In the end I caught the 09.35 train to Ancona although I wanted to see more of Rome, I decided to do it at another time when I didn’t have places to get to. I was itching to get to the farm and be a lighter snail who could work away like a good little snail should.
I got onto the train, threw my luggage onto the rack and then found my seat. As I left Rome, I had the feeling I would be back and it felt good. The buildings turned into trees and historical monuments became mountains stretching up to the clouds as if they’d just woken up. After a number of hours I arrived in Ancona.
I bought a ticket to Porto San Giorgio and settled on the second platform with my belongings. I bought a packet of crisps and sat on my rucksack as the wait began. From a train appeared a woman flapping around who didn’t know where platform two Ovest was. She may not have made the best decision in asking me, but through Spanish and Italian she said she thought it must be where platform three was. I asked where she was going, and what do you know? She was off to Rome, on the very train I’d just left. I pointed out the train which admittedly was neither next to platform 2 or even close to it. She disagreed so I calmly explained in English that’s that was where it was and I knew it didn’t make a fig of sense. She caught the train.
In the meantime I watched a train carrying car shells stop in the station and the drivers all stroll across the tracks to go for lunch. As they disappeared, a man appeared and said, ‘do you speak English?’ This man was called Dixon from Tanzania which he pronounced like Tazmania and he had been taking his daughter to the hospital in Ancona. He also caught my train so we got talking about everything.
He had only spoken English to four people since arriving in Italy two years ago. We talked about the guitar, which his daughter wanted to learn but he said she should learn the piano first. He told me about his problems finding work in Italy. He said he’d tried restaurants but people wouldn’t go in if they had an African waiter. He was an engineer and had just finished fixing up a gym ready to open and looked forward to the next call he would get for the next job. I hoped it came soon and hope it has by now. His wife worked caring for the elderly, without which he said they would have real problems. During the journey, his daughter would ask questions she could remember in English. He explained he was teaching her the language as most kids’ level is very low or non-existent.
We talked the journey away and before I knew it, I was in Porto San Giorgio and hungry so I went to find pizza.