How to Gauge Your Trip to Rome

It wasn't my turn to book the accommodations for the trip. I arrived into Rome a day earlier than my friends so that I could sleep off the jet lag. Remembering none of the five years of French I took in school, and knowing no Italian, I thought to myself, "how hard could it be to find the hotel?" I figured out how to buy a metro ticket from the tobacco shop, hopped on a bus with a print out from the hotel website and headed to the east side of Rome.

About 3/4 of the way there the bus stopped. The bus driver said something and everyone starting getting off the bus. Well, everyone but me since I had no idea what he just said. Luckily, there was a college student on the bus who realized I didn't have a clue. She explained that the driver was not continuing on the route and we all had to get off and wait for the next bus. Apparently this is not unusual for the bus system there. Drivers just decide to go back and they kick everyone off the bus.

The girl who helped me spoke really good Italian, but had, to my ears, an English accent. I asked where she was from and she said Australia. Who knew there is a huge Italian population in Australia? The things you learn. I thanked her for the help and asked if she knew where my hotel was located. She asked the guy next to us at the bus stop. He seemed to think it was just a few blocks down the street, so with my backpack on I took off on foot.

After several blocks I came to the hotel he thought was mine. It wasn't. I ended up walking another five blocks to get to mine. Along the way I passed by a dead cat. While insignificant, yet sad, at the time, I didn't realize how valuable the cats would be in gauging our trip. You see, the more alive the cats were we saw, the better our trip went. And the last couple days when we saw no cats, well, those were amazing days.

Here's how it looked in my journal:

Cat Status
Day 1: Dead - side of the road - orange
Day 2: Alive - sitting still - calico
Day 3: Alive - running
Day 4: Alive - one eye missing, teeth missing, wanted to be petted
Day 5: Dying on side of road - orange
Day 6: Dead - side of road - grey
Day 7: Alive - black
Day 8: Monday - No Cats
Day 9: Tuesday - No Cats - No rain either
Day 10: Wednesday - No cats till I got home. Mine were all fine :)

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