O yeah! I’m going to be a CEO this summer, leading travelers through Europe. Europe’s my home, my base, and yet there is so much to explore and there are so many differences. I’ve just finished my training week in Italy and body is starting to adjust to Italian time.
I now almost think it’s totally normal to eat after 7pm. We’ve been eating at the most amazing places. Italian food is delicious, as long as it doesn’t include cheese, and it is a lot. We’ve had the bistecca di Florentina, ribollita, focaccia, pastas, prosciutto, vino and of course a lot of gelato! There were meals with 4 or 5 courses and you want to eat it all! I think my stomach has adjusted as well, it’s size has now doubled, leaving me constantly hungry. The Italian food is great, but I was very happy to go out of Chinese yesterday, with the cutest Italian Chinese waiter. It was an old man, very nice and polite and Italian enough to put his fingers together, palms up, shaking his hands while he spoke. It’s the famous Italian gesture that has slipped into all of our talking.
When in Rome… you cross the street and hope you won’t die. It’s something I can’t get used to. Even though they do have traffic lights here, you’ll often still see policemen directing the traffic. I guess the Romans don’t really believe in lights. For pedestrians there are plenty of places to cross the street, but it really doesn’t matter where you do it. Look left, look right. If you’re lucky there is a gap in the traffic. If not, you just go for it. Cars seem to accelerate as they approach you, only stopping at the very last minute when they realize you are seriously crossing. It’s a miracle I’m still alive.
Once we took a taxi ride and saw traffic from another side. The driver was racing all the other cars, as if there was some secret competition. He was basically driving on the line that separated two lanes, so he could wait to see which of the two was faster and then use that opportunity to race past the others. He squeezed through the smallest spaces, not afraid to put his foot down. He let people cross the street, but the pedestrians could surely feel the gush of wind as he took off right behind them. Again, I made it alive and well, but I do not understand why all the cars are tiny and some are really damaged. Don’t take your new car to Rome.
As I’m writing this my belly is moaning, craving more food. I won’t give in. Today is going to be different. But it won’t. We all keep saying it and then stuff ourselves with all the goodness. We’ll keep doing this until we are so stuffed that we cannot dodge the cars anymore. Life in Rome… it’s just amazing.