What is left of my addled brain boggles when I think that we arrived in Rome a year ago. An entire year since we hit the chaos that is Fumincino and confronted what we have come to know as the “Roman” attitude.
We arrived with two laptops, 7 bags – Laurent was en route from Beijing and we had to bring enough clothes to last until our personal effects arrived in late September – and a dog kennel with one pissed off puppy inside. After being deserted at Dorval Airport, subjected to the cargo hold of an airplane for 8 hours, the p/o’d puppy had been left at the locked door of the baggage room just after the flight arrived and stayed there until an hour later when a porter let us in on the secret of his whereabouts.
Prior to that the wait for our luggage was only 45 minutes (fast for Rome) but our attempts to get baggage carts had been complicated. The automatic cart dispenser would only accept E1.00 coins and all we had were bills; all the change machines, conveniently located right next to the baggage carts, where out of order; and the Exchange counter didn’t make change only exchange as the young lady laconically advised us when she could tear herself away from her conversation. So we accepted the services of that porter, who up until then had been eying us in an amused fashion – is it too cynical to think he may have sabotaged the change machines?
We had spent the previous days in Montreal completing the last of the required paperwork for importing a dog into the EU including a document signed and dated by a Vet the day before departure!!!!! With a file as thick as Gibbons’ Decline and Fall we marched up to three Customs Officers busily reliving the wrong plays in Sunday's football match. Reese, us and our reading material where of no concern, Roma had lost and it had to be explained. We were impatiently waved along as the inconvient nuisances we would become if they were forced to complete those silly formalities imposed on the Italian worker by the arrogant EU. Despite what Mr Gibbons says it wasn’t debauchery that destroyed the Roman Empire it was total disinterest.
Then for the next two hours we sat in a typical Monday morning Roman traffic jam.
I suppose at that point a sane person would have turned around and boarded the next plane for home but sanity has never been one of my strong points. So I stayed – at times questioning why, but stay I did.
05 agosto - Dedicazione di Santa Maria Maggiore