August 10 - 13
10.08.2010 - 13.08.2010 40 °C
I fell in love in Rome, it's one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I think it's my favorite so far because it's so big and there is so much to see and do. It beats Venice for me because Venice got boring really quickly and the only cool thing about Venice is the Canals and St. Marks square, Rome has so much more to offer.
My train got in at about 4 and I got a little lost on the way to the hostel but I made it there in one piece! As soon as I got there I met Trevan, an American and he invited me to go to the Colosseum with them when it got dark because it was all lit up and it was supposed to look really nice, obviously I said that I would go. A bit later a bunch of the boys sat down to play cards and I went and played cards with them. There was Cody from Idaho, who is traveling with Trevan, 2 English boys Charlie and Joe who are traveling together, and Wei from China. It was nice and chill we all just kind of hung out and drank and had fun! It's kind of common knowledge that I can be painfully shy around new people (I hate that about myself) and I think I surprised myself a little when I went and sat down with them to play cards because I didn't really receive an invite I think I kind of asked if I could play. But anyways, it was good and it was chill and after it got dark we all went for a walk to the Colosseum and took pictures and stuff and then we went back to the hostel and chilled some more.
Somewhere along the lines that night Charlie and Joe booked tickets to come to the Vatican the same time as me, I was happy about having some company but worried it was going to be awkward (more like I was going to be awkward) but the next day it wasn't like that at all. They're pretty nice boys and are pretty outgoing so it would have been hard to be shy, and it's kind of easy to make conversation with foreign people because there is a lot to talk about in terms of differences between the countries. I heard a lot of jokes about Canadians and being Canadian. It wasn't even like they were playing on stereotypes it was just everything I would do or say would somehow get turned into a Canadian joke. None of it was offending though, it was all playful. They had never met a Canadian before though so that was kind of interesting, and Charlie doesn't believe that in Canada we don't have toilets inside our house!! In the morning Wei booked a ticket to come with us as well and all of us from the hostel went down together but Trevan, Cody and Micheal (another English guy) didn't come into the Vatican because they'd already gone.
The Vatican wasn't what I expected it to be. I'm glad that I had good company because it was basically just an art museum. I don't really know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't walking around in an incredible amount of very hot, very crowded hallways looking at art. I think I was expecting a lot more about the history of the Vatican. There was some mummies which were kind of cool because I've never seen a real one before but I don't think any of us really understood what they had to do with The Vatican. We lost Joe for about an hour inside, which was horrible but there is so many people in there, and so many long corridors it's impossible to find someone easily! Wei is really funny because he is so foreign and he just didn't understand that we weren't going to visit Sixteen Chapel's, we were visiting the "Sistine Chapel" every few minutes he would ask again what it was that we were going to. Finally there was a sign that said "Sistina" (Italian) so I think he understands what it's called in Italian, not English. Wei also sat in a security guards chair in one room and Charlie told him that it was a sacred chair and then the security guard came and got mad and Wei looked so confused. Wei was adorable, he obviously had a really good heart and was a good source of entertainment to say the least.
After the Vatican Wei had to leave and catch a train so Joe, Charlie and I went and got food, and then met up with the rest of the boys and went into the Basilica and the Pope's tombs. I had to put tights over top of my shorts to go into the Basillica because your knees have to be covered and it was so hot I was so uncomfortable. But the Basillica is beautiful, it's so big, way bigger then the Sistine Chapel and it's really nice, it's where the pope does mass so of course it's way over the top. We went down into the basement of the Basilica where all the old Pope's tombs are and it was really weird. Some of the Pope's still get fresh flowers put on their little thing but Pope John Paul II still gets letters written to him, and they have a little area blocked off kind of so that people can stand there and look and cry, it was pretty sad. I can't imagine being so catholic that I would get upset about that, but I completely understand why that must be such a profound experience for some people. I, being the little shit that I am, decided to take a picture of JP II's tomb and the picture is half of a security guard getting mad at me for taking the picture, and half of the tomb itself. I feel bad for finding this funny, and I do understand that it's somewhat disrespectful but I'm sure that god has bigger things to deal with then getting mad at me for taking a picture of a remembrance area for one of his friends. After we left the Basilica and the tombs we were walking outside down this area kind of behind it to get into the main area of the St. Peter's square and I stopped to take off my tights from over my shorts because it was just too hot. The boys continued walking so they were a fair bit ahead of me and this fifty something old man starts singing the song from striptease! It was so funny, his son was probably like 16 or 17 and had that embarrassed look that kids get when their parents do something embarrassing, I can't explain how funny it was, especially because we were at one of the holiest places on earth, it just was all rather inappropriate!
After we left The Vatican we went to Trevan and Cody's new hostel because it had a swimming pool! It was so nice to go in because it was nice and cool and it was ridiculously hot walking around in Rome all day. It's not really a secret that I wear fake hair, but it's not really something that I go around telling people either (I guess now I've written it on the internet..) It's really hard to get my extensions wet and to dry them so I put my hair up to get into the pool rather then take them out so I could try and avoid explaining to the boys I was taking half my hair out of my head. I really should have known though that being the only girl with 5 boys I was going to get splashed or something, and I think I made a huge mistake telling them I didn't want to get my hair wet. So of course I ended up telling them why I didn't want to get my hair wet and I ended up getting out of the pool and taking all my little rats out of my head. It would have been embarrassing enough in front of my guy friends from Calgary who already know and who I'm really comfortable around, but it was so embarrassing in front of 5 guys I just met, and everyone else that was in the pool. I got back into the pool and I still didn't want to get my hair wet but Joe splashed me so I just went underwater and got all my hair wet, just to get it over with. Then we played freeze tag in the pool and I think I was a bit of a baby about it because I play games with Irene all day everyday so I didn't really feel like playing games, but the boys weren't too bad with me.
