Those who have read my previous posts know, that I wanted to go to Rome for a very long time. It was too expensive, so I and my friends went to Brussels instead. You can read how our crazy fail-filled, but very exciting trip turned out HERE and HERE. But Rome is a different story. All stars were favorable to us, so the next year after our Brussels trip, Ryanair opened a new direct destination. Guess to where? Exactly! To Rome! So as I wrote before - I believe that everything happens for a reason, so this was our big chance. I need to mention that only year (or something like that) latter Ryanair closed direct flights from Riga to Rome. So this all was just for us! (Okay I am joking, there were other travelers as well! Ha Ha!)
So we took our chance and booked our cheap flights. That was the first time when I come across the magic of changing prices for the flight. Back then I didn't know that browser spy on us, so every time I checked the price it was growing. So one night I was very angry, so I bought the tickets for me and my friends for around 60EUR (for each both ways). Even I wasn't ready to commit, I was afraid that price will continue to grow.
Can you believe that after everything what happened in Brussels my two dear friends was ready to go for another crazy trip? My boyfriend also joined, although he was one of those people who believed that only rich people can afford the luxury of traveling. He Was. I was very excited because I wanted this trip to be revanche for what happened in Brussels. I had to do everything perfectly this time.
When I sat on the plane and watched it fly into the darkness of the night, I was anxious. I couldn't admit that my plan to use Couchsurfing was a disaster. I wrote almost sixty people who offered a place to stay - NOONE agreed to give us shelter. NOONE!
I found this community and read so many great feedbacks about this site, about experience exchange, about a cultural exchange with locals and I got nothing! N.O.T.H.I.N.G. I think you can understand my frustration. Rome is an expensive city, and we still were poor as F***! So we needed alternatives for hotels, and this didn't work at all. After our previous experience with accidentally meeting locals and having a wonderful time in another country - I thought that Couchsurfing is the best combination from both. A roof above our heads and also a local who can share some tips and tricks. But NO!
I didn't know that Couchsurfing is playing hard to get and this is just a beginning of our relationship.
So we landed in Rome in the middle of the night (it seems every crazy memory from our trips happens in the night) - with no place to stay! I wanted to cry! Another fiasco! Why I have such a bumpy road every time I try to plan something for me or my friends? Is this some kind of exam - Are you good enough to be a traveler? Did I pass the first part? Whats happening?
And just when I started to accept that I am a big failure and that night we will sleep on the street with homeless people, happened something else. My friend Anita somehow find a place for us to stay. It was just for one night and she knew the guy who lived there, but it was better than sleep on these filthy streets of Rome. We just needed a direction to the city bus, which could take us to the destination. Our mistake was to ask those directions to the man who was in the uniform and looked like a very fancy policeman. The man demanded us to give him our passports, what we did. And then he got into his big car with another guy and didn't explain a thing. So there we were. Our first hour in Rome and we are without or passports and on the street.
This trip was already cursed!
The air was wet, warm and heavy. Such a contrast after clear and chilly air which is usual in my country in September. Thirst was killing me and I felt hunger slowly follow. After five minutes which felt like forever, the man returned from the car. He gave our passports back turned around and disappeared in the car. We didn't understand what just happened but relieved that we got our passports back, immediately walked away.
When we finally found the bus, we had another problem. Although we knew the name of the stop in which to get out, nowhere in the bus or on the stops wasn't any titles. We tried to communicate with locals in the bus. It was so full that it was hard to move. Nobody didn't understand. Turned out that in this chaos, even people who live there don't know such things as bus stop names. For them, it was just another unimportant detail. Somehow we got out of the loud and crowded bus. One stop before the right one. It was almost midnight when we find the address, but we were happy to meet our host. He was very nice man, and we were super grateful that he gave us a place to stay.He told us that the man who confiscated our passports was a military force charged with police duties - Carabinieri. As the locals say - wannabe police. From that moment on, whenever we needed help, we avoided them.
Exhausted we passed out on a very comfortable carpet on the living room marble floor. Windows were opened and we felt a light breeze.
I didn't know where we will stay tomorrow, but that night I found my comfort in discomfort.