Be careful what you wish for, cause it might just come true. For years I dreamt about a jet set life, that one afforded only by the rich and famous. To take a flight just to have dinner in Rome, by Fontana di Trevi, to fly to Melbourne for the latest Warhol exhibition, to book for the following day to see the great temples of Angkor in Cambodia, to cuddle the koalas in Australia, ride the gondola in Venice, take a tuk tuk to the Royal Palace in Bangkok, see the cherry blossom in Japan, have lunch in Algiers Bay etc.
I was blessed with all this and the most exciting of all is to be able to do it together with my mom, every now and then. So when I found out she’s traveling to Rome for Easter I asked for the flight and in less than a week we were together on the beautiful streets of the Italian capital.
Timings were short, but nothing feels better than having Easter dinner in the family, in Rome and arranging some plans for the future while sipping prosecco and Aperol Spritzer looking at the Pantheon.
Besides, it’s always good to be in Rome. There’s something about this city, this museum city. You don’t need to go anywhere special to feel you’re at the best museum in the world.
It’s almost time to go back and the taxi driver tells me in Italian he is 50 and he never left the country. Asks how many countries and cities I’ve seen and keep calling me a citizen of the world. He’s extremely nice and the ride is about almost 40 minutes, so we have time to chat, although I could fall asleep any minute because of the rum to grappa to red wine menu and also because I woke up somewhere 24 hours ago.
What I loved was his approach to life and work. Taxi driver for only 3 months, he says he loves it because he feels free, he has all Rome for him. Beautiful, no? This reminds me of my decision to become a flight attendant. It makes me feel free, I have the world all to myself. Like this incredible opportunity to fly just to spend an afternoon with my mom for Easter. In Rome.
He also said he decided to treat tourists nice because he noticed taxi drivers don’t treat them too well. So that the tourists can go back and say there was a taxi driver who was different. Reminds me of how I promised myself to treat people on board. Like humans.
You know, I think he is happy. A happy man!
Night rides in different places around the world make me feel alive and get some adrenaline pumping in me. Like the late night-early morning 1 and a half hour ride from Zanzibar City to the East shore, like the very fast ride in a night in Algiers. Like this one by the Altare della Patria, Fori Imperiali, the Pyramid of Cestius, Piazza della Repubblica…a place where I’ve been before, around 10 years ago…