When we were on the metro back from their hostel this huge man, who was about 6 feet tall and had a mohawk of ringletted hair sang for us. It was the funniest thing ever, I don't think I have laughed that hard in such a long time. I took a video and without a doubt that will be posted to facebook in the next couple days. I think the guy was lonely and was looking for people to talk to because he started talking to a woman on the train about how his mum and him got into a fight. We kind of all agreed that we think he loved that we were laughing so hard. When we got back to the hostel we met some more people, there was Moses from Colombia, and Natalie from Atlanta. That night we all went to a "bar" which gave us a free shot.. of juice, and we only got the free shot of Juice after we spent 5$ on a beer, good value I must say! I love spending that kind of money on beer when I'm broke on vacation! After a while there we decided to go to the gay bar. I think I must point out that we weren't going because any of us were gay, it's just kind of a fun thing to do, and once the boys were a bit drunk it was easy to convince them it might be fun. We didn't get there until about 2 am so it was shutting down but all the gay people were still outside, and the boys got really uncomfortable really fast, so we all went back to the hostel and played drinking games for a couple hours.
The next day Charlie, Joe and I went and did some free things around Rome. We went to the Pantheon, Trevi fountain, Spanish steps. At the top of the Spanish Steps we stopped for quite a while and talked about how in England they can only build buildings as high as the queen can jump! It was really funny, and obviously I'm not quite gullible enough to believe this. After we met up with Cody and Trevan again and they came back to the hostel with us and were supposed to stay for dinner but in the end they couldn't because they weren't staying there anymore and the hostel wasn't really big enough for everyone to be there. It was sad saying goodbye to them, they're such nice guys I will hopefully see them again someday. We made Sangria, and I cooked pasta with Moses' help. We had a fantastic conversation at dinner about who should take control in the kitchen. It was pretty funny. There was also a girl from Australia, Donna, who was a pretty good source of entertainment for everyone!
We all decided kind of late that we wanted to go to a night club, and the guy who worked at the hostel said that it was far but I don't really think any of us thought it was actually going to be that far. The club ended up being sooo far, at least a 30 minute walk but the walk was pretty eventful so it wasn't really all that bad. There was a car accident between someone on a moped and a car. I'm pretty sure that the guy laying on the ground was dead because he wasn't moving and the police weren't doing anything to help him, and the ambulance wasn't there yet. It was super sad. But anyways, we got to the club and for whatever reason we didn't even end up going in, so we had to turn around and walk all the way back. While we were walking everyone stopped to take the bus but Charlie and I didn't think that the bus was going to come for a while so we kept walking back to the hostel. Of course like two minutes after the bus goes driving past us. But it was okay walking was actually pretty fun, we stopped and sat on this wall type thing across the street from the Colosseum and talked for a while, it was cute. Then we got back to the hostel and didn't end up going to bed until like 5am and we both had to get up early to take the train, bad decision.
Next morning I was so tired, I meant to get up at 830 and I think I got up around 9. My train was at 1045 and I had to get to the train station and buy a ticket, and the lines to get a ticket usually take about 30 minutes. I usually take forever to get ready and pack so the amount of time I had was really not enough, It was such a rush around morning. Saying bye to Charlie and Joe was pretty sad, I hate saying goodbye to people! But again those are two people who I really hope to see in the future! I was so comfortable around them, it really surprised me! It would be super fun if they came to Canada, or Cancun, or if I went to England! We'll see what happens!
But I ended up making my train, like just in time. I'm sure the little Asian guy sitting across from me thought I was a mess. I like ran to the train, which was brutal carrying my 100 pound backpack and got on and hit this woman in the head with my backpack when I was looking for open seats. It was so embarrassing. Then I cried a tiny bit thinking about how much I was going to miss Rome. I'm sure those tears weren't all because I was that emotional, because usually I don't cry about silly things, but I'm sure they had a lot to do with being hungover and being so exhausted. Then I fell asleep and slept all the way to Florence and had to be woken up by a conductor. Such a classic Kendahl morning.
I think I liked Rome so much because I met some great people who made it so much fun, but I also think I learned a bit more about myself. I think I might not be quite as shy as I think I am, or maybe I'm growing out of being so shy. It's actually something that is really strange to me but I REALLY like the fact that I might be getting past that. Being shy, I think, might be the one of the worst characteristics someone can have, it sounds dumb but it actually makes life hard. It's easier to be outgoing and be able to always be comfortable around people no matter how well you know them. Being shy is horrible because sometimes it's just so awkward, or people get the wrong impression of you just because you are a shy person. They might assume that your stuck up, or that your a bitch, when really the only problem is you just can't think of much to say. I think this goes back to the whole pushing myself and growing from this experience. If I change and am no longer shy, or not as shy, from this point forward I'll be content with my decision of going to Europe alone. This type of change is more then welcome as far as I'm concerned.
Well that was Roma, this entry got so long, I hope people actually read the whole thing!