Well we got out of Singapore, we had an interesting experience in marketing to finish the stay with. Whilst in the open area of Changi we got a bottle of water for $1:80. However we had to discard this bottle prior to entering the boarding area as apparently Alison was looking to kill the pilots and comandeer the plane. Anyway, once in the boarding lounge the price had shot upto $3:50.
So on to Rome, unfortunatly on a smaller aircraft, 777-200, felt more cramped and the TV was smaller, worse this didn't have a USB outlet to chsrge up this power sucking phone. Though I think it ead worse for the woman next to me, she was 6ft (if there is such a height). But we got there, Alison with a healthy dose of drugs and me have occasionly snoozed and read a bit. As an aside, I really do recommend a kindle for travel.
We got in to Rome 30 mins early, as a result expecting to get in to town sooner; but no, the valuable contribution of Italian baggage handlers quickly saw to that, or mor specifically they saw to it very slowly. More seasoned travellers to Italy suggested it wasn't uncommon and that the Italian baggage handlers could stand with pride as some of the worst in the world as far as speed was concerned. So baggage collected and we were off to get a couple of things needed at duty free then off to the train. One small flaw in this plan, there was no duty free to be found ...shit. Oh well so off to the train, on option we'd decided on prior to leaving. It was pretty easy to find, getting a ticket simple as long as we were happy to have a slight delay whilst the person serving us had a kiss with here boyfriend when he arrive...well we were in iItaly.
The train was fine, it seemed old but quieter and better than Auckland. No conductors, you validate your ticket in a 'yellow' ticket machine and you are away. So our first of many train trips in Italy was completed. We arrived at at the central Rome train station (Termini) about 9:30am and our apartment checkin was at 11:30am. So time for a sit, well after a long walk from where we got off to the main area where we needed to validate our prepaid Eurorail tickets for Italy. This was our first introduction to the Italian queues...fark, long and boring. Lucky it was just the introduction, as I was about to get a far better learning experience. So we grabbed a drink and were going to wait a bit till till we got a cab to the apartment. Then opportunity, or so I thought, beckoned with a TIM (Italian telco) store by us. Off I go with the expectation of grabbing a SIM for my phone...ta daaar....just over an hour to get a SIM with a lot waiting, watching some fabulous Italian hand waving arguments and being glad this would be only once. Worse of the two people serving, I got the one with very limited english. Buy about 60 mins later all was done. I brought a sim, apparently for international people, of course after they took a copy of my passport (no passport, no SIM). Though funny thing is, after they get all that data in me, they dti ll only text me in Italian (thank goodness for the android translator) though I wounder if our NZ telco's take the same spproach, verses actuslly focusing in the cosromer.
I digress (most people expect that from me antway), so SIM obtained, cab grabbed and off to 114 Via Del Broschetto we go, to drop off our bags at 11:30 then waner the roads till our formal checkin at 2pm. Well we got there, but no one else was. With the world of online forms, badly worded questions and language there had bren a cock up and we weren't expected till 2pm. However eventually it was resolved, with a few calls and catching the cleaner. We had arrived ;-)