17 June 2008

Waiting for the Bus

Last week, I was suffering from a rather unpleasant head cold, and Mia and I ended up waiting almost an hour for a bus home. Usually, we catch one within fifteen minutes, so we were a bit puzzled why we ended up waiting so long. Were we in State College, we most likely would have been impatient, upset, and angry. Here, we had waited almost twenty minutes before we even noticed. Waiting at the busy Piazza Venezia, we had plenty to look at and to observe.

The bus and metro system in Rome is extensive and very easy to use. It is also highly affordable (we paid 30 euro for a monthly bus pass!). It requires a little flexibility, however. Some days, the bus comes for us in the morning at 8, other days there is not a bus until 8:15 or 8:30. The schedule is fairly set, and we can count on there being a bus during that time period. Nevertheless, in trying to capture when it arrives at our stop, I have clocked it everywhere from 7:55 to 8:35 (there are usually two during that period). The buses that run around a quarter after the hour (8:15 and 9:15) are the busiest and most crowded. What this captures is how one must be willing to be flexible in Rome. Schedules are suggestions, and we do best living here when we roll with those suggestions.

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Works Cited

Fiona Wild, ed. Eyewitness Travel Rome (London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1993), 2007 edition.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Marble Faun. New York: Penguin Books, 1990/1860.

James, Henry. Daisy Miller. New York: Penguin Books, 2005/1878.

Powers, Alice Leccese. Italy in Mind: An Anthology. Toronto: Vintage Books, 1997.

Steves, Rick. Rick Steves' Italy 2007. New York: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2006.