3 airports, 2 flights, 1 car ride, and 30 hours of no sleep. I think I can safely say that traveling from my home in Southern California, to LAX, to LHR, to FCO, and finally to my new home in Rome, was absolutely exhausting.
In addition to my general tiredness, my first day was off to a rather rough start. After sweating profusely throughout each airport, I managed to successfully claim my luggage, and with the 7 others I had traveled with on the last flight, we found the drivers that would take us to our apartments. Upon leaving the U.S., we were told that because we arrived after the Rome Center closed, the drivers would take us directly to our apartments and give us the keys to them. When meeting the drivers, we found that there was a bit of a language barrier, and the driver was very confused and had a very hard time finding my apartment. In total, I was in the car for a good hour and a half. At this point, my new roommate and I were still keyless and did not have the numbers of our other two roommates, but a woman actually showed up to give us the keys. (I actually still have no clue how that one worked out, but my theory is that the driver somehow managed to contact her amidst all of the earlier confusion.) Then we struggled with trying to fit our giant suitcases into the tiny elevator, trying to figure out how the elevator actually worked, and trying to find our actual apartment (there was no number to indicate which one was ours). After all of that, we FINALLY made it in. As a side note, the apartment complex I’m in is absolutely adorable and is basically what I’ve imagined every Italian home to look like.
After settling in a bit, my roommate and I were pretty ravenous at this point, so we decided to get dinner. We ended up getting takeaway (also known as takeout to us) lasagna, and headed back up to our apartment. We struggled with the front gate lock for about 5 minutes, but were lucky that someone exited the building and let us in. Then we couldn’t get our apartment door open at all, and we were “locked out” for at least an hour. The worst part of being locked out was that we couldn’t even eat the delicious lasagna that we had for lack of utensils. The landlord finally arrived, and we felt pretty dumb because he unlocked the door in just ONE try. I chalked it up to the fact that you apparently need very strong fingers to work the huge key in this door. (Okay but seriously, I have also never seen, nevertheless use, a key this big before!)
Following that whole ordeal, I was finally able to go to bed after multiple struggles within 30 hours. I was so thankful that my day was over and here’s to a new, exciting adventure studying abroad in the beautiful city of Rome. Until next time, ciao!