Wow, my second day here in Rome. How exciting!!
The flights over (four flights actually: Cairns - Brisbane; Brisbane to Singapore; Singapore to Dubai; Dubai to Rome) were fantastic! Can you believe someone would actually say that after spending 23hours flying and another 10 hanging around airports! But true. I have this thing where each time before I fly I hope that I am sitting near someone who will 1. Be nice and 2. talk to me, so that the time goes quickly. Well, I received that wish for every flight!
On the flight from Cairns to Brisbane, I sat beside a lovely lady Dianne who works in the office of the High School I used to go to, so needless to say, we discussed old teachers, old students, and ended up knowing so many of the same people. Was a great blast from the past.
I had a long stop over in Brisbane before catching a 2.40am flight. One of the ladies from my Italian classes (Dianne) was on the same flights (Cns - Dubai) so we caught up and kept each other company while waiting. Was great. I also met Emily (23 yrs) who I started chatting to in the long line up to get our booking ticket. Emily then stuck with us until Dubai. I was telling her about my photography hopes for Italy, so she excitedly wanted me to write down my name for her, in case I became famous!!! LOL.
I met a lovely student from Surrey, England on the flight from Brisbane to Singapore. She has a dream to meet Prince Harry. I told her I had a dream to meet Prince Donatello, except the only man to give me attention was a scary man from India who accosted me at the Dubai Airport. He just walked up out of nowhere, introduced himself and wanted to shake my hand and be my friend. Funny how I suddenly had a very strong urge to go to the toilet and scurried off before he could say anything else!!!! Gosh, he must have been desperate...when I looked in the Airport bathroom mirror, my hair was clad to my head (from hours of resting back against the seat), my skin was looking dry and red (no signs of make-up left), and my eyes were red and bleary from lack of sleep. Note for future use - Indian men are easy to please!!!!
I then met this amazing young lady from Nigeria, called Kehinde Ayobami Temitope (on the flight from Singapore to Dubai). What an impressive name and it matched a very impressive young woman. Her dream is to become a famous singer and poet. I had a good laugh when she first sat on the plane beside me. She put on her headset and instantly started singing out loud. I thought, gosh I wonder if she knows everyone can hear her??? Luckily she did actually sing well!! I refrained from doing the same thing. I still have vivid memories of my sister turning off the radio every time I tried singing along with a song. We have since officially declared that NO-ONE in our family can sing!!! Listening to Sing Star (karaoke) in our household is like listening to wolves howling in the night....
Anyway, Kehinde and I became good friends by the end of our flight. She shared her poems with me from her laptop and I shared my 'inspirational NZ photos' from my laptop. And we are now officially 'Facebook Friends'. Oh, and we took our photo together after we landed. And the most impressive thing of all was her middle name - Ayobami- it means "Joy happens to me". Got to love that!!!
And finally, on my flight from Dubai to Rome, I met the wonderful Andrea & his beautiful wife Angie. They live in the countryside outside Florence. After talking to Andrea for most of the flight (his wife was lucky enough to jag an upgrade to First Class, so she was a few seats away), he made the most generous offer to me. Not only did he give me his details in case I ever needed help while I was in Italy, he offered that I could house sit their house for 2 weeks in June if I wanted to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my God...how fantastic is that!!!!
So, I say unreservedly again, I had the most amazing trip over here!!!! The Gods are smiling on me already. And yes, I did duck into a quaint little church I found in an alleyway yesterday and gave thanks for making the start of my adventure so amazing already.
Now, I was going to continue and tell you about my first day in Rome, but I think you may have enough reading to do for one email and I don't want to lose any of you before my adventure really takes off.....
Will email again soon,