Tag Archives: Rome

Europe trip–part 3

29 Sep

I guess one can say I took my sweet time in between the posts about my trip, but to be honest, a lot of those memories are still a blur. So I decided to write about the trip when something comes to mind, like right now about how we lost our connection in Munich.

The flight from Bucharest to Munich went better than I expected. Although the flight was only a little over an hour, we spent it talking to a funny group of Texan young adults (in Romania to teach English to Romanian students). I know, right? What are the odds to find yourself halfway across the world, in a plane from Bucharest to Munich and be surrounded by fellow Americans. Comes to show how little our world really is.

Once arrived in Munich, we said goodbye to our newfound friends and off we went to find our gate. We were told by several airport employees to go to terminal 1, not knowing that there’s where our troubles began. After the shuttle buss dropped us, we went through a maze –I’m not kidding–maze of corridors, gates and check points, making our way to gate 17. We still had time for breakfast, stroll through duty free stores until boarding was announced. 

As we waited to be boarded, my eyes fell on the display flickering our flight and I found odd that instead of Lufthansa there was EasyJet airline. Then looked at my boarding ticket and saw that the flight number didn’t match the one on the display, only the departure time and destination.

I’ve rarely felt as if the rug was pulled from underneath my feet, but that’s the best way to describe how I felt.  Never lost a connection in my life. Never thought not one, but several airport employees can be that… well, I really don’t have a name for it, unless I’m willing to call them something bad. For crying out loud: I show you a boarding pass and you send me to a wrong terminal???

We made our way back to terminal 2 as our Lufthansa flight took off. At that time I was livid and sick to my stomach worrying about having to buy new tickets, and losing our train connection from Rome to Verona. Pat kept telling me to breathe deeply and accept the fact that was nothing I could do to change what just happened. Trust me, breathing exercises never helped that much as then. I managed to calm somewhat until, explaining to the Lufthansa rep how we lost our connection she said in an arrogant and dismissive tone, word for word: “That’s the most stupid thing I’ve heard in thirteen years working on this airport. Who here would direct you wrongly?”

With my minds eyes I saw myself reaching over the counter and grabbing a handful of her shirt, saying, “You call me a liar and stupid???”, but instead I said, “Ma’am, as much as your airport is a nice venue, I would rather travel to my destination. Hanging out on an airport is not my kind of fun time.”

Pat stepping on my foot made me pause and take my eyes off the Lufthansa rep, long enough to take yet another deep breath. I should’ve inhaled enough oxygen by now, enough to transform it in smoke puffing out of my ears but boy, I was aching to wrinkle that woman’s starched collar. 

Somehow I managed to be civil. Fifteen minutes and two phone calls later we had brand new tickets that costed us only $105.00 each. If all worked out well, we’d make it to our train connection on time.

Eventually anger and frustration drained out of me, leaving me exhausted. The entire time we waited Pat and I talked and, the more we talked, the deeper in conversation we went. Like to survivors on an island we shared plans, dreams, memories–we talked so much and I have to say, there was nothing that could make me happier than my kid sharing so much of him. There’s a glow in Pat’s eyes when he talks about himself, a glow that makes the blue in his eyes so intense and so alive. 

In looking back I do wonder if all of that happened because he and I had to talk. Not just any talk, but deep talk, the kind of talk that makes one vulnerable but also so, so human. The kind of talk where all masks fall and one’s heart and soul are out there in plain light, without holding back. 

I always considered myself incredibly lucky to have a great relationship with my kid, but for some reason that talk we had waiting for our flight taking us from Munich to Rome, made me realized, my kid is not a kid anymore, but a young man making his way into adulthood, having incredible plans for the future. It also made me realized how much more mature he is now compared to myself at his age, but most importantly that, if I were to go tomorrow, I’m leaving behind a great legacy, a man who I have no doubt will make his way through life in a healthy, solid, clear, strong manner; that whenever life will throw curves and hurdles his way, he has the tools he needs to go through them all. 

