Christmas 2011 at home.

Have you taken your phone? I saw it recharging.  I looked at him and with my best smile I said yes and I closed the door of our flat on the first floor in an old building on a cobblestone street nearby to the Pantheon in Rome.

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We were flying together going home for Christmas, he to Calpe and I to Nules. Our flight was in delayed (Ryanair from Rome to Valencia), and we called our families.

Oh! Where is my phone? It was here!. He turned to me and told me: It was recharging at home and I asked you if you took it and you told me; yes. (Laughing) Well, I thought I took it, but I didn’t. No worries I have my Spanish phone with me. I was rummaging in my bag and no sign of my phone there. Oh, oh,oh….. Also I forgot to take my Spanish phone, and I don’t know my family phone numbers by heart.  I called home phone, but no one was there I left a voice message.

I landed in Valencia and hugged my family! They got my voice message.

The first thing that I did was to find a new phone with a new number and publish it on the Facebook. My holidays were planned but without all my contacts could be impossible. (Well, the first thing I did was eat jamon, fideua and Spanish wine).

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I planned to see a friend who lives in Oslo on the 24th after the family dinner in Castellon. We wanted to plan my trip to Oslo for a long weekend. We didn’t see each other that night and on the 26th I received a message on Facebook.

Oslo (on Facebook): shit! I am in Oslo already. Just I saw your messages on my phone and on Facebook. You didn’t read mine!! You forgot your phone in Rome and you wrote to me on my phone, but my phone was out of order and I was using my mother’s  phone. When you arrive home in Rome you will read all my messages.

I didn’t plan for New Year eve   and suddenly on the 27th December I received an email from my Italian friend from Puglia who lives in Rome.

Ciao Bella!
I am in Puglia right now, I will return to Rome on the 29th. You also coming back on the 29th, right? I was thinking of staying here with my family for New Year, but  my friends are going to Canazei  for a white week. I could come just for 4 days. Do you want to come? Let’s go!!!! You just have to be ready to get into the car and enjoy the snow!
Baci Bella!

 When I was reading the email my mother was next to me again. ( my mother is always around me when I am visit home). She asked me: what happened?. I think, I am going to start the New Year in the Alps. I told the full history to my mom. She loves my friend; they met when she was visiting me in Rome.

I spent just a week in Nules and I returned to Rome on the 29th December to start the New Year somewhere in Rome or maybe around Italy.

I enjoyed time with my family and I met my old friends or almost all of them.

Nules. 1st visit

I landed in Valencia and my entire family was waiting for me. I was just 3 months abroad, but they missed me a lot.

My mother inspected me from head to toe, and when we arrived home, she pushed me on the scale. Less than 50 kg (48kg ), you should put on at least 4kg. Didn’t you eat?. Mummy, of course I did, you know how I love to eat!. Pizza and pasta every day, for breakfast cappuccino and croissant. We also cooked Spanish dishes at home. I had dinner in the club, and always with wine. In my leisure time I visited amazing restaurants. My friend from Puglia exposed me the gastronomy of Italy and Puglia. I had fresh octopus ( I mean raw). I had a summer love affair with a Swiss. He loves cheese and chocolate fondues like me. ( if a boy loves cheese and dark chocolate I could fall even more in love with him). Ah! I have to tell you a story, but I am tired, we will talk tomorrow. I had oysters in Nice two day ago!

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Wait! I have forgotten the gelati, tiramisu, mille foglie…. I tried all kind of Magnum. Mummy, we will plan your visit to Rome tomorrow, we are going to enjoy as you never did!

I think the scale is not working well, I have eaten a lot, also I worked a lot and always on move, but you know me. Maybe it is because when you are in love you lose kilos, and:

I AM IN LOVE WITH ROME!

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In the morning I did the routine things that I do when I visit Spain in summer: Breakfast on the terrace as the sun rise from the sea. Natural orange juice, toast (with olive oil, grated tomato, and salt), espresso coffee and dark chocolate. (sometimes Jamón ibérico). Ummm home sweet home!

