Dave the motorhome is getting a right battering. Camping Flaminio is currently under assault from a big thunderstorm, bringing decent sized hail down on the poor fella. Charlie and I are tucked up safely inside, although Charlie has retreated to his safe place under the table.
Dave is also feeling a little bit empty as Jay has headed back to Blighty for a couple of days. Last night he packed a few bits (mainly our tech stuff, which explains why the posts over the next few days will be done on the phone with images from it too) and this morning was spent doing last minute prep and clock watching.
All three of us took a long walk round the campsite before we scoffed the last of the smoked salmon and some wild boar salami on bread for lunch accompanied by a selection of cheeses – yum!
I’d decided to go with Jay as far as the main train station to see him off. We’ve been on the trains and underground here at several times of the day, but for some reason (probably the start of the three hour lunch break) just after 1pm was like morning rush hour on London’s tube.
We squeezed into a carriage and Jay got through to the opposite side by the doors only my way was blocked by two men. I tried to push past but we were like sardines in a tin. As the train started to move I could feel the weight of someone behind me leaning on my rucksack, then I felt a zip being opened or closed. I spun round as best as I could, which wasn’t far, to see the two blokes behind me chatting and the one nearest to me lowering his rucksack towards the ground. I took my rucksack off my back and checked the zips were done up and they were, but something niggled at me so pretending to put my tube ticket in my bag I opened it and quickly checked our camera was still in there – it was.
Things still didn’t feel right, but I could only assume that the bloke behind me was resting his rucksack on mine while he zipped his up. At the next stop the two blokes behind me got off, as did the two in front so I could move and get over to where Jay was. As I started across to him a nearby passenger called me and pointed to the floor, lying next to the door where the two blokes had been was my wallet.
Now I’m not the most streetwise person in the world, but I know not to leave valuables in the top or front of rucksacks – or any bag – what was lying on the floor was my fake wallet. A battered old velcro wallet containing about 20c in coins, a couple of old store loyalty cards and a few receipts, put there for occasions such as this. Mr Thief will take it and not bother to risk being caught delving deeper for any other valuables.
They’d clearly gone through it as an empty zip compartment was open, then finding nothing dropped the evidence. Sorry chaps. Still I can safely say I’ve had the full Rome experience now and I might buy a mousetrap to pop in my bag should we ever return!
We made it to the train station and used the machines to buy a €14 ticket for the Leonardo Express train which goes every 30 mins to the airport Jay was flying from (there are two in Rome, so always good to check you’re heading to the right one!).
We had a quick look in windows of the shops, nipping into the Moleskin store as I love their journals. I was surprised to see a Dove store full of their shampoos and shower gels as they’re normally mixed in with other brands at home in a generic beauty store, and I was even more surprised to see a 3M store – the makers of post-its and sellotape – selling all sorts of household products I never knew they made.
Despite a lot of police being around (stood in groups chatting), and possibly because of the pick pocket on the tube, the station didn’t feel safe. As we bought our tickets a man was going from machine to machine standing right next to people using their credit cards to pay for tickets, another bloke was working his way around all the phones checking for coins in the returned coin compartment. Lots of people just looked as if they were up to no good. I’d like to think they’re just bored, loitering around waiting for a train but you never can tell.
A couple of minutes late Jay’s train arrived. Cleaners got on board ahead of its departure again in 12 minutes. A quick farewell (we both hate long goodbyes) and obligatory photo and Jay got on board. Because we’re not in a movie and he’s back in a couple of days, I didn’t bother running along beside the train as it pulled out. Instead I headed for another look around the shops – it’s been a very long time since I’ve been shopping alone!
Charlie looked accusingly at me when I got back, no doubt wondering what I’ve done with Jay. But the thunderstorm soon took his mind off his missing master. I’ve written a list of chores to keep me busy while Jay is away, and I’ll get cracking on them right away – as soon as I’ve had a little nap!