Monday, April 07, 2014


Sometimes things that are tricksy for me may be city mouse verses country mouse. When the weather is beautiful, I want to dig in my garden and throw the ball for the dogs and go on nature hikes to try and spot emerging snakes.  Rome is a very green city by any standards, but I can't hear the cows and owls when my windows are open. I can, however, listen to Marco pleading with Alice (Ah-lee-chay) to give him another chance because he loves her! She is the only one for him! Why must she torment him this way? He will die from his love! and then the Italians who are passing by stop to watch the feuding couple and they eat gelato and smoke cigarettes and provide updates for those who have just tuned in. Marco screeches some wordless screams and pulls at his hair and then Alicia points out it's time for lunch and off they go, arm-in-arm. So there's that, because at my American home,the most exciting thing the cows did was to stop traffic as they crossed from one field to another.

The weather has been beautiful which means that I want to be outside but being outside means tourists.  I moved here because I was a tourist who fell in love with Italy, so to be clear, I do not dislike tourists. I smile broadly at every person taking a selfie in front of the Colisseum because I know exactly how they feel. I offer directions to people puzzling over maps. I demonstrate how to work the ticket stands in the metro. Visiting Italy is an amazing experience. However, as a country mouse, I don't like crowds. A population of almost 3 million is reasonable. Quadruple that amount and it is Too Many People. Driving becomes even more difficult because now you are battling tour buses and bicycle tours and scooter tours and Fiat tours and even at 8:00 a.m. when you need to call a cab to get to your son's orthodontist appointment in a part of town that has no public transportation, there are no cabs available. Anywhere. No matter where the dispatcher calls. So you have to hoof it 20 minutes to the metro where your feet won't touch the ground in the metro car because you are packed so tightly that you are held aloft by the crush of bodies. In hopes of breathing, your son will do his best to bend his head back so that his face is parallel to the ceiling, but it won't work so you will be forced to break out your emergency straw that you carry around to keep your teeth white while drinking coffee and use said straw as a snorkel for your son. You get off at the metro stop  closest to the orthodontist office and run the remaining two and a half miles and are 45 minutes late. Which works out perfectly because the office runs on the shrugging shoulders that passes for Italian time and hasn't yet opened. So all's well that ends well and you can freshen up and use the bidet in the bathroom of the orthodontist office and help yourself to the fizzy water kept in the water cooler.

Anyway, we decided to look for some open space that was filled with green foliage as far as the eye could see and we found our way to the Park of the Acqueducts (Parco degli Acquedotti) where people were having picnics and setting up volleyball nets and playing soccer and sunbathing and having birthday parties and putting together tables and chairs for their cook-outs. People rode horses and rode bicycles and there was even Live Action Role Play taking place. That's right: LARP was happening in a beautiful park in Rome. And if there are two things I would not have ever thought to put into the same sentence, it is LARP and Rome. Most unfortunately, I don't really have any pictures of the Italian LARPers because I did not want some imaginary magic potion thrown at me.

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