Sunday, June 12, 2005

Italia Part II - The Longest Day


The landscape scrolls by the windows of the train while nobody checks our tickets. I will find that this is a common occurrence in Italy, a habit much like a smoker's need to light one up after a good meal. That metaphor was as unnecessary and incorrect, even, as ugg boots. Oh there I go again. Out of control. During this introduction to the lack of ticket-punching, I am also introduced to KM's Ridiculous Sunglasses. They are Large, Purplish, and involve Snakes. Really. Snakes. (Quick search yields this sort of similar look). Those Italians, they really like their sunglasses. I will find that sunglass shops with names usually starting with 'ottica' dot the cityscape like starbucks in the big apple, twinkle twinkle. Street vendors also carry trays of sunglasses. KM divulges that the best selection is near Termini, the big train/bus station near the center of Rome. The three boys make a pact to each get a pair of Ridiculous Sunglasses near Termini for fun photo op whilst I look on in amusement.

Tada! We have arrived in Roma! KM has been boarding at a lovely apartment of an Italian Grandma, who will be called Nonna, and so brother MM has to go and drop off stuff there. We all head over over the river (and through the woods? haha) to Nonna's house we go. Nonna's house might as well be through woods and over oceans -- it's far, not to be found on any standard-issue maps of Rome, especially not this small one. If you click on the map, Nonna lives like two or three inches off the map to the left. KM is now a champion walker.

We took a bus and tram, if I remember correctly. I learned again that tickets in the Rome public transportation system are like mosquitos in winter, affordable housing in nyc, deep thoughts in janet's head: ABSENT. While there are validating machine thingies on board these vehicles, they are in the middle and aren't required for entry. I hear that you can be fined or show a driver's license or student ID as identification for a fine that goats.jpg you will never pay but for the duration of our stay in Rome, nobody checks. Honesty goes down the drain and I marvel, coooool! It's freeeee! Awesome!!!!!
While the brothers M go off to meet and greet Nonna and such, G and I go off towards the end of Nonna's jasmine-lined block. At a sort of cul-de-sac, there is a pretty great view of Rome, while behind us, cute little smart cars and scooters zoom by now and again. Far off, we can see the big dome that is St. Peter's. Closer by, the trees are lushly green and there are two golden retrievers running alongside the wire fence, tails wagging happily, barking noisily and importantly. The bells of a small herd of goats clang gently as they graze, paces from us, ignoring the dogs. They don't seem to care much for the view. They don't really seem to care much for anything.

Afterward, we drop off my stuff. I am staying near Termini, at a hostel in a twelve-bed room full of eager, energy-filled, english-speaking, wine-soaked college-age backpackers. I promise myself that next time I visit this nation, I will stay in a real hotel or somebody's house. The hostel was serviceable, sometimes gross. Eh. At least nobody threw up on me, as did some girl at G's hostel. You get what you pay for, quoth the princess on her perpetual pea.
It's almost nine and the princess and her cohorts all feel that it is high time to dine. Not counting a scant bit of sleeping on the plane, MM and I have been up for over 24 hours. Nevertheless, I'm hanging in there. But this will turn out to be the day without end.

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