Have you heard of “What a small world!” phrase? I feel that you have. This is the perfect phrase for my time in Rome. Let the story begins.
I arrived in Roma Termini Train Station from Florence around afternoon and planed to leave on the next day. I went to Rome several years ago and visited its various famous landmarks, including a day trip to Vatican City. Today, I didn’t feel the need to explore more. And for the practicality of the travel, i chose an accommodation located near the train station. It was 5-10 mins walk from the station. Quick and easy to catch train to next destination.
I went straight to the guesthouse to have lunch and drop my backpack. Then i planned to take a walk to city centre towards Fontana di Trevi. Why? Once again, i think i have this kind of habit to go back to a “legendary” place that has the power bring people back to the famous country. First, Notre Dame in Paris and this time is Fontana di Trevi in Rome. Indeed, i were there for the second times.
In the guest house, i met a young lady sitting around the dinner table. I said hi and found out that she was from Singapore. She visited Rome (and Italy) for work. She was an intern for a start-up called BonAppetour. A bit about BonAppetour. It is a community marketplace that connects travelers with local home chefs for a unique home-dining experience. To put it simply, its AirBnb for dining.
We chatted for a bit and she told me that one of the founder was an Indonesian and their big investor was also an Indonesian. However, the founders were out for visiting events. She was really excited for me to meet that Indonesian’s founder. And i genuinely was looking forward to it. I thought, it is interesting to meet a fellow Indonesian away from home.
On the same day, i was texting with my friend who worked in investment environment. He loves traveling as i do. He also like to try new things. As i mentioned to him that i was in Rome, he told me that i should try a new experience and sent me a link to a website. Yes, it was a link to BonAppetour website. I didn’t believe me at first. What is this? I am traveling from Indonesia to Europe and now i will find a mutual friend in Rome?
Before i went out, i told the story to her. I said, “You will not believe this. My friend just talk about you guys.” She was surprised, but excited and said, “You should meet the founders later on.” I was indeed intrigued. Is it possible that the investor she mentioned is my friend? To answer that question, i need to wait till i met and talked with the founders, tonight. Then i went out and enjoyed Rome’s architecture and landscape in pinkish sunset. One tip for you, please wear comfortable shoes if you want to enjoy the Rome city centre’s architecture. It has a LOT of stairs. Really.
When i got back, the house was loud and lively. I guess they are back, i said to myself. I found them in the dinner table. I then introduced to the three founders, Rinita, Giovanni, and last but not least, Inez. When i looked Inez for the first time, we were laughing out loud. She was the lady i met in front of the elevator on the way out. We were kind of “staring” to each other for about ten seconds. We had this feeling that we met another fellow Indonesian, but we both were not sure if we should say hi or not. We smiled awkwardly and just went to our own way instead.
Laughing about that was the ice breaker we need. Then, over a cheap box of wine (yes, it was on a box package, not a bottle), they shared about the start-up story. The story on how BonAppetour born, how they met each other, inspiration along the journey, and how they knew my friend. Yes, indeed, they knew my friend and my friend knew them. What a small world! The exciting conversation continued until we need to sleep to prepare for the next day.
In the next morning, i need to pack and went straight to train station. There is always this feeling where you find great people in such a short time and you want to spend more time with them, but you can’t. It was my feeling at that time. After exchanged social media account with them, we took a photo (as a proof to my friend later on) and we parted.
It was hard to believe that it was possible to meet a friend of a friend in such a perfect place and timing. A year later, i still keep contact with Inez. I even visited Inez once in Singapore and spent an unforgettable experience. But i will save it for now, till the time comes.
That’s all for today. See you guys! I hope soon.
Sorry of my inactivity in past months. I promised in the beginning of the story that i will be consistent. There is no excuse for that, only a story. I made quite a big decision in past months and consequently i need to prepare a lot things for that decision. All the things now set in place and i feel a bit relief. What is that decision? I will let you know soon!