Roman Holiday

6/30/10   –   1:09

The 20 hour trip from Barcelona across the Mediterranean to Civitavecchia wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Mostly because the “ferry” was actually quite a substantial ship, even if it didn’t have enough amenities to be called a “cruise ship”.

First of all, I found it strange that they didn’t put my bags through a scanner or anything. So in theory, I definitely could have brought a bomb. Or a gun. Or tear gas on board. Tsk tsk Grimaldi Ferries. Gotta up your security game. After the initial shock of a transportation service actually trusting its passengers, I also noticed that this is my first time on a ship. Good for me. Now, on this trip, I have utilized a vehicle on land, air, and sea. ::applause::

Like I said before, when I heard the term “ferry”, I was thinking something along the lines of a slow boat to China wooden  raft where everyone is just sitting around waiting to reach the destination. But hey. This works. It’s cushy and air conditioned. There’s several bars, a restaurant, a [shallow] swimming pool, a casino, and a fitness center. Not that I used any of these amenities, but it’s nice to know they were there, lol. Among the amenities was wi-fi, but it’s a paid service, so I wrote down the notes for to construct this blog in notepad for later postage. Aka right now. Actually, this is sort of a lie. I’m actually writing this entry on notepad in my hostel room [which is pretty swank, but I’ll get to that later] for postage when I get the wi-fi password in the morning. Anyway, back to the ferry.

I had one last episode of the Office to finish up before I was fully caught up and I’d have to say, that season finale was a little lackluster. I think Season 7 will be the final season for the show, and that’d be a pretty good place to wrap it up. I went topside afterwards to get a pic of the port of Barcelona so I can replace the stadium featured pic from the last entry. I think it’s an improvement.

Everyone’s speaking Italian now. Hence, I’m up the creek with only half a paddle. I have to keep remembering that it’s grazie and not gracias. Mi dispiace. Per favore. Gah. I’m in Italy for a week. I have to get used to this. Speaking of ship conditions, I don’t have a room, or even a seat, because I’m cheap and I didn’t want to pay the supplement. Throughout the 20 hour travel time, I slept on couches in the bar and common areas. Seeing as this is the first ship I’ve ever been on, I felt like I was getting on the Titanic. With the rooming situation [or lack thereof], I now feel like I’m in steerage. Break out the irish folk instruments and we’ll have a party on the lower decks.

::a couple hours later:: So the game plan is to watch Away We Go, sleep for a bit, then wake up before dawn and chill on the top deck. Did it work out that way? Pretty much. I watched about an hour’s worth of the movie, went to sleep, woke up at dawn and chilled on the top deck. My comments and random observations via notepad? They are as follows:

– “Oh my god. Worst night’s sleep of my life.”

– “I read somewhere that a quarter of the world’s seafaring workforce is Filipino. From the looks of it, I wouldn’t have a hard time believing that figure.”

– “It’s windy and nasty on deck so I’m just gonna chill downstairs and try to find someplace where I can shampoo my hair. I know I smell.”

– ::half an hour later:: “Hell yeah, handicapped restrooms.”

– ::after watching the last part of the movie:: “Away We Go makes me so happy.”

On that subject, I don’t know what to call that genre of movie. The one where the nice, somewhat awkward, but good-hearted every-man male protagonist is put in a situation with a self-assured, mostly confident female protagonist. Away We Go, (500) Days of Summer, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno. A lot of these movies have come out in recent years and I can’t put my finger on a label for the genre. Neo-romantic comedy? Neo-romance? I don’t know. But I do know that I like it.

I was trying to use my chocolate croissants and juice boxes to hold out on buying the super-expensive yet not super-sized food at the ship’s canteen, but I gave in. 6,90 for a panini, a coke, and a mini cupcake? Booooooo.

Arrival at Civitavecchia occurred at around 7:20 PM and I asked some girl to help me find the bus to the Civitavecchia train station. The ticket-machine wasn’t working so I followed her onto the train towards Rome and she told me that we could just pay when we got there. The train ride took about an hour and change. On the way to Rome, it was basically sunflower-fields-forever. I wonder if that’s a big agricultural crop here? Or maybe it’s a way to fertilize the soil? It’s pretty crazy. In any case, we got to Termini station and everyone left, including the guy who was collecting money, so I ended up not paying. Nice. Afterwards, I took the metro to BFE Roman outskirts, forever outside of the city center, and when I got out of the metro station, I had to find the bus stop that would take me to my destination. I asked an immigrant lady in Spanish how to get there and she was gracious enough to assist me. We made small talk and she was very nice. She also correctly guessed that I was Filipino. Good job, lady. I hope you and your son caught the bus you needed.

I got to the hostel and after about half an hour of lugging my bag around, searching in these rows of tiny tents with just beds in them, I gave up and went back to reception. They must have upgraded my reservation from a tent to one of their bungalows, which I was very happy to see upon getting inside. It’s spacious, has three beds [I’m the only occupant tonight, so I pushed two together], its own bathroom, and air conditioning. Shweet. I set up and decided to do laundry. However, this plan was foiled because the hostel supermarket was closed and I couldn’t purchase detergent or body-wash [which I’m also out of]. I had to take another one for team and go with another sub-par shower, but everything will be alright come tomorrow. Which is actually in 6 hours.

So good night, all. Tomorrow is a HUGE day. Lots of sightseeing. I can feel my camera heating up just thinking about all the pictures I’m going to take.

One Response to “Roman Holiday”
  1. Sandra says:

    Away We Go is really an excellent movie. Anyway, glad you’re still doing well (minus the showering, I guess?), and having fun. See you in possibly a month! :]

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