Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Our street is pedestrian-friendly with only hyper-local and delivery traffic. And scooters.
Real Roman street life happens here. Dogs pee. Garbage/recycling is collected. The sun shines.
If one noted the unusual in these opening hours of our trip and called them an omen, we’re wracking up some strange ones. First, we got all boarded on our flight, then the pilot asked for our patience while they sorted something out. Full flight, but it wasn’t that. Then he came back on perhaps fifteen minutes later to say that there was a security situation (“someone made a mistake”), and we would have to return to the terminal with ALL our belongings, and be rechecked in using our boarding passes and passports. We sat some more. Eventually, they took the people needing help off first (?), then the rest of us got off. Fortunately, they let us cross the concourse to the restrooms. Lots of TSA folks lined up around us, but their faces didn’t look menacing—more ho-hum. Strange comfort in that. So we sat and stood around near our gate. Personnel went in and out the loading door. After at least a half-hour Deltoids set out some water, M&Ms, cheese crackers, and Coke products for us to nosh on. They closed the loading door. The pilot spoke to us, and said the TSA people were checking the passenger compartment. Sometime later the door opened and we were told they were almost ready to re-board us and we could see the helpful screen said our flight would leave at 6pm; I took that as a mythical round number. It was; we waited. Eventually they said to form a single line and present paperwork for rechecking, to then be returned to our seats. Sometime after that they had us back on the plane. At least four TSA people were checking hand-carried luggage, but I thought rather cursorily. Not sure the reason for all that, or what the exact problem had been. Meanwhile the line of planes ready to take off that had been held-up for the exit of the President’s plane (ah, yes, another wrinkle) diminished, and we lined up for take-off we were number five. That’s good! We took off three hours late. Despite projections by non-pilots that we would make up time, we didn’t. That meant our plan for getting through emigration, baggage, customs, and to the train was set back. And that had a ripple effect regarding us connecting with the apartment manager to get our key, not worth detailing, but gaining us another omen check-mark.
Anyway, by 4pm, everything was straightened out, we were in our apartment and off our tired feet. Does that reverse the negative omens?
Weather that had been predicted to be partly cloudy was the sunny kind of partly cloudy. After getting some cheese and bread (rolls like Mexican bolillos) from the almost-next door Carrefour Express (French grocery chain) and chowing down on them in our apartment, we began to feel better, and headed on a short walking loop to look at some brow-wrinkling sunshine (to help with jet lag) and some old buildings. And the river!
Now I’m almost on local time, JCB is napping, and I’ll have to late-post this tomorrow. Yes, despite the omens and the lack of internet in the apartment (we THOUGHT it had wifi; stay tuned…), it was a buon viaggio.