Friday, July 19, 2013


DAY 5, JULY 12, 2013
On our last day in Rome not counting the ride we'll be taking back to the airport after our stay in Armena, Rick and Emmy had reached their point of ultimate exhaustion. We had stayed up the night before to watch a movie, The Oranges, and I don't think anyone fell asleep until after two. They were dead to the world but my body clock runs on very little sleep. I was up early and bored with sitting in bed waiting for everyone else to rise so I went out on an adventure of my own.
I discovered that the neighborhood surrounding us had a wealth of impressive architecture, grand residential Italianate buildings and embassies by the dozen coupled with blocks of mangy stores and boarded up movie theaters.
It felt a little like New York in the early eighties where you could walk from a block of crack houses to a block of prime real estate and then back to crack again.
I also taught myself how to take the mass transit system finding out that our 20 euro 15 minute un-air conditioned cab rides to the Spanish Steps were really 1.5 euro 8 minute rides in the cool comfort of Rome's number 62 bus.  I also discovered that the Zara stores in Rome sold clothes in sizes I could fit into. In New York even the largest size Zara sold was too tight to fit my frame and I'm not that big.
When I got back to the hotel, sometime around one in the afternoon, Rick and Emmy had finally roused themselves and we went out for one last round of playing tourists in Rome only thins time we all took the bus.
We focused on a return trip to Zara and then off to the Trevi Fountain. I insisted Emmy throw a coin in the fountain to make sure the mythological gods were appeased and we would be assured of a return ticket to the land were it all began. I had to drag the two of them through the crowded streets to an even more crowded scene at the fountain.
I could feel Rick getting more and more irritated, he hates crowds. We managed to wedge ourselves in a position where we could get a decent view of the fountain and I could get a shot of Emmy throwing her coin. It turned out Rick was the one with the eye that mattered.
I was too focused on getting the shot I wanted and Emmy was too embarrassed to notice what was happening around her but Rick spotted the mother-daughter team out working the crowd doing their pick-pocket thing. We were being bumped and jostled from all sides. It was Rick who made eye contact with the women before they had a chance to snatch my wallet that I so cavalierly had placed in the back pocket of my loosely fitting jeans. The stare of recognition was enough to scare them off and with good warning I changed my wallet from the targeted back pocket to the uncomfortable but much safer front pocket. Tragedy averted, picture taken, it was time to stay arrivederci Roma.
Although we all forced ourselves to have one last meal
of fruiti di mare and pasta
and then Emmy and I made one final pilgrimage to our favorite gelateria before we headed back to the hotel to do a final pack for the next day's journey to Tuscany.

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