The air in Rome is dirty. I can feel it weighing on my chest. Each breath heavy with the fumes of busy city life. I realise how spoiled I am to have grown up in the country with air clean and crisp like cut glass. A man in workman’s trousers, a thin puffer jacket, and a blue baseball cap, sharpens knives collected from the surrounding restaurants and cafes in the boot of his car. The grinding noise blends into the hubbub of sirens, car engines, and motorbikes busying the street below. We are on the first floor of the apartment block we are staying in, in Via Silvestri. Opposite us, varieties of pine and palm trees, grow up taller than the blocks of flats they lean close to. Down on the street, a man wheels three crates, overflowing with rocket, around the corner. Matthew is working on his paper for Friday. We drink espresso, with a bowl of olives and cold cured meats that we bought yesterday from a local delicatessen, between us. In an hour or so, we will take a tram to the centre of Rome, and begin exploring…
I read over my emails, checking that I had downloaded the correct PDFs for my seat reservations. I was moving on to Konstanz and leaving Verona. I opened up the email from Interrail, and scanned the information. That was when I noticed it. The email confirmation I’d received did a) not include my ticket reservation, and b) stated very clearly that the tickets were prone to being found in people’s Spam folders.
I am someone who habitually clears out the Spam and Bin folders in my email account without so much as a quick glance.
I am spontaneous and fast moving. But sometimes, it seems, it pays to pause, read your emails, and take a moment. Continue reading
I planned nothing for Verona.
I forced myself to commit to a blank schedule.
I would get there, sleep, and see what happened. Continue reading
“Let’s have cake for breakfast.”
We wandered the streets searching for somewhere serving something traditional.
Eventually we found a cafe with a window display of freshly baked Slovenian cakes. The establishment was called Gujžina Prekmurska Gostilna.
Naomi had tried Prekmurska Gibanica on her first morning here whilst I was still on the train, but I was yet to try the layers of filo pastry, poppy seed, apple, and cottage cheese.
We entered the dimly lit cafe and took a seat by the window.
The Prekmurska Gibanica was delicious. Not too sweet and not too creamy. It balanced the flavours beautifully. What I’d thought would be a gelatinous or soggy texture, was instead smooth. Continue reading