First night in Rome. 03/02/08


March 1st 2008 9:45pm

I have just gotten back to the my hotel room (302) at Roma Park Hotel after having drinks with some tour mates. At first I did not think I would get along with any of them but after a while they seemed all right.

If anything it would have been the days events that lead to jumping to conclusions.

Both of my flights on British airlines were late leaving and arriving, yet they still manage to not get my bag on the flight. I waited for over an hour bouncing back and forth from the long snaking conniver belt. I wonder through the baggage area getting mixed directions by employees on where to go to file a baggage complaint. Once I got to the right area at the very right of the airport I waited another 30 minutes in line to report my missing bag. 15 minutes later I asked for compensations , I was told to go upstairs to speak to an customer service agent. I find my way upstairs and speak to an agent hover around the British airways check in counter. I explain my situation and after a few moments he told me I was not qualified for compensation as I would receive my bag that night. Not sure what he was trying to accomplish when he told me “Besides it Sunday. Everything is close you wouldn’t be able to buy anything anyways.”

I found out during Contiki pre tour meeting on the 4 th floor of the hotel in the breakfast room that 2 other couples (all Canadian) had there luggage lost. Oddly enough none of us were on the same flight as each other.

After dealing with my baggage issue I search high and low for where I was suppose to go for my transfer. Since I was late there was no one waiting for me when I got through arrivals. I finally found it by chance when I went to a window and ask for help. A gentleman pointed to a small sign with the contiki logo. A women came and arrange for my ride with a man named Alesso. But of course not without him putting up a fuss about it first.

Alesso drove like a mad man, speeding and swerving in and out of lanes. Reminded me of a scene from the moving “Under the Tuscan Sun” when Italian gentleman explains how the Italian few traffic lights “Green means go, go, go, yellow means hurry up.” He says. “And red?” She asks him curiously. “Just a suggestion.”

Once at the hotel I checked in and realised the transfer company had taken the wrong voucher. But thankfully in the end it didn’t matter.

Tammy my roommate from Chicago had already arrived and was settled in for a nap. She was a wonderful person who after hearing my circumstance, she kindly offered me her toiletries so I could shower. THANK GOD she did after almost 24 hours I really stunk!

The receptionist gave me directions to a grocery store but with no assurance it would be open. Italy being a Catholic country, about 99.9% of things are closed on Sundays. I found the grocery store — but like suspected it was closed.

At 6pm we had out meeting to discuss times and documents. At 7:30 we had dinner. We were served delicious anti pasta, Salad with a balsamic vinaigrette type dressing and mystery meat. *Author’s note: We still don’t know what kind of meat it was. Dessert was a chocolate cake with a chocolate sauces.

After dinner Tammy convinced me with little effort to join the rest of the group at a bar, right out the door down the street, around the corner then right up the street. It was an okay bar, with a free buffet. A red bull and Vodka cost 8 euros. I left after one drink. I was tired, bored and really wanted to wait for my luggage to arrive so I can hug it and promise it we would never part.

On to Venice tomorrow.
7:30 Wake up
8:00 Breakfast
8:45 bags on bus.


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