Time to unpack! No! Three months away from home and I don’t have place to hang my clothes. How can it possible if I was leaving in that house almost 2 years? ) . It was!. The best option that you have in this case is to put your bag under the bed, and go to the beach. I did just that!

It is awesome to be in Nules Beach in September, people move to Nules town (Nules Beach is 5 kms away from Nules),as we say, now the resting people are the best. At 1pm I went home to help my mother to get ready for lunch. My mother doesn’t ask for help. We just have to be around the table at 1.30pm. That’s it! If you don’t want to be in a trouble, be obedient and be ready.

“A la taula I al llit al primer crit”. (Translation from Valenciano to English: to the table and to bed at the first cry).This means that if someone tells you it is eat time or bed time. Hurry up!

My mother cooked Paella Valenciana. This is the typical Paella Valenciana. Paella is a rice dish You could add hen, duck and snails, but the typical one is Chicken and rabbit with beans, green beans and red pepper.

I saw my friend at the weeding, we talked for hours. I don’t remember the day that I met them. One is my best friend and sister and the rest are friends from the nursery school.

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The rest of the days, I was planning my return to Rome, packing and packing. There I was with my people, but my mind was on my new life, my new flat and my new job in Rome. I was excited planning my mother and sister’s trip to Rome. My girls with me in Rome!. They would come 10 days after my arrival in Rome and would bring more bags for me. I was in Italy, fashion hub of the world!

Nice

It was Saturday night, 3rd September 2011, and I was at home writing emails and communicating with my friends by Facebook. Suddenly a friend from Argentina living in Rome wrote me: What are you doing Saturday night at home? I was at home because the club where I worked as a PR under Castello di San’Angelo on the Tevere River in Rome had shut down. They got fined after a long summer and they closed before the season was over.

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What are you doing this week? He asked me. I am going to Spain on Thursday; one of my friends from the infant school is getting married on the next Saturday, but I will return in 2 weeks.

Really?! I have an idea, give me 5 minutes and I will write back to you. He told me. I was busy doing my things and after 3 hours writing and chatting with my family and friends I went to bed, without any message from him.

Next morning I woke up early and I went to have breakfast. Cappuccino e cornetto, grazie mille! I didn’t check my emails and facebook , in fact I forgot: I have an idea, give me 5 minutes and I will write back to you. When I say 5 minutes is 5 minutes if not I say: talk later!

There was the message when I checked later: I booked a flight to Nice for tomorrow afternoon. I am flying right now. We will speak later.

What?! I didn’t understand anything and I sent him a message: Could you explain me or give me more details. Have you booked a flight for both?! As I told you I am leaving for Spain on Thursday at 6pm and I have a meeting at 10.30am.

I few hours later he explained me the plan: I had already booked a flight and the hotel at Nice while speaking with you. I have 2 days free this week and I have decided to go there and have oysters and white wine. When you told me that you are free I was checking for another free seat and I was lucky. We will take off tomorrow at 3pm and we return on Tuesday night. You have the whole of Wednesday and part of Thursday to get ready for Spain. Just take a bag and make sure to be at the airport at 1pm. I will be there as I am landing at 11am. Don’t say no, you will enjoy!

Well, Nice….why not? I didn’t have anything to do this week, just to teach Spanish to an Italian boy. I went to teach him early morning and I left for the airport. See you on Wednesday and do your homework! I told him before leaving.

As he is a flight Purser he can manage seats at the last minute, you just have to get ready to take off.

I am in Nice! Having oysters and white wine!

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The plan was to get up early go for a walk take some pictures, have a good lunch and get ready to return to Rome. He loves to take photos and he had amazing cameras.

Before breakfast he asked me: what time is your meeting and flight on Thursday?. What is going on? I asked him with an intrigued face.

Well, we have a little problem, there is a strike ( if you have lived in Rome you would know that suddenly there is a strike day…… Rome se ferma! ) and our flight has been canceled. We could fly on Thursday, but you have to cancel the meeting and run to pack and leave for Spain. The airline pays for everything.

