Funny enough, this post has sat in my drafts for over 6 years. Intended to be finished, at some time, somewhere… but as usual I find myself with a wretched lack of time – despite becoming bored from time to time in this new season that 2020 brought. So without much further thought, I will publish it, so it can live as a memory in the ether with all the other letters I have published in the past.
Back in 2013.
On October 21st I caught the late afternoon flight from Toronto to Rome, Fiumicino with my sister for a fairly intense three week stint through Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. To say it was intense… is probably an understatement! We did A LOT of planning before hand, looked up maps, read reviews and nonetheless we were both still overwhelmed with just about everything. The flight was somewhat comfortable and we both lucked out with an empty seat next to us so we were able to contort ourselves to get a bit of sleep in cattle class.
We landed in Rome very early on Tuesday morning only to wait at the luggage belt… and wait… and wait… to discover our luggage had gone missing. Apparently it never made the connection in Toronto and we were thus luggage-less.
We made our way to the apartment we booked through Airbnb, did some quick exploring of the subway system and spent most of the first day just dead from the trip over and overwhelmed with the weather and the language. At one point my old ragged sunglasses were pickpocketed by a kid, I confronted him – because apparently I’m not afraid of little boy street gangs – and we had a bit of a standoff with him offering me different sunglasses back – before I said gah, go fuck yerself, and the subway door closed and we moved on.
We spent two nights in Rome, and were invited to a club by our very Italian Airbnb host… but jetlag and lack of bags led us to decline. This was followed by two nights in Naples where our bags chased us…. to three nights in Rome, two nights in Padova (outside of Venice) and two nights in Milan after which we parted ways and I went to Germany with C. my road-trip-side-kick-epic-person, and my sister went off to see her friend in the Netherlands.
I spent three days in Germany, visited the inspiration to the original Disney Castle, and rounded off my trip with 6 very, very hectic days in the Netherlands involving a HUGE amount of driving to obtain my new Dutch passport.
Somewhere along the way I broke my heart, and I haven’t figured out yet how to tape it back together again. Even now in 2021 I look back and I wonder if I still left a few crumbs behind along the way somewhere.