I’m in Rome as you can see from the photo of the Pantheon. You may be wondering why I chose the above title for this post so I’ll start by saying that my arrival was pretty ugly. I had an overnight flight and a stopover in Frankfurt for four hours so by the time I finally arrived in Rome, I was exhausted. Needless to say, flying is not as smooth as it was before the pandemic and I found the journey quite stressful. Finally in Rome, I was lucky that a former neighbour kindly came and picked me up to take me to the apartment I have rented. When we got there, I set my carry-on bag containing my entire collection of valuable items on the pavement and between one thing and another, forgot to pick it up when I entered the building. Of course when I realized what I had done 5 minutes later the bag was gone. In it was everything I couldn’t afford to lose such as my computer, camera, flute, jewellery, and a host of other important things. Thankfully, my passport, credit cards and phone were in my handbag. I immediately went to the Police Station to make what they call a ‘denuncia’ knowing that this would be useless as there was zero hope of recovering anything but necessary as proof of theft. Needless to say, it was a nightmare securing sensitive information on my computer but with the help of my nephew Morgan in Toronto, I managed to protect at least my financial information. Everything else is toast.
The bad part was the feeling of loss and being invaded, the anger with myself for being so careless, the worry that age is getting the better of me and that I should perhaps give up travelling. Then, finding out how some of the stuff could be replaced as I hadn’t taken out a specific travel insurance and had to see if existing warranties or my credit card covered anything. I felt so stupid and negligent, a point of low morale! Ì went to a contemporary art exhibition entitled ‘Crazy’ at the Chiostro del Bramante where one of the exhibits was by the artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu featuring people wearing fine clothes with giant boulders for heads. It typified how I felt, as if there was a weight on my head pressing on my brain.
The good part was that my friends here all rallied around to help me. My friend Loredana took me to the Police Station. The morning after the theft, another friend Luigi let me use his computer to secure my bank accounts etc, fed me lunch and introduced me to a mobile phone company called Iliad which allows free calls in all of Europe as well as Canada and the US, for the very reasonable sum of €8/month. Loredana also lent me her old laptop which is how I’m now writing this post.
Diane with whom I used to sing in the choir I was in, treated me to Sunday lunch at La Taverna di Monti where I had delicious salmon alla Siciliana with tomatoes, capers and olives and where I definitely want to go again.
Given the horrific situation in the Ukraine and the number of people who had to flee their homes leaving all their possessions behind, my loss is miniscule and besides it could have been worse had I met with an accident or been injured so I take comfort from that.
In case any of you are thinking of donating to charities providing aid in Ukraine, the Government of Canada Global Affairs is matching all funds made to the Canadian Red Cross until March 18th.
Oh Joyce, so sorry to hear of the low start to your trip but I hope your trip continues on an upward trajectory!