A Quick Get Away!

StealingRome was beginning to grow on me. It reminded me of those moments in Kindergarten when the teacher would be called out of the room and during that brief moment pent up energy would burst forth and total chaos would break out. Difference was that in Kindergarten control resumed.

On Vatican day, we bought seven tickets at the Piazza Republica then descended the stairs to the Rome subway to go see where the Pope lived. We rounded a corner to find all the turnstiles were broken down. Two uniformed women chatted to each other, oblivious to everything around them. After waiting there for a few moments, one subconsciously extended her hand toward us. We placed our tickets in her palm then watched her shuffle like a crab to the single working turnstile, insert them, and wave us through – all while maintaining her conversation.

At the platform for a train leading to Musei Vaticani, we inhaled a group gasp when our train pulled in. It had more graffiti than the LA River. We saw cheeks of all varieties pressed against the dirty windows.

“Shouldn’t rush hour be over?”

“Let’s take the next one” Donna suggested.

Ten minutes later another packed sardine can pulled in.

Then another one.

“Let’s just walk”

“That would take us all day, Jill.”

When the forth train arrived, we’d decided to break into two groups and squeeze in. Donna and the kids jumped onto one car while Lee, Shari, and I tackled one directly behind it. My body barely fit inside and the sliding door nearly tore off the back pockets of my micro fiber pants. Lee and I faced each other. Shari clung to an overhead pole. I tried to move, but couldn’t budge and inch. At the Spagna stop nobody got off. “Everybody must be going to the Vatican.” I rolled my eyes.

The doors opened at San Pietro station and several bodies wedged their way past us.

“My Wallet!” Lee yelled, patting at his pants. “God Damn It! Come Back!” He jumped off the train and ran down the platform.

Next: Give it Back

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