The MidLife Adventuress

Seeking Breathless Wonder in the World

Waking up in Roma

December 8th, 2015


We must look as though we are missing something.

Which must be why strange men, speaking a language strange to my ears keep coming up to us.

With one and two word sentences I respond.

No  -no Taxi, Grazie-   ATM?

And I follow one…to another circle of men

no, no, no,

this is not what I want.

And then off we go to an ATM but wait, this does not look like what I need.

I think there is a surcharge for exchange at this ATM, but I am not sure?

  I am not sure of anything right about now

Except that I don’t want to follow strange men anywhere, anymore-

Bye bye-    Grazie, Grazie

This happens in the span of a few minutes, but it also happened to me last time I landed at FCO.

Exhaustion and Excitement all at the same time.

As it was last time, this time it is the same; a minor detail not researched in advance…

where to find an ATM.

Note to self- research where the ATMs are before you land in a foreign airport!


It’s a minor mess up of not knowing where the ATM is because if I keep walking towards the glass doors

there should be someone holding up a card with my name on the other side.

…And there is


I reserved a shuttle before I left home with


After nearly 24 hours and too many time zones to count flying in a plane from Hawaii to get to Rome,

this is the best option for us, 45 euro to take us to the Termini Rail station from FCO.

 Stress free arrivals and departures is my goal and where I will splurge

-taxis or shuttles, to get me to and from airports to wherever I am staying-

the cost is so worth it

-safe & easy arrivals and departures.

Our excitement overtakes as we see the sights of Rome on the drive to the Termini

– look there at that building with the beautiful dome, and look is that the coliseum;

 as we stare out the window and  ignore the driver-

did he really  just give a woman pushing a baby stroller that hand gesture as she starts to walk where he wants to go,

And  did she give it right back to him

with a few choice words as she cuts across lanes of traffic

not caring that’s she’s messing with my stress free arrival?

traffico roma[1]

Aahhh….. Italy!

We have arrived.

 At the station we head straight to the Kiosk to buy a train ticket and get some Euros from the ATM.

The purchase of the train tickets to Orvieto is easy,

but the ATM,

this simple transaction that I do countless times in my life at home and even abroad,

is more than it seems I can accomplish right now.

Exhaustion set back in.scaled-jetlags[1]

We decide to wait. We really don’t need money right now.

After all, we will be in Orvieto in about 1 ½ hours, we can get money there,

which should feel more calm and safe than in the train station,

where we are feeling unsure in doing things that we normally don’t think twice about doing.

But, while waiting for our train we decide we need something to drink.

So we have a plan,

which I like/need,

 two of us will stay by the luggage,

 G will go off to just get a small amount from the ATM so that we can buy a fresh juice smoothie from the little place that does not take credit cards.

Why we decide it took two people to guard our little bundle of carry on only luggage

and send one person, who has never been to Europe

 off to do this challenging task of getting money out of a machine is beyond me.

Today I  see the flaw in this logic

& can only chock it up to foggy thinking after flying ½ way around the world.

Maybe we need something a little stronger then green juice?

Italy Swiss Land 2015 (3)

Off she goes and soon comes back her tale that she went to the woman at the glass booth,

not the ATM as we had planned for her to do

and she gave her this much in dollars and she only got this much back.

Do we think that’s right?

Aah well… I’m sure when we are thinking straight it will all make sense.

But right now we have money to go get our juice and start the drama of waiting for our platform to be announced.

So here is my question to the schedulers of trains in Europe,

Why do they wait so long to post the platform for each train?

Do they really not know which track until 10 minutes before the train is scheduled to pull in?

Or do they just like to build suspense & drama?

Which now begins for us.

 So many questions to ask in our heads again and again as we stand with others in front of the big board.2c1b05aedd6d10d132534f5352ce97f9[1]

Are we reading the ticket right? Why is it not showing on the board yet? It is gonna show-right?

And will we have enough time to get on board when it does finally show?

… until finally we can let our breath out & say out loud there it is-

that’s it right?

That’s our platform, right?

 and when we all agree

…the dash to the platform begins.

And my next question I think as I am situated in my seat,

& why, if you are traveling on a first class ticket your car is the one that is furthest down the platform?

Shouldn’t it be the opposite?

A Few take aways from our arrival in a foreign country;

 Either bring a little bit of money of that country with you

or research at home exactly where to get it.

 But the biggest take away,

because you just can’t plan for everything-

~Go with the flow~

~Let it be~

 I will need this sage advice more than once on this adventure.


and so it begins….

What stories will I see,

what stories will I hear?

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