by the students of the Upter University English Course in Rome 2013/14 – English Level Intermediate 6
A nightmare journey I remember was last summer, in August, when I was going to Bari to my parents’. I was travelling alone by train to go on holiday for one week and, soon after the departure, the air conditioning in my coach broke down. The day was very hot and there was no air in the coach because there were no possibilities to open the windows. Thinking about a four-hour trip to arrive in Bari, I was starting to feel sick with the idea of travelling without the air conditioning.
At a certain point I stood up and I went to another coach where the air conditioning was working. But I didn’t find a free seat to sit down and I preferred to stand in that coach until the end of the journey. I arrived late in Bari and I was tired and very stressed.
During the journey the speaker of the Italian Railway Company was often apologizing to the passengers for the discomfort caused and was announcing the ticket reimbursement.
A nightmare journey I remember was in December 2010. I was in Palermo with my sons and we had to return to Rome. Our flight was booked on Saturday 27th December but we forgot the day and we went to the airport the next day: Sunday 28th December.
When at the check-in desk they told us that we had lost the flight and there wasn’t any other opportunity to fly to Rome, so we decided to take the train. So we took the tube from the airport to the station and we travelled by train during the night.
A nightmare journey I remember was 8 years ago when I was cominng back to Rome from Colleferro alone. I went to Colleferro to teach at the hospital of the Sapienza University of Rome.
I was travelling by train but in the middle of the trip, after about 20 minutes from departure, the train stopped in a railway station whose name I don’t remember. Then all passengers and I got out of the train and took a bus to Rome.
Unfortunately, after ten minutes the bus stopped in the middle of the street because it got a puncture. Then I waited for a new one. The bus took 50 minutes to arrive in Rome, so that day I waisted a lot of time! It wasn’t a lucky day!
A nightmare journey I remember was five years ago. We decided to go to Prague on Christmas Holidays. The weather was awful and the aeroplane couldn’t take off. We had to wait about three hours in the airport.
During the flight there was a lot of frightening turbulence. When we arrived in Prague we were very tired! My older son (he was eighteen years old) was complaining because he wanted to remain in Rome with his friends. My daughter (se was fourteen years old) was complaining because it was too cold.
The first day in Prague we wanted to see the city but it was raining cats and dogs! On the second day, my husband caught the flu and he had to stay at the hotel. My kids and I went to a museum but my son didn’t like that kind of art and my daughter got bored.
When we returned at the hotel, my husband was very painful and he asked us to take the plane to Rome. I booked seats on another aeroplane for the following day. We were supposed to fly five days later but we decided it was better to get home!
M. Gabriella Cetroni
A nightmare journey I remember was on August 31st, 2013, in England. I was going to the Edinburgh airport with my partner, Ugo. We were going to London on holiday and we had to be at Edinburgh airport one hour before the flight.
Margareth, one of our friends, picked us up very early in a “Park and Ride” located across the famous Forth Road bridge, near the motorway to Edinburgh airport. Soon, Margareth didn’t look sure about the way to the airport, because she asked it to a pedestrian and to some people at a bar. So she took the wrong direction a lot of times.
Ugo and I didn’t know what to do, because Margareth looked nervous, confused, but also very sorry about what was happening. So I told her: “Please, don’t worry, be calm: we are in time for the flight.” Anyway I remembered that 15 days before, when we had arrived at Edinburgh airport from Italy, Margareth had picked us up with John, her husband, and then he had driven, so I was thinking that perhaps Margareth wasn’t used to driving. Maybe John was busy when we were leaving Edinburgh and his wife was too kind, offering to pick us up and to drive their car.
But fortunately, fifthy minutes before the plane was going to leave, we met some women who were talking in the middle of the street and Margareth asked them the way to the airport and one of them finally told her the right way to the airport. Then we arrived at the airport in only ten minutes. We told Margareth: “Thanks a lot!” and she was very happy because we were on time. In fact we waited 15 minutes for leaving because our flight departure was postponed. We weren’t travelling with a lot of cases, so we didn’t need a luggage check-in and we calmly went to the departure gate with our hand luggages.
My personal nightmare journey took place in the year 2006 and I remember it very well. I was going to Palermo where I was teaching etruscology at univerisity and on that day I had to discuss the final dissertations. I travelled alone by plane with my usual – but in that case very heavy – suitcase full of books.
When I arrived at Termini station, the train to Fiumicino Airport was overcrowded, but I absolutely had to get onto it. In the end I found a little place for me but I was being crushed by the crowd. We arrived at Fiumicino Airport just in time, although the train was moving very slowly. I remember it as a tragic situation. It was very hard for me to arrive at the check-in desk and then run with my heavy suitcase to the far airport gate. I was sure I would miss my flight.
Luckily, in the end I caught my flight but when I flopped into the seat I promised myself to travel with just one very light case in the future.