I looked at him and I said: listen: This meeting is very important, it is for a job. I won’t cancel it. I am sure you can find a really good solution. I am leaving for a while, I will return with breakfast. I will find a nice baguette, croissant and coffee, meantime you can work on our return trip.

I went for a walk and saw a nice café I sat down and I had a delicious coffee and I bought a croque Monsieur and a croque Madame, 2 coffees and a croissant. Do you know the different between croquet Monsieur and croquet Madame? Croquet Madame has an egg on the top, meaning the Madame’s hat.

I returned at the hotel with my best smile. I knew me friend and I was sure he has found a solution.

Bonjour! So, tell me the plan.

This is the plan: we will be around Nice today and we will go to Monaco tomorrow to take a walk, have lunch there and we will return here. We will take a plane to Geneva in the evening, then from Geneva to Rome at 5.30am. You will be at home around 8.30am. You have time to take a shower and leave for the meeting. You will be on time!

I was stood up, looking at him shocked and I said: are you kidding?. No Bella, this is the plan, trust me, it is the best one. And he told me: let’s have this amazing breakfast that you brought.

I was having breakfast still in shock, without saying a word. Taking deep breath and a sip of coffee I said: I will be in five countries in 2 days. I can’t believe it. I will explain it to my friends on Saturday at the weeding day. They won’t believe it!!!! France, Monaco, Switzerland, Italy and Spain!!!

My dear you told me almost 3 months ago, that your dream is to travel a lot and you love to take planes, that day I told you that I would take you with me one day.

I called my sister in Spain and I told her everything. I will be happy, see you in 2 days!

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We arrived very late in Geneva, but we decided to go look around the city by cab. The city was empty. We walked around the lake area to find a restaurant for food and drink. The restaurants were closing and the kitchen were closed no one gave us dinner. We decided to visit some club and have some beers. Suddenly we found a kebab restaurant open. We were lucky! Or maybe not? We paid 12e per Kebab. It was delicious and the more expensive kebab that I have ever had. Then we had a drink in a club and we left for the airport. It was a long night! ( while writing this story and still I am in shock after almost 4 years).

While walking around the Pantheon I heard: Marisol! Bella!. It was an Italian friend with whom I shared my first glass of wine in Rome. He is a friend of my Spanish friend in Rome. I called you a couple of time, but your phone was off.I went to the Castello di San’Angelo, and I saw that the club when you were working was shut down. He told me. I went to Nice, Monaco and Geneva. I said. He saw me shocked and I told him: it is a long story, I have a meeting right now and leaving for Spain for 12 days this evening. I will call you when I return. (this was the second time that I saw him around Rome, there were more times. Marisol!!!. Rome is very small).

Hola, Marisol? Yes, I am. We sat in a café at the Pantheon corner. We talked about the architect from Alicante whom introduce us and of the many times that we worked in that studio in Benidorm. I was working as a project manager in a developer company in Benidorm from 2006 to 2009. My company had some projects with another studio that I loved to visit. They were involved in some projects in Dubai. There was an architect from Argentina drawing with aquarelle. Every time I wisited that studio I used spend a lot of time around there. It was a nice feeling to be with the principal architect. She told me that I couldn’t work in Dubai if I don’t speak English. ( English, English and English….). Wend I left Benidorm and retuned to my town, I tried to learn English, but I did an Italian course. What to do? I love Italian language!!!

I was in contact with her, they had done amazing project s in Dubai. I was having coffee with their Dubai Manager at the Pantheon café.

When the club at the Castello di San’Angelo closed as I said, I wrote to my friends and family and I sent her an email to ask for some work reference in Rome. She replied promptly.

Marisol! How is life in Rome? Listen, do you remember the guy from Guatemala who was working in my studio as a manager in Dubai? He is now working in an architectural studio in Rome. He shuttles between Rome and Dubai. He is in Spain right now. I had a coffee two days ago with him. He will be here a week, then Rome for a couple of days as well. He also travels to Iran . Email him right now. Good luck and update me.

