So far, any minute I have spent in Rome has been painful. I left Cortona early in the morning and Amie and Issa dropped me off at the station. By my guess, I would have nearly three hours in Rome to wander just a little, maybe catch one sight and then head out. It was not to be.
It took 45 minutes of waiting to get my bags checked. I still have no clue where the lockers are located. I guess it´s the best theft deterrent when the people with the bags can´t find it. Then I wanted to buy some stamps and mail four postcards. The tourist info desk said to buy them from a Tobacconist. The Tobaconnist I find says no and points me across the street to the Post Office.
Guess what? There´s no machine. The only way to buy stamps is to wait in line. For a week, I´ve been getting used to the "Italian Line" which isn´t so much a line as it is a mob with people constantly jocking to get up front. And all I want are four stamps -- quarto stampe. Instead, the Italian Post Office (at least this Roman one) has you take a number where you will be served by ONE window. This one window also seems to be where government forms, paychecks or anything involving a small stack of papers on the part of the patron and a whole bunch of typing on the part of the clerk.
So I have my number, 78 and I watch as we s-l-o-w-l-y count up. Occasionally, the numbers zip by and I realize that if I am not up and out of my seat within 10 seconds of my number coming up, I lose my spot. I watched the counter like a hawk.
Needless to say, all I have seen of Rome is the main train station, gypsies and police telling me I´m not allowed to sit on the ground and eat lunch. Well, I did get a chance to see the temple of Minerva from the train as I left the station. Maybe another time when I´m in the mood for the bustle of that big city, but until then, Roma, don´t bother calling.