The Hot Tale Of Trains, Tickets And Roman Lovers by Aria The Bad Ass | Aria Alperts, Italian Journals
Contributing Monkie Aria Alpert
Published on August 1, 2012
Photographer: Aria Alpert
The tale of how Bad Ass Aria, never takes no for an answer, when it comes to reaching a Roma Lover. Well let me back up, let me start by saying, I got my train to Roma. Finally. It was quite an ordeal to get here. On the train that is. I have been challenged with an insane transition back into the real world from my peaceful countryside retreat in Noci. Away from food, wine, espresso, drama, computers, phones, language barriers, crowds of people, obstacles….Ahhhhhhhhh….
So…this is what happened…
The train station is in Bari, about an hour away from Noci. The van dropped me off, with 40 minutes to purchase my ticket, get some water, relax and slowly meander onto the train. I went to the self-serve computer to purchase my ticket but was having trouble. Hmmmmm, what was the problem…. well…the problem was the train seemed to be… sold out. Huh? SOLD OUT?? WTF?
My anxiety immediately started to build. I didn’t even think to buy my ticket in blissed out Noci.! Huh. Okay, pull yaself together. Talk to the authorities. So, I stood in the long ass line to talk to the Italian ticket guy. My turn comes, 25 minutes later. ‘I gotta get on that train. To Roma now.’ I demand. Not only does this guy not speak any English, he didn’t seem to give a shit and he just kept shaking his head, NO.
Well, mister grumpy Italia, I am not gonna take NO for an answer. My lack of speaking this beautiful language will not stop me either from convincing whom ever I need to convince that I gotta get on that f-ing train!!!
I went to the information booth and spoke with the only guy who kinda spoke English. He kept saying , “NO. No available. You take next train. Get you into Roma at midnight”. I am NOT gonna get into Roma that late. I gotta date with my Roman lover. Doesn’t he understand!!
I begged, bribed and almost cried (for dramatic effects, I mean, I am, after all, an actress). He told me to talk to the train captain on Track 3. Oh, grazie, grazie I said, and quickly hobbled on over to find Track 3. Ummm, I think this is a great time to inform everyone that I have not seen ANY elevators or escalators in the train stations in Roma, Lecce OR Bari. Which means I have had to schlep my heavy ass bag up and down the stairs. I know, I know, this is why everyone said, “pack light”. Yeah, well, I thought I did and I still don’t understand why my f-ing suitcase is still so f-ing heavy??? Huh. I hate everyone.
I finally made it up to Track 3, after rushing and falling UP the stairs carrying my suitcase in one hand and my computer bag and purse in the other. I’m fine btw. Thanks for asking. Huh. As soon as I get up to Track 3 my eyes immediately met a cute Italian student, holding a train ticket in his hand. Hmmm….I thought. I’m gonna bribe that mothaf-ker. Forgive the language but I am now officially a badass woman travelling alone in Italy with a mission to get on that f-ing train! Fortunately for me, he didn’t accept my offer cause in my panicked state of mind I forgot to look at the sign that stated his train was going to Milan!
So again, I hall myself and my heavy ass luggage down the platform in search of the train captain. No luck. I noticed a few Italian men in train uniforms staring longingly at me as I walked past them though. Hmmm, I thought….work it. Ha! I sauntered on over to them, dripping with an incredible amount of sweat from, not only the insane heat but also my heightened anxiety. I must admit, I was amazed that in my very uncomfortable state, I somehow was still able to squeak out a sexy sweaty smile and say with pizzazz, ‘molto caldo’ (very hot). They were charmed and they laughed. Good. I’m in. Almost.
I told them my problemo. One of them spoke passable English and reassured me that everything was gonna be ok. He introduced me to the ticket officer for the train to Roma. She told me to go to cabin 5, sit in an empty seat and would find me so I could purchase my ticket on the train. Woooohooooo. I’m IN! Grazie. Grazie…
The heat was so thick in cabin 5, I was even more drenched in sweat. I felt and looked like I was in a Bikram yoga class. No AC in other words. F-it. I was on the train, which was my goal. I found an empty seat and sat, swimming in a pool of my sweat, hoping that no one coming on the train was gonna claim my seat. A few minutes later the train started to move and the AC came on! Ahhhhhhh. All is wonderful and I am going to Roma!
I started to cool down and relax so I took out my make shift lunch, which was in a recycled plastic bag consisting of cut up organic local cucumbers, tomatoes, oregano, frise (crunchy bread), pumpkin seeds, olive oil and basil. Was not the best thing I ever made, needed some salt and lemon but it was fresh and simple.
My happiness was short lived though, when the train stopped to pick up more people at the next station. I was kicked outta my seat by a very large Italian woman who yelled at me that I was in HER assigned seat. Jeezzz. So serious. I moved, but just as my ass hit another seat cushion the ticket officer came over and said I had to go to cabin 9. More empty seats, she said. The train was moving, mind you, and I had 1 suitcase, 1 duffle bag and my purse. I panicked and felt pressure to move through 4 cabins immediately. In other words, while the train was moving. Bad idea. I was bumping into everyone’s sleeping limbs hanging into the isle saying, “scusi” all the way down to cabin 9.
I finally arrived at cabin 9. A bunch of empty seats! I am so glad I didn’t take NO for an answer, cause I would have still been in f-ing Noci!!! I walked past a small group of sweaty, cheesy, Italian molto metro-sexual men staring at me, like they wanted to eat me for lunch. YUK. F-off. I found a seat far away from them and FINALLY sat my tired ass down. But before I could relax, a strong piercing, pungent scent of body odor wafted through my nose. Shit. Of course I found a seat in front of a smelly, pardon the generalization here, O’ naturali European.
I discreetly looked behind me, no one there. Looked across, no one. To the side, no one. Hmmmm…where the F is that smell coming from? And then it hit me…as well as my inspiration for writing this post…OMG…it’s me! I am the one who F-ING STINKS!! I laughed and, as my amazing shrink has taught me, embraced the cosmic humor in the universe. Ha! Perfecto!