Uscita Roma

We take it slow on the walk back to Yellow Square. Nothing left on the agenda but some food and down time before getting to the airport. Not much conversation really, I think we’re still reeling from our double hangovers a second day over. Definitely feeling wiped from our goonery del mundo lifestyle of late. Looking forward to getting home and chilling the fuck out actually.

There’s a protest in the street along Via Cavour on the way back. Looks like Kurdish supporters protesting the Turkish army’s incursion into Northern Syria. “I guess Erdogan’s contempt for the Rojava experiment may be leaning too close to genocide.” MacKay points to some hammer and sickle flags, “Sure, throw some Communists in the mix just for fun.”

We get back to home base and decide to kick it at Mamma Angela one last time. This place has proven to be not only convenient but delicious every time. Toss in a good patio to people watch on and some all-smiles servers with good humor and you’ve got a winning combination.

“Last train to the airport is 1030.” “We should probably get down to the station around 9 or so. Just so we don’t cock it up.” Agreed. Good amount of suds time then.” “Best get to it.” MacKay waves over the server dude. “Oh hey, it’s Octopus Dude!” “Ya, nice.”

We put in some lagers and a bruschetta with olive marinade, artichoke spread and tomatoes. It comes kind of build it yourself style. And it is damned good.

Thing progress how they usually do on our last day of a trip:

  • Feel like shit, I’m not drinking ever again
  • Need to take a fucking break after this
  • Really looking forward to getting back
  • Maybe another round of beer
  • Maybe another three more rounds of beer
  • When was that train again?
  • Fuck it, let’s just stay here.
  • Man, I love this place!

Our server is great once again. We’re racking up a bottle collection at the table and try to pass some to him when he comes over. “Thank you for your cooperation but just leave the bottles there.” “Still not an octopus then?” “Haha not yet. But I’ll treat you so good you’ll feel like home.” Lol these guys.

Our other server from last time is here too. He was on a mission to own that Yellow Bar Halloween party. “How are you feeling?” “I woke up at 2 today still drunk! Told my mom I wasn’t going to make it.” “Did you find an American girl?” He’s shaking his head. “Did you at least slay a dragon?” His face lights up, “Haha no no. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow!”

We biff an order of Carbonara and Amarachelli in with Octopus Guy. Add some spicy oil and red pepper flakes. “It doesn’t look it, but this shit’s the bomb.” “Ya man, this place cranks.” “Feeling chill now after some beers too.”  

We finish up and shake hands with Octopus Guy on the way out. Great spot. Up to the room and we both shower up (separately, to waste water) and get checked out.

Yellow Hostel was mighty pimping, gotta say. Nice rooms with old timey movie posters, great patio hanging, narmz food, walkable to all the sights, and super friendly staff. Basically a hotel with amenities for the price of a hostel. These Italian hostels we’ve crashed in have easily been in the top ranks of any places we’ve stayed.

We walk our packs down to the train station and it’s a quick 45 to the airport on the west coast. We’ve got lots of time to kill, our flights aren’t until morning. We get dropped off around some parking structures and the car rental return joints.

We’re actually fairly gooned again. “Got a lot of time to kill, maybe find a place to grab more drinks?” “Ya I’m trying to route us to something but how the hell do you get out of here?”

We walk through the parking structures but find ourselves on the side of the highway. “Nah, not looking good this way.” “There’s a Hilton over here somewhere. Maybe they have a hotel bar or something.”

We backtrack through the parking garages. On a mission now.

“What is that sound?” MacKay points to a rowdy flock of birds yapping and flapping around. “Looks like a bird orgy in that tree over there.” “Ya, what the hell? This is nuts.”

There’s a storm of birds riffling around the tree leaves and kicking up a fuckus.

We find the Hilton passed an umbrella guy fountain and saunter in. A fancy waiter dude greets us hesitantly and we point to a corner table. “Sure, yes.”

We drop our bags and kick back in the comfy leather chairs. The servers are very very wary of our presence here and are shooting side eyes and whispering about it all. “Not getting Octopus Guy treatment here I guess.” “Nah man, they hate our guts haha.”

But we get some beers ordered up anyways to knock back while recounting the trip and our silly re-routing every few days.

“Man, really wish we’d gotten into Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova though.” “Yeah, I know. We’ll finish it up at some point. And get to Scandinavia too.” “For sure. Nice to knock the entirety of the Balkans off the list. Love that area.” “And start up a dog posse.” “Oh dude! That was the BEST!”

Unfortunately, the server’s hesitancy is leading to some slow ass service encroaching on our giddy good times. At around the 1130 mark they tell us they’re closing up shop.

“Well shit. Guess there’s nothing left to do but get over to the airport and do the whole security thing.” “Maybe find a lounge to kick it in with the Priority Pass.”

We grab our bags and roll. Not really any good spots to hang in on this side of security either and we’ve got flights in different terminals.

We get through security and do the whole super manly, dgaf goodbye thing like the emotionless tough guys that we are. A simple hug, “Well that was fun.” and an “Until next time!” and split ways. No tickle fights or fireworks, just the quiet confidence that we’ll be back in the saddle before long anyways.

I wipe away the tears and start heading towards the British Airways lounge to wind it down and wait for the flight. Ding ding. I get a message from MacKay. “Where you at?” “Heading to the British Airways Lounge.” “Cool, I’ll meet you there.”

The place is dead. Nice though. And quiet away from the hustle.

“So you got plans when you get to Spain?” “Probably just hit the Camino de Santiago and see what happens.” “The Way of St. James. That makes sense.”

As usual we start looking at the world map and plotting future nonsense. “What’s next on our hit list then? Gotta do something real dumb after this.” “Well, I was thinking (—DFN LVL9 Seguridad—).”

Getting early in the morning now and the weariness is setting in. No drinks at this hour to keep the levels up. “Well, might as well call it.” “Ya man, another one in the books. Have fun in Spain.” “No doubt. Say hi to Queenie for me.” And a tickle fight fireworks show erupts. I watch his big stupid backpack stomp off.

I grab some food from the spread and kill another hour, just me and Narcopiggy now. Over to the gate, board, and fly to Gatwick.

Later Rome. You live up to the hype and then some.

Beer and food in another lounge in London and then hop a flight back to LAX.

Success! Central and Eastern Europe, down through the Balkans, and licked the boot of Italy up into Rome. Not the original plan, but having plans is boring. Went to a ton of rad and beautiful places, met a lot of fine folks along the way and some real assholes too. Dodged any sort of travel sickness, aside from the self-inflicted kind. Further improved our international standing as top notch idiots amongst the travel hardened drunks of the world. And, most importantly, we’ve got a new batch of stupid stories to regale our friends and scare our parents with.

Goonery del Mundo!

And that right there… is The BEEF.

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