Travel Stories #1

Hello All

I had a very interesting day in Pompeii yesterday. The train ride from Rome to Pompeii was very beautiful. Due to a personal financial crisis it was necessary to wait for an English speaking tour group to enter the Pompeii Ruins so that I could tag along with them thus avoiding the ghastly entry fee of 10 euros. After much waiting I managed to blend in amongst an American tour group and pass through the entry gates with them undetected.  I was very fortunate because my American tour group had hired a guide, Stefane, who was very knowledgeable. Unfortunately my cover was blown at the Ancient Bath House when Stefane asked me a question in front of the tour group. My Australian accent made it readily apparent that I was not a legitimate member of the tour group so I made a very hasty and embarrassing exit.

I think the Roman Gods must have been angered by my failure to pay the entrance fee as the train ride back to Rome was my most eventful journey to date. The fun began at Naples when my friendly face attracted a drunk and dirty Hobo (aka homeless man, bum, itinerant) who sat opposite me on the train. I spent the next 2 hours enjoying the Hobo’s enthusiastic singing voice and unique body odour. It all turned pear shaped when a group of teenagers entered my train cabin and decided to entertain themselves by stirring up the Hobo. Despite my protests the teenagers started spitting water at the Hobo and swearing at him. Well you can guess what happened next- the Hobo stood up and went absolutely berserk. For some unknown reason the deranged Hobo decided to lash out at the person who was closest to him and that lucky person was me. Before I knew it the Hobo was standing over me and slapping me in the face and kicking me in the shins while the rest of the passengers watched on in amusement. My arse kicking by the Hobo only ended when the elderly conductor entered the cabin and bravely intervened. The scorecard now stands at Hobo’s 2 Roland 0.

The last 8 days in Italy have been amazing with the highlights being Michelangelo’s David in Florence, the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican and the Italian food in general. Unfortunately my bank balance dictates that I have to cut my trip short. It appears that Greece and Turkey will have to wait another day. I head to London tomorrow to try and find work so this will be my last email for a while. If I don’t find work fairly quickly then I might be seeing my Aussie friends and family sooner rather than later.