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…
Afraid of missing my train again I woke up at 6:30am to catch the 8:30am train to Ljubljana, Slovenia. It was a straight through journey. No changes. I just had to get there on time.
I slept badly. My bunk buddy snoring so loudly I thought there was an earthquake, as well as shouting in his sleep. It’s not really permissible to put a pillow over a stranger’s face, so I put it over my own instead, hoping to drown out the sound but with little to no avail.
I gathered my things and left. There was a metro stop right outside of Hostel Maverick so I didn’t have far to walk. I went to a bakery and bought some pastries for my journey, caught the metro, and in the bleary white morning light, found myself at my station with an hour to spare. Continue reading