Rome was really nice. I arrived on Wednesday evening and had a talk to give on Thursday morning. All went well and after work I met a long-time friend who now lives in Rome and we walked around, then had pizza and all this time there was non-stop catching up. Really great!
Today I woke up at 6:30am, got ready and by the time I left the hotel I knew I had little time to get to the train station to get the train to the airport (why did they take soooooo long to get me a receipt??). I rushed to the metro station and supposedly the train station was behind it. I asked for directions and a guy pointed right... I ran right and asked another guy who pointed left... I walked a few meters to the left and asked again and this time was given directions through a different street... Oh no... Ran in the direction the last guy indicated (at least he wasn't contradicted by anyone else) and saw the station in the distance... to bad, got there in time to see the train pulling out!
Ok, ok, there was another train in 20 min and there are also buses that go to the airport. Waited for the bus which supposedly was due to leave 10 min later and nothing... not wanting to risk the train I gave up and took the train which had a change in another station. Train was 5 min late in leaving, and by the time I arrived where I had to change trains I had missed the connection. I ran out to get a cab... found 5 cabs lined in the street, and no driver in sight! I asked someone and they just shrug... Italian efficiency I guess. Finally a guy comes by with his pal, drinking coffee and lighting up a cigarette. After a while he sees me and asks: "Taxi?" Of course!! The guy then asks if I prefer him finishing his cigarette or whether he can finish it while driving and, although I really don't like their smell, if that cigarette is getting me to the airport a few minutes faster I don't mind.
40 minutes and €40 later we arrive at the airport, I run to the check in, almost running over people on the way. There are 35 minutes left before take off. A huge family are the only people in the check in and I impatiently wait while they put each of the 99 suitcases on the scale (ok, more like 5). Finally it is my turn, I hand the guy my passport. He then asks if I have the reservation number (luckily I did... lesson learned from Wednesday), checks again and informs: "You are not on this flight." No freaking way! He calls someone to check and they I overhear the conversation that my flight was for March 3rd, not 4th. Oh no!!! I thought I had checked the date at least 5 times before purchasing the ticket! But I guess I cannot trust myself too much... I ask about buying a ticket, at the same time dreading the price but also wondering whether I should just go back to Oslo to sleep rather than trying to get to Paris, cook for a get-together tonight and then head back to Oslo on Sunday. The guy informs that the flight I wanted (in 20 minutes) is overbooked but that there are 4 seats left on the afternoon flight.
I run to the sales counter where there is a line... that does. not. move. Afraid that the tickets will run out I finally call A., wake him up, try to explain the situation in as few words as possible and ask him to log onto the airline website that I will explain the rest in the mean time. He finds the ticket, and goes on to booking, having to fill out the usually long forms to register on the website, etc. When he's almost at the purchasing point my turn comes in the line and I ask if there are tickets left. The girl says, "No, sorry." I yell into the phone: "Buy,buy,buy." Then she says "I need your passport." "So there are tickets?" "Yes, I had checked for the evening flight, which is booked, but the afternoon isn't." On the phone: "No need to buy, sorry, got it here." Then gave A. the list of grocery things that are needed for dinner. I get the ticket and slump on a chair in the waiting area.
And this is where I am... now it is 10am and I have a 3pm flight. Wish me luck!