Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blogging from Rome...

Well, not exactly. I wrote this (as in pen on paper) while I was taking the train from Rome to Orvieto:

When you travel alone, you find yourself at times having conversations with yourself, or let's say having more profound thoughts than you might otherwise. I'm starting to notice these now and seeing how much they color my experience in Italy. For example...

Step over the bidet and into the shower. I am in the world's smallest bathroom (no, really) where there is barely room to get one leg past the bidet and into the shower, which, is tightly squeezed into a corner to such an effect that the doors need to be pushed inwards to get in. This is, of course, after you've stepped over the bidet. All of this makes for quite a challenge if you are visually-impaired, which I am without contacts or glasses while I'm in there to do what needs to be done.

While I don't necessarily need said bidet, I have decided that I need a towel warmer. Everywhere. On vacation, at home, at work. I've had them at my disposal in hotels before but have never used one. Apparently the reception desk controls the heat and the towel warmers in this hotel, and the three mornings it was on and I had nice warm towels after I launched myself out of the shower (and over the bidet), it was just heavenly.

My biggest crisis on this trip was hearing myself say aloud "what do you mean it's 1 p.m. and I haven't had any gelato yet?" Yes, I actually said that. And yes, I did drop what I was doing and find the nearest gelateria. In sampling 18 flavors in a week (well off my previous record), I managed to maintain at least a daily intake. But leaving it toward the end of the day becomes risky.

Everything tastes better with Nutella. The first day at this hotel, I was given two croissants for breakfast, so a couple little tubs of Nutella went well with those. Then all of a sudden it was one croissant and one big old hard roll, like a dinner roll. But the Nutella made even the crappy roll taste better. Nutella needs to be a household staple, methinks.

I hate cappucino, but I'm drinking it. My descent into "normal" (aka not macchiato or syrup-enhanced) coffee continues, having begun in Amsterdam (land of "would you like condensed milk for your coffee?"). With not a Starbucks in sight in Italy, I sidle up to a coffee bar and drink about 6 ounces of heaven in a cup. Sigh....

I hate wine, but I'm drinking it. Thanks to Bill and Tony, my eyes have been opened to red wine and I've acquired quite a taste for it, even the "nuovo" (aka 2007) that we were served!

About these relics...ok, I've been to over 10 European countries and have seen religious relics up the wazoo. There're the relics of the three magi, St. Catherine's head, St. Catherine's body (in two different places!), St. John's head, thorns from the crown of thorns (in several different places), pieces of the real cross, pieces of Jesus' crib, St. Peter's finger (or is that Galileo, which would make it not a religious relic?) My point here is, how is it possible that there are this many relics? I would think there's a limit to the number of thorns from that crown, and only limited wood on that cross or crib. How did so much of it get out there? Really?

I think that about covers my confessional for this trip. There are others (mainly about certain hot, young Italian priests worthy of a second look) but I'm afraid to put that into writing, at least in a public forum. Ciao!

No comments: