Waking up slightly (very) hungover, I haphazardly threw the rest of my shit into one of my rapidly deteriorating bags and dragged my useless carcass to the train station. Suffice to say that having two bags cutting into my shoulders while walking half a mile under the cloud of the past night was less than fun. I somehow made it to the train and threw myself into the seat, settling in for the 90-minute ride. I read last night’s post and was amazed at how not terrible it was. Shout out drunk me. Some other shit happened after I left the bar last night, but I left that in Florence along with a sizable chunk of my soul.
I was less than enthused to be coming to Rome, and my incredibly limited exposure to it so far has done nothing to soothe my fears. I walked around for a few hours today and my initial impression is that I’m in a significantly older and more historically significant New York. Constant horns blaring, traffic and people stuffed everywhere. Green spaces incredibly hard to find (Just to clarify, I’m not some big nature guy. In fact, I find nature to be incredibly inconvenient most of the time. But I like reading outside and that looks like it may be difficult here). The buildings are more colorful here, but they’re just as omnipresent and almost as ominous. Now this comparison isn’t necessarily an indictment. Actually, New York is my second favorite city in America (New Orleans is obviously first. I will 100% fight you if you disagree). But it took me almost three years of pretty regular travel to New York to penetrate the hard, uncaring wall of the city and see it for the incredible cultural cornerstone that it is. I uhhhhhhh, don’t have three years to be in Rome.
On the other hand, this hostel seems pretty fucking dope. It’s run by two local brothers who actually seem to give a shit about the people staying here. They make free breakfast every morning and pasta every night, using that as a way to hang out with everyone who stays here. The hostel is composed of just 3 bedrooms and a kitchen basically, but it has the feel of a really close-knit dorm building during freshman orientation. During the pasta tonight, I met a few guys who were going to some apparently significant fountain and asked if I wanted to go. Avoiding the temptation to just go to bed, I accepted and we went barhopping.
It was kind of surreal for each drink to have a world famous structure as a backdrop. The fountain (which, fine, whatever, I’ll cave. Here’s a picture) and the Coliseum were the most recognizable of them, but every place we went was shadowed by some incredible building or monument. I’m still relatively torn on whether or not I want to stay here for a week (if y’all want to Venmo me a grand, I’ll happily hop on down to Napoli for a few days and report from there), but tonight at least got me to consider that it may be a decent investment of my time.
I have returned to the hostel to find the room, with 6 available beds, full of 5 seemingly not unattractive women. This hostel keeps getting better and better, although I really can’t think of many situations in which this ends well. But long-term thinking is for the boring and right now I’m settling into my new Roman reality. Please remind me not to make any “When in Rome” jokes. That would be akin to writing a listicle, and it’s not April yet. Buonasera bitches.