I had not met him before, in Benidorm he had already settled in Dubai. But I promptly emailed him.

He informed me that he would be in Rome from Wednesday 7th late until 10th morning. I told him that I was leaving for Spain on the 8th evening, so we fixed an appointment for the same day at 10.30am.

Things happen for a reason. There is always an auspicious moment. We were enjoying the cappuccino talking about our life in Benidorm, the coincidence of that meeting and of my trip to Nice. He talked to me about the company and the projects that they handled. He offered me the job as a trainee as they didn’t need anyone at that time and meantime I could find a regular job if possible. Enjoy Spain and if you want we can meet when you return, he said. He would return 2nd of October late. We could meet on the 3rd again and talk further.

I returned home very happy and sure that I would work with him. I didn’t have anything to lose, on the contrary I would learn a lot!!

I packed and flew to Spain! Home sweet home!

Rome.14th June 2011

 Rome, 14th June 2011

I was sitting in the train going from Nules ( my town)to Valencia airport to take off to Rome. I was there looking through the window, without seeing anything. I was there just with my thoughts and my tears. I was crying in silent but shedding tears. I was felling sad, I was leaving my family back and in my deepest thought, I was feeling that I won’t be back for a long time. It was just for 3 months in Rome, but I felt that it was the beginning of a new life. It was! Almost 4 years and 2 months later, I am still travelling around the world, but I won’t forget that moment when I left my hometown.

The adventure starts!!!

First problem: Overweight baggage! Good! I didn’t weigh my bags or maybe 2 days before I closed them. I was flying with Ryanair and for every over kilo you have to pay 20e (this was 4 years ago). I put a million things on me. It was summer in Rome and I was feeling like wanted to go to Oslo. I couldn’t do more and I paid 80e extra. I have to say that I was not the only one. I would create a group called: overweight in Ryanair. If you have travelled around Europe sure you have flown by Ryanair, and you know about experiences with them.

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I was making friends on the plane. This is normal if you take a flight from Valencia to somewhere. We talk, scream, laugh… doesn’t matter is you are a child, teenager, adult or retired, we all are like children on an excursion day or going to the summer camp. This happens in most parts of Spain, but much more in Valencia area. And, please don’t forget to cheer when you take off and land! Take note!

I had the address of my friend’s house where I would stay for 3 month in Rome. Some accident happened with the note, but it was still alive. Please, don’t ask! I can’t remember what happened, but it happened.

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I was in Rome! Since I got down from the plane, I took 2 busses and 2 metro trains. I was carrying a lot of weight, more that my own weight, I was so tired, but when I saw my friend I threw on him. It was my 3rd visit to Rome in my life, but this one would be different. Live in Rome!

My friend is a fabulous opera singer. He is from neighboring village of Nules. He is the best friend of my friend’s brother. Are you lost? Anyway, He is right now my boy, whom is sharing all my stories and thanks to him my life started with the right foot. I told him a million times: one of my dreams is to see you in the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Who knows!

When I was in Rome he told me: after you learnt Italian you have to learn English and you will be my manger. Deal! I will make you travel around the world, give me time!

When we arrived home there was a Czech guy there, who is also a singer. We all when to have dinner in a restaurant around the corner of Pantheon. Pizza and pasta! I love it!

His house was in another area, and at that moment I told him: right now I know where I want to stay. I don’t know when and how, but I will live around of the Pantheon. I will! He looked at me and told me: I am sure you will live around here. We dropped the conversation in this point.

Day after he showed me his area, he was leaving for 10 days and I will be alone in Rome. A Spanish girl alone in Rome could be dangerous. After inspecting the area we rested and got ready to go to the theater. A friend of his was playing, but before we had a wine in Rome with friends. It was fantastic! (La malattia della morte or La malattia dell’amore ).

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