It still hasn’t quite filtered through my brain that I am actually in Rome, doing things like walking to the Piazza Navona for fun, or saying things like, “Well, guys, I’m just going to go bum around St. Peter’s until you finish at the bank. Find me there.” It hasn’t filtered. Part of the problem is that I’m around a bunch of friends who seem to create their own environment wherever they go, thus rendering whatever is outside a little superfluous. Another part of the problem is that I still have the remanants of jet lag, or something. Maybe the sleeping less than five hours a night is causing that. Then again, maybe it’s just me. The first time I went out alone (I walked to St. Peter’s for Mass), I was asked for directions by a cute little Spanish woman.
There are a billion little tiny Italian culture quirks you notice all the time. Their elevators have buttons inside that change according to which floor you are on, and not according to which floor you want to reach. They have little, single-pump gas stations on the side of the road as if it were a phone booth or a fire hydrant. The ambulances have the most annoying, teeth-grating sirens on earth. The motorini (little Vespa motorscooters) really don’t stop at lights.
But all that is just part of the cultural experience, you know? Like a ‘mezzo-euro’ store, which is somewhat
equivalent to our dollar stores. Whatever. It’s just keeping us all so busy, touring and having class and learning Italian, that all I can do is link you to our blog with pictures, and hope that satisfies!