I have seen a sunrise before. Those who know me to be a late riser may not believe it, but I have. Several times, in fact. What I had never seen before was a sunrise from a unique vantage point: Up in the air. And that’s the first thing I saw in Rome. A peach and gold horizon framed by dark hills. Another reason to love window seats. It’s possible to have that first glimpse of a city before one even lands. As the glow spread across the sky, the plane dipped lower, and I saw the city, its lights glittering like jewels. It happens to be the first time houses and cars have really looked like toys to me from up above.
The hotel allowed me to check in early, real early. They also allowed me to feast on their delicious breakfast after I informed them that I would be leaving earlier still for day trips to Florence and Pompeii so perhaps I could sample their glorious breakfast, about which I’ve read so much in all the reviews, today? Stefano, the guy at the reception desk, said, “Of course,” and was kind enough to call the breakfast room downstairs to announce my arrival. Impeccable service so far.
Okay, so I’m writing this in a rush because I want to get out of this café and walk around some more, but one thing I noticed as soon as I checked into the hotel and scoped out my room was this little difference between hotels in Europe and hotels in North America. (Maybe it’s the star-level that matters?) There aren’t any signs in the bathroom here telling you how to let housekeeping know that you want to reuse your towels. I found that kinda refreshing. (No pun intended, really.) I mean, I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation, I don’t want to be made to feel guilty about wanting fresh towels. I’m sure there are people who will differ greatly on this and think anyone who doesn’t appear to care about the environment and show it in every possible way is a God-forsaken monster…but I do like fresh linen when shelling out a fair amount to stay in a hotel while on vacation. Is that so wrong?
Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention, I got duped by the goddamned cabbie who drove me from Termini station to the hotel. He was super-friendly and I suppose I let down my freaking guard. As soon I got here too. Maybe it’ll make me be really, really, careful for the remainder of my trip. I’m so mad at myself for that. So mad!
Edit II: What happened was this: The cabbie was being really nice, pointing out different monuments, giving me history lessons, connecting with me by telling me that he went to Canada for his honeymoon 3 years ago, things like that. He stopped right in front of the hotel entrance, opened my door and told me what the fare was. As I took the euros out of my wallet, he removed my suitcases from the trunk and placed them near the doorway. I handed him the cash (with tip!!!) and turned to pick up my purse and, in the meantime, he made it seem like I had shortchanged him. He showed me the bills I had handed him and it appeared I owed him another 20 euros. I thought, since I don’t deal with euros everyday, I must have got the bills mixed up. Besides, he’d been so damn nice, why the hell would he pull a fast on me, right? *Buzz!!* Wrong! He had hidden the 20 I’d given him! And my gullible, sleep-deprived mind failed to realise it. After he left, I sort of remembered taking the right amount from my wallet because I even added a freaking tip. Couldn’t do anything about it then, of course. After checking in and everything, I counted the remaining euros to find the total didn’t add up and it was only then that I knew for sure I’d been taken for a ride. (Yes, pun is intended here.)