2011

I don't know who taught the Italians how to drive but I'm sure their motto is this:

'Close your eyes

Drive fast

Hit pedestrians'

I'm really not kidding, they are honestly maniacs! And not the good kind... My first ten seconds in Rome consisted of being pushed (and I mean PUSHED) out of the airport onto a road where a taxi almost ran me over. In other words this taxi drove at a stupid speed ONTO the pavement. I swear, he just did it to hit me! Oh well luckily some other person shoved me out the way to get passed. (That person was Italian and clearly was able to dodge stupidly fast oncoming taxis).

Well even if they are horrific and frightening drivers, the Italians sure know how to make one hell of a breath taking city. The buildings are all shades of yellows and pinks. It just makes everything so much brighter and full of colour. And when the sun is out? I can't even explain how amazing everything looks. The city is something of a shock for a simple English country girl like me. There's all the usual; cars, motorbikes, T.V., mobiles etc. But they are all in the middle of these ancient buildings and ruins. It's like one huge (English lesson time!) juxtaposition. (Admit it, you're impressed).

So yeah. Why am I in Italy? Well it was just a school trip with the six formers at first. It was all planned. Land in Rome. Do the touristy things. Drive down the Almalfi Coast. Fly back from Naples. Remember the experience through a number of embarrassing and random photos. But of course, nothing goes to plan in my life.

I guess the first sign was that on the way to the airport, the car got a flat tire so we had to turn around, drive back home, and switch cars. My dad wasn't impressed especially after waking up at five in the morning to get me there on time. Luckily, (via some Italian like speed on my dad's part) we reached the airport just in time to meet the group. The second sign was that the flight was delayed by seven hours. And the third was that there was 'electrical difficulties' with the plane so we had to switch airplanes. (Another three hour delay). In short, I should have realised then that something, or someone, did NOT want me on that school trip.

However, once I was in the air (finally) everything seemed almost too perfect. And to be honest, I guess the reasons behind that are obvious now.

The hotel was nice, not five stars, but it was pleasant enough for a school trip. Plus everything was in walking distance. There was a nice little pizzeria down the street that had very good food and really friendly staff. (Sometimes too friendly on a creepy level...) To me it seemed like this was going to be an amazing holiday with my friends.

But as you have already guessed, (and if you haven't guessed you are a bit dim) this didn't turn out to be the trip I expected.