20 May 2005


1. Go to Roma Termini train station.
2. Go to the ticket desk, and greet Sullen Ticket Woman (STW).
3. Ask for 2 tickets to Certaldo on Saturday.
4. Receive glare. And one ticket.
5. Ask for the other ticket.
6. Be slightly bemused when STW says No. Uno. and assure her that you'd like a second ticket.
7. Receive uberglare and second ticket.
8. Ask what time the train leaves, and what time the connecting trains leave, because you KNOW that you have to change trains.
9. Become a little frustrated when STW spits No. It's fine. You go.
10. Eventually give up with STW, and having not the faintest idea of when and where your train leaves, head to the information office.
11. Take number and wait your turn (73). Like many other information offices, this one has 7 desks. There are 2 people working. They are up to number 51. As you stand around, one of the assistants leaves... for the day? ... you don't know.
12. Wait. The people who have number 64 spend about 30 minutes with the customer service officer.
13. Decide to ask the quick information point outside, to see if they can help. Get annoyed when she says that (A) you have to pay an extra charge at the ticket desk occupied by STW and that (B) your train doesn't exist, despite you having a ticket for it.
14. Opt to wait around for the information office to get around to your number. Wait. And wait. Eventually the man comes back from his break.
15. Talk to aforementioned man. Discover that he is A SAINT!!! He shows you all of your options on the ticket you have, and says that you can upgrade for 5EUR if you want to go on a faster train. He sets everything up for you, prints out a schedule, tells you some nice places to visit.
16. Leap across the desk and give him a bear hug and a huge kiss and promise to marry him and his 17 sons if he wants.
17. Go and drink a... ... ... BEER! I DRANK A BEER (that wasn't Guinness)... this is what I was driven to!

YES, FOLKS, WE HAVE FACED THE ITALIAN RAIL BEUROCRACY AND HAVE LIVED TO TELL THE TALE!!! After this, I swear, everything else will be a piece of piss.

Other than that, Rome has been good to us. We have been very touristy, and will just give you a brief rundown.

19TH. Walked to Roman Forum and wandered through the ruins. Really surreal to think how long they've been standing there, and that a few hundred years ago people were herding their sheep between the pillars... Then to Bocca della Verita, the Mouth of Truth. I stuck my hand in the mouth and told Dan I loved him and it BIT MY HAND OFF!!! No, not really. Anyway, it's cool, but not as cool as the original in the cafe on Lygon St... Then walked up to the Pantheon, where we got gelati (recommended by Lonely Planet AND US!) and ate it while sitting at the base of the pillars and watching the sunny world go by. Went in, looked around, saw the hole in the roof, saw a million signs that told us there were 22 holes in the floor for the rain to drain away... Back to hostel via the Spanish Steps (OK to sit on, but really nothing spectacular. We would probably sit here if we were studly locals and wanted to crack onto tourists) and Trevi Fountain (which looked even tackier in daylight... we saw it the night before as well). Then The Incident as described above. We went out for dinner with some Americans to a great place around the corner. It's called Africa, and the cuisine is... African... (recommended by Let's Go AND US!)

20TH. Up bright and early, ready to train it to the Vatican, only to discover that the public transport system was on strike. Well, the workers were, anyway, and buses don't just drive themselves... So we walked. It was nice. After looking in St Peter's (squishing up against the glass to gawk at the Pieta), we headed straight to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Argh, the people! So many! And the Art! So much of it! And the GOLD... the catholic church is really lacking in BLING, we think. Please donate heftily to rectify this situation. WOW. The Last Judgement is amazing! It's so much bigger than I expected, even though the chapel itself feels much smaller than I thought it would. God and Adam are a long way away. Also got to see, in the Creation of the Sun picture, the very firm buttocks of the figure not usually shown in the art books (check them out, on the left of the sun, while God is on the right). Hilarious. Like Swiss Guards! They look like clowns! ... for all you Yugioh fans, they look like Arcana (the one with the other Dark Magicians)...

And tomorrow, we are heading to Certaldo... WE HOPE! We also hope we'll be there in time for kick off (we should be...) (but who knows...) (this set of brackets has no use at all). For those of you who are obsessed with a certain film (Mike), no, we haven't seen it, and probably won't til we're back in England. For those of you obsessed with Gelati, get yourselves over here. It's like Lygon Street, only there's a whole city of it!!!

Please write comments, or we won't post any more!


  1. i wrote a comment, it was really long, then it expired. all because the computer keeps telling me to be patient, my free xxx teen porn will load shortly. however my main points were these:

    1. cleo gave me cellulite cream. soon my arse will have 40% less cellulite. by the time you get back to oz it will be so smooth you won't even see it.

    2. read "the kappa child" by hiromi goto.

    3. play equipment is good. one day i will built a giant adult sized play equipment farm in the middle of a park somewhere and die a happy woman, climbing through the tyres.

    so long, sistern, enjoy all them wog places with their faggy art and shit :) wish me luck in my battle with unwanted bad porn popups that won't go away.

    love youse!

  2. Jonny Switchblade3:02 pm, May 21, 2005

    You European whores! You get cuddly with Spain and then BANG your all flirty with Italy. Soon you'll be professing your undying love for France. Then you'll be touching Germany in intimate places...Have you no scruples!?!

