Ancient look for a New Age
I miss Rome. It’s been almost a year since I was in the Eternal City and the mark it’s left on my soul still lingers. I don’t know if I will ever be able to shake this feeling of longing for a place that I only briefly know. But in a mere two weeks, I was able to realize where my heart belongs…Italy. The ancient country of my ancestors.
Maybe it’s the personality of the people in the Eternal City. I had the opportunity of meeting several really fantastic individuals that I formed a bond with almost immediately. Young kids, maybe early twenties, barely spoke any English (thats an overstatement they spoke NO english). But after that first bowl of pasta they made for me at four in the morning, along with a fat hash spliff to accompany it, we were the best of pals.
Summertime in the Eternal City
It was the dead of summer and the flat these Italians and I were renting rooms in had no air conditioning and it was 100 degrees the entire time I was there. And I’ll be honest, after a few days, it no longer bothered me. I bought a little 25 euro fan for my room. I slept on a wooden twin size Ikea bed and couldn’t have been any happier.
I’d sleep in most days and find myself wandering ancient Rome at night. Maybe smoke a spliff in front of Piazza Venezia, maybe head to Campo de’ Fiori for some late night carousing. Hit the local cafe on our way out of the house after Ivano cooked us up a nice pasta dish for dinner and grab an espresso before traipsing all over Rome.
It’s a wonderful thing to do as the Romans do. Because they take their time doing just about everything. No one is rushed. They work to live, not live to work. Something we have yet to learn in America.
We were staying over on San Giovanni about a half mile walk to the Colosseum and from there we could get wherever we needed to go. Perhaps the best part about the eternal city though, is the walk ability of it. Not to say that everything is close by, because it isn’t, but the city itself is begging to be walked. With the ruins from the ancient city popping up just about every time someone from the government sticks a shovel in the ground.
Most days my new found buddies from Italy and I spend our time together playing charades while I speak half Italian half gibberish. We would buy us a couple of bottles of beer, a few smokes, score a ball of hashish from some hoodlums at the park across from the Colosseum, and we would be good for the night. Maybe buy a rice ball to snack on for the walk back home at the end of the evening. Maybe we meet a couple of cute Spanish girls, or some crazy Scottish students looking for trouble, and then we get a few more drinks. The Italians I was hanging with were pretty broke. Believe it or not, this is the best situation I could ask for, because I was broke too. Also broke people generally have more fun, because they know where to go to get taken care of and what to do to make sure you can maximize your euro’s value.
Trust in broke motherfuckers.