NOTE TO READERS: The Rome 2014 trip begins with post #30. Posts #10—29 were Rome 2013. Posts 1–9 were Florence 2011. If you'd like to be notified of new postings by email, let me know at

Sunday, December 23, 2012

#1: First Weekend

                                                                                                                   November  7, 2011
ciao, everyone,

arrived at my apt yesterday around 1
the cab driver drove molto fast, talking on the phone and barely missing pedestrians while occasionally driving with no hands as he was gesturing to whoever was on the phone. I understood the words that mean pig and orange.

Right now, Sunday---

I am at The William ???? It looks more like a Boston pub than Italian cafe, but it was the only place i could find with wifi. It's down the street from Santa Croce
I am eating the best rice ever with vegetables.
I can only hope I communicated senza glutine.

However, last night I went shopping and bought food senza glutine and a Dante t shirt, All in Italian. all the italian lessons paid off since i could read the  labels  However, It was touch and go at il supermercato where I did not know I was supposed to weigh my own vegetables. when I got back to the cash register with everything tagged,  the cashier cried, Brava, and I felt excedingly brilliant

My first gelato was strawberry and chocolate which I ate in front of the Duomo at twilight.
I dont know which was more spiritual, gelato or the Duomo

I then walked across town an d got lost, not bad because eryone comes out after dark and the place is alive and safe.  Only problem, no macdonalds for a bathroom break. Getting instructions back in time was harrowing.

I was totally exhausted after this  But then Donna from Sacramento who is studying at the school stopped by, and we had a bit of wine.

I watched the Jerry springer of Italy then took a Xanax and woke up fresh.

Went to mass at the Duomo. I actually understood the gist of the homily, which was about the cathedral as being the art of the spiritual.
Seeing the painting of Dante with the Duomo in the background and contemplating his 700 yr old masterpiece took my breath away.

The priest spoke slow and was very emphatic on the point that it's not the material beauty that should blow us away but the commitment to creating it. It was much more inspiring in Italian and is losing a lot in translation

Then two women who rememberedme from the plane talked with me for a while and showed me how to light a candle for Mom and Dad. Dad's fell out of the holder and snuffed out another candle Mary and Joanne said the Lord wouldnt  mind if I got another  candle without forking out another euro but now I,m guilty that I snuffed out someone else's so will light another.

I can't eat all my rice. It is probably poor manners to ask for il Sacco di cane.

Yesterday I had some feelings that this whole thing was crazy. It all felt, well, so foreign and lonely.

I had lemon gelato for breakfast. It's more like sherbet, and ithought of it as a morning citrus thing  --it's good but in no way the spiritual experience of the creamy stuff. the rice is the first real food since leaving home. I'm suddenly very tired, but feeling very good if not mellow.

My apartment has a large private courtyard with an orange tree. The cats would love it  The place is old and well used but very clean, although they left me a can of insecticide. Oh well, the rice definitely has chicken broth. I believe I will enjoy learning to be more flexible as part of my Italian experience

Hope to start my blog soon. Or not  So much to cope with initially.

I believe I am going to finish the rice.

My Oregon addresses can't send but I think they receive. Gmail seems universal.
glad for the opportunity to write this. It felt strange being on the other side of the planet with no connection to anyone.
pardon all typos. It's hard typing on the iPad.

Hope everyone there is well,

the rice is gone.

Thinking of you all,


No comments:

Post a Comment