When time came to leave, I remember finally buckling my belt on the plane taking us to a brand new adventure. Pat reached over and kissed the top of my head, then interlaced his finger with mine. “Thanks, mom,” he said. “What for?,” I replied. He smiled and pushed his side onto mine. “For listening.”

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Untold Stories of Unknown Heroes

31 Jul

Dacian Legends–untold stories of unknown heroes.  Between 07/31-08/01 download your free copy of BORN IN VENGEANCE from Amazon.



My sheepskin is large enough to place Nerva on it and I could easily fit next to her. But I won’t. I’d rather be fed to the lions than lay with a Roman woman. She rests on her side, facing me. I tie her right wrist to my left, and cover her up. The fire is behind her. Her large eyes follow my every move. Looking up at the dark sky, I bent my free arm under my head. The tall grass offers softness, but I’m so tired I could slumber standing. I glance once more at Nerva. She only glares at me. I don’t know how to read her face, but it’s clearly not hate.

“Who else knows I’m not . . .  I’m not Traianus’ niece?”

“Only my men here. You needn’t fret. Your secret will follow them to the afterlife.”

Nerva sighs. “I do not fret. At times I want the world to know. I wouldn’t be forced into a marriage I resent body and spirit.”

I almost say her days are numbered and marriage shan’t distress her any longer, but I’m in no mood to deal with a frantic woman. Looking away I say, “We don’t always get what we want.”

Nerva is quiet for a while then asks, “Why did you kidnap me?”

“To force your father to fight me.” It’s only half the truth.

“You will die. No army is as big and strong as the Roman army.”

“There is more to winning a battle than size and strength. Of course I don’t expect you to understand that.”

Nerva yanks at the rope tying our wrists. “You take me for a fool for I am a woman, is that it?”

I pull back, forcing her to come up on one elbow and closer to me. “Leave war matters to men. Now, sleep.”

The crackling sounds of the fire and the night’s hidden noises soothe me. Out in the open is where I spend my nights until winter forces me inside. Then huts, tents or caves become my home. My thoughts trail off  . . .  I almost give into blessed slumber when I feel Nerva next to me. I open my eyes to stare into hers, her face above mine.

“I told you to sleep. What do you want?”

Tendrils of long black hair fall over her face and rest on my shoulder. She pushes them behind her ear. “Are you going to kill me?”

Turning my back to her and folding my free arm under my head I say, “If you don’t shut up, sooner than you think.”

“You do not scare me.”

“Would sleeping tied to a tree and surrounded by wolves scare you?”

“You will not let them harm me. You need me alive.”

“I need you to shut up, woman.”

Not sure if my tone or my words convince her to shut up but she returns to the sheepskin. With my back to her I can’t see her, but I hear her grumble and thrash about. This goes on for a while and the longer she moves the more alert I become.

I usually sleep through thunder and lightning, snores or even through my brothers’ drunken singing. But for some reason Nerva’s nearness brings awareness to my senses, an awareness stopping me from finally giving into slumber. I squeeze my eyes shut willing my mind to go blank. Morrow is another long day in the saddle.

“It’s too cold,” Nerva’s voice breaks the silence. “This sheepskin stinks and it’s too thin. I feel the boulders through it.”

I jump to my feet and drag the sheepskin with Nerva still on it closer to the fire. “Get used to it. There are no beds where we’re going.”

“This is too close to the fire, now. What if I roll over?” she presses.

“You’ll know when you’re too close,” I too have to move since our wrists are tied together. The grass is not as dense and tall as in the other spot, but I slept in worse places. All I really want right now is for her to shut up. “Now sleep.”

“You can sleep on top of me,” Bastisza, who rests the closest to us mutters. “Now shut up or I swear, I’ll gag you.”

“Brutes, that is what you all are, brutes.” Nerva tosses one more time, yanking the rope so hard that my arm flings up in the air.

To my surprise she does shut up.



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