In an uncharacteristically last-minute decision, I decided to go to Italy by myself for two weeks. I’m obscenely proud of the spontaneity of it all. I tried to tell people as nonchalently as possible, to give the impression that I jet off to foreign lands every day. People did act gratifyingly impressed with my temporary burst of carpe-ing the diem. They also wondered how I had the money for it all. Most people think that my work is a fictional thing I use as an excuse to get out of social events.
My phone, as always, is not working, so I’m not able to take pictures. I don’t really mind though - I figure Rome and Florence are already well-documented. Also, I have never figured out the appropriate facial expression for selfies. I thought I would blog about it though, because I will forget things otherwise and just be able to inform everyone that Italy is indeed hot.
I traveled with Ryanair. Consequently, to meet carry-on baggage requirements, I am living out of backpack as opposed to a suitcase for these two weeks, and I was very overheated during check-in, wearing a sweater and coat in summer. The traveling was uneventful, and thereby, exceeded expectations.
I spent the next four days walking around getting lost in Rome. It was fantastic. I was alone, so nobody got annoyed that I never had the slightest idea of where I was. Rome is a very walkable city and seems to have beautiful ruins and churches everywhere. I’m not religious, but churches are still one of my favorite places to visit. I like the idea of everyone being welcome, with the nuns walking along the obvious tourists. It feels like a place with a lot of good intentions, and it’s a nice place to sit and think about things.
The Roman people were very friendly, and didn’t seem to mind the English. People at Holland might disagree, but I think I have gotten much better at speaking English with non-native English speakers over the year. It really is a skill. It was of course, somewhat embarrassing and rude not to know any Italian. I tried to compensate by loudly saying Grazie at the end of every interaction. I am listening to Italian music non-stop, so I can say “Odio l'aurora ora che non ci sei.” ("I hate the aurora when you’re not here", according to google translate). But surprisingly, not many opportunities have come up to use that line.