    We have scruples galore here in Melbourne... It is a nice Autumn day, the sun is out but it's icy temperature-wise (at least icy by antipodean standards...) and the wind doth blow cold through the trees...reminding us of absent friends...Well, not really. It reminds me that I must buy a nice pair of gloves so my fingers don't fall off. You wont have to worry so much about such things, Rachel, now you've only got one arm. You should have stuck a leg in and then it would have bit it off and you could get a wooden peg leg. We could get you a parrot and then you'd pretty much have all the credentials of a blood thirsty pirate (you might also need to get a thirst for blood...It's filled with red-iron-salty goodness and everything else a healthy pirate needs)

    Keep happy and safe and well... and in other nice positive states of being.

    Jonny. S (Deft in all kinds of slashing, stabbing and scraping)

    PS: I do regularly read your lovely blog, but alas, don't always leave msgs due to time constraints. I, for one, enjoy it and vouch for you keeping it up if it's not too difficult.

    PPS: The yabbie is terrifying...he reminds me of Tony the Prawn. His eyes like black fists...

    PPPS: Esther, if you read this, make sure you EAT the celulite cream. Oral ingestion is the only way such creams will work effectively. I speak as a trained medical practicioner with a major in quakery. Call me Doctor Switchblade, the doctor you can trust with sharp pointy things.

  3. if only i was a squirrel i could nest in andy serkis's hair5:51 pm, May 22, 2005


    I am also in the habit of reading said blog and not always posting comments. i'm like a lurker... one of those people who keep hitting on my fan fic but not reviewing it. smite them! i want them to love andy serkis as much as i do! ... speaking of which, i watched 24 hour party people today, with said andy in it! oh the joy. he has much hair. much much hair that is black and curly and BIG. and hides his pretty face. it also has my beloved shirley henderson (you might know her as moaning myrtle) - i use the term "my" rather loosely here, because i am a loose woman. and steve coogan, who is funny. i was telling my ma about this film, and telling her that andy serkis is in it, you know, the bloke who plays gollum, says i. and she says, oh that really ugly chap - ? ... ! little does she know of my latest obsession! and how dare she call him ugly! she who saw the rolling stones in her youth and to whom mick jagger was her rock god! (of course, i could just be embellishing here... she did see them, performing (randomly) with roy orbison (who was minus cling film, to the best of my knowledge), but i think i might be prejecting the "rock god" thing. not that he's -my- rock god. no. no. that's bowie.)

    ok, enough of my ranting. i think my panting smutty creations are calling me. may have to get out Suddenly 30, as part of my pursual of andy serkis's back catalogue. you know, film with jennifer garner who makes a wish and is 13 one day, 30 the next. hilarious hijinks ensue. yeah, sounds top qual, don't it? AND andy s. is in it! hilarious! maybe you see more of his face in that one. maybe he has a phobia about showing his pretty face in public. kinda make sense with all those CG characters and the big hair. hmmm.... maybe should think about this more and shape it into an essay.

    well, i'll be off now. back to work tomorrow and, if i don't kill myself, i'll be at work ALL of the rest of the week, including saturday. i am listening to joy division after all, so anything's possible. within a certain range. i'm not going to suddenly clean my room or anything....! no need to worry yourself.

    much love,
    naboo the enigma

  4. nesting squirrel6:27 pm, May 22, 2005

    me again,

    further to my last, just thought i should add that 24 hr PP was set in manchester (hello ross, if you're reading!) and they talked funny and in a way that reminded me of howard from the boosh! yay for howard from the boosh and all those wot talk funny like.

    also, the new Doctor Who was on tv last night and he talked kinda funny too. and was very funny. and, as sophie cunningham says, damn sexy. eg: stupid blonde girly: "if you're an alien why do you talk like you're from the north?"
    the doc: "lots of planets have norths" ok, was funnier with his delivery. never mind.


  5. esther with a virus1:30 pm, May 24, 2005

    by the way, there is yet another esther. she is mad, and old, and she uses the same tram stop as me. she wears bright pink lipstick and always looks a little bit like a jelly. i'm worried that people might get us confused.

    i have a terrible virus, stayed in bed for a few days eating codeine. i read howard marks book of dope stories, better than it sounds even. am also reading one called blood and guts, a short history of medicine. kinda interesting. dope stories better. i think my wisdom tooth is sprouting. think i will go back to bed soon.

    dr switchblade could perhaps use the trusty sharp pointy things to STAB and BURST and SQUEEZE OUT the cellulite. cleo couldn't send me liposuction in the mail, so i guess i'll just be eating cellulite cream. goes with strawberries a treat. i don't know what they're trying to tell me about my arse, still. i thought it was nice. hmph.

    my bulbs are starting to grow (no, the other bulbs) some time soon i'll have daffodils and all kinds of other happy colourful looking things. flowers are good for your health, as are succulents. i've got a succulent that's trying so hard to flower, has been for months. the little buds are just sitting there trying to burst out into icing decorations. succulents almost always have delicious looking flowers.

    so we wrote you some messages, your turn now! love the photos by the way :)

    esther williams-elephant