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Matty’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 08 Aug 2007

Location: Roma, Italy

MapBuon Giorno! Now that I've exhausted all of my Italian, it's time for some good ol' English.

I appear to be in the Eternal City at the moment, soaking in some sun and fending off the local Gypsies with a sharp stick. Zah! Zah! That's for Jeff.

I can't complain too much about it, though. I definitely enjoy this place more than Paris. The locals are comparably smelly.

Walked around the Coloseum and the old Forum yesterday by myself. I suppose you're never truly alone when you can latch onto English tour groups. Did you know they have an arch here built by Emperor Titus after returning back from war victorius in the year 120 C.E.? I do now.

I'm staying in a nice enough hostel in a room full of British girls. We have a shower and toilet ensuite, and I was forced to meet all of them while covering myself, dripping wet. Who forgets their towel on the bed? Me. They were cool though, and were even sweet enough to share their booze with me. No going out in the evenings, as I have less money to spend than one of said Gypsies.

Yeah, I buzzed my hair off yesterday afternoon. I was hotter than ass. Try as I might to pick the crummiest, dirtiest, hole-in-the-wall barber shop I could, I was still dinged with a bill for 35 euro afterwards. Roma:1 Matt:0 The guy pretended not to speak English, and had no prices posted. The other dude across the street wanted 16 euro for a small load of laundry. A pox on his family!

Did the Vatican this morning, and by using my super stealth techniques I was able to avoid almost all lineups. What I've heard can take hours took me all of 5 minutes to get through.

I joined what I believe now to be a pilgrimmage of some sort by accident, thinking it was another tour group. If there was a lineup, I walked into it and followed. This is the cool part. These pilgrims got to hear a sermon from the Pope. We sat in an auditorium for a few thousand people, and he would read off the various lists of pilgrims from all the different countries. When he got to your group, everyone stands up and cheers/sings for him. Everyone around me started cheering when he mentioned somewhere in the Czech Republic, so of course I decided to join in. I could be a pilgrim if push came to shove. And, it was super easy to deceive the head of the Catholic church. I'm putting it on my resume.

The rest of the Vatican was what I expected. The Basilica was much the same as the other cathedrals I've seen, except the whole damned thing is covered in gold and murals.

Tomorrow morning I'm heading to the port city of Bari (or Brindisi, I'm not sure) to grab a ferry to Corfu. It's only 16 hours once I get on the boat, so I hope I have enough time to catch my breath. Wooboy, time flies when you're slowly drifting through the Mediterranean Sea.

I'm off to go find some gelato, as I have not yet experienced it. Fancy frozen yogurt, here I come!