I love public transportation as much as -- or perhaps more than -- the next person, but tonight it seemed the whole city was conspiring to prevent a return to my hotel.
At 11 p.m. we found out the Rome Metro was mysteriously shut down. Investigation revealed that this is due to late-night repairs. Of course there are no signs or indication of this anywhere.
Then we decided to get a bus. A lot of interesting folks are riding the bus in Rome at 11 p.m., especially when the Metro is mysteriously shut down. I had a chance to stand cheek-to-jowl (and other combinations) with these fine people.
Let me share Mapgirl Dark Secret #5: I have extreme personal space issues.
Oh yes, my friends, about 8 minutes into the ride, I was silently screaming inside my head. In addition to this I was trying to guard my valuables, and I do not mean that euphemistically. I was trying to keep my purse and camera close to me, remembering that someone else had their camera swiped on the Metro this very day.
And I was sweating profusely. (I know this weblog is 17 percent about me sweating, but it must be said.)
I started praying, "Dear God, please get me off this bus before I have an extreme mental breakdown or, worse yet, have my purse stolen."
Just then we heard a fantastic BANG. I wondered if one of the interesting people on the bus had brought out a firearm, but that was not the case.
The bus blew a tire.
Everyone had to get off the bus. Who says God doesn't answer prayer.
We had to find a taxi, which for a reasonable sum carried us at breakneck speed to our hotel. We lived to tell the tale, and I said another prayer for the interesting people who did not have access to this solution. They had to get on the replacement bus, which arrived during the haggling with the taxi driver. (That's a tale for another time.)
Tomorrow is our last day. We plan to do plenty of walking.