half of the city is still asleep at 11am, and these guys aren’t that big on breakfast. We found a cafe nearby and looked at what food was on offer: pastries and pastrami brioche – a far cry from my muesli, fruit and yogurt routine. I ended up picking the croissant because it wasn’t covered in sugar or salami. I was pleasantly surprised to break the pastry open to find chocolate custard oozing out of it. This was a pleasing and crazy delicious experience. It was past 11am, so this is acceptable. Brava, Italy.

Breakfast at 11am. Note: This is not Muesli.

My least favourite thing about travelling is arriving in a place and having to walk down the busy streets with my suitcase, looking lost. I feel like nothing screams “I’M A TOURIST’ more than a roley-poley suitcase on the cobblestone streets of Europe. Rome, on a Monday night, is packed. So we’re hobbling through crowds of extremely cool European hotties with our roley-poleys disrupting everyone. “Mi scusi, mi scusi’, we say as we unintentionally imitate Fred Armisen’s cameo in Eurotrip.
You would not expect it was a Monday night. You would expect it was Mardi Gras. Rome at 12pm the next day? Quiet, sleepy, hot.

Time for a siesta!
Ciao for now.

My current bestfriends.

My current bestfriend, suitcase.


3 comments on “(Another) Idiot Abroad: Rome

  1. Erin Elizabeth
    July 17, 2013

    Just wanted to share my hilarious blog with a fellow traveler. Hope you enjoy mine as much as I have enjoyed yours.

  2. London Caller
    July 17, 2013

    You’re making me so hungry now.

    • hayleytantau
      July 17, 2013

      Mwahaha, Rome will do that to a person. It turns you into an evil Italian trying to induce everyone with hunger.

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