Perche e' meglio in Italia.

The funny thing about life here and me misunderstanding and being misunderstood is that the times when I don't understand one bit of what an Italian is saying is when they are trying to say something English or American that I should know.

Hertz rent a car just called.  I had to ask who it was 5 times because it sound like airtz... what is airtz?

"Ard wrawk cafe" Hard Rock Cafe
Adriano asked about my cousin.  Didn't hear cousin, just heard, do you know "serayna fally".
Talking about American television with the roommates... Conosci "Crick"?  Referring to Dawson's Creek.

Many other American actors, movies and television shows that have been referenced in conversation have gone completely over my head.  They seem to know more about American media than I do.  It's embarrassing.

In general this week has been kind of a slow one, but it has been quite fun in its relaxed state.  Now that I'm starting to write, I realize more things than I thought occurred this week.  Sunday night I drove back with the Di Legges stuffed between Patrizia and Adriano in their small FIAT Punto. Fun! They were going to drop me where Patrizia lived, but luckily I noticed we were driving past my apartment when we entered Rome, and I quickly blurted out Puoi lasciarmi al'angolo? So they left me on the corner of Via Catania and I walked 100 yards and was safe in my room, and I immediately called Nonna saying everything was tutto okayy :)

Monday, I got up and went to work.  Francesca was out for the day, so it was a little lonely in her office.  I missed her speaking Italian to herself and singing while she works... that's where I learn all these random vocabulary words. Valeria got me at lunch time to come eat with them, and Giuseppe joined the regular crew to dine in the sala di reunione. Quite the interesting lunch... talked about the price of condoms (Giuseppe thinks its ridiculous), and we got into women's rights and their disadvantage in Italy. Valeria was heated and going off on all of the men, and I was just sitting there agreeing.  Great lunch!
I left the office early because I didn't have any more tasks to complete. Got home around 5:15, went on a run, nearly died, showered and went down town to walk around for a while before meeting up with Pedro again for dinner.  This time I was prepared to tell him a restaurant I wanted to eat at that wasn't a chain restaurant like Rossopomodoro, and I was hoping he had brought his old blackberry to use.  Waltzing around the center I went into numerous supermarkets hoping they were selling the 150 unita d'italia glass nutella jars that turn into cups once your done because Lexi's had been confiscated in the Rome airport when we left in March.  I had NO luck finding them anywhere, only plain plastic jars, or plain glass ones, aka not fun. Then I went to meet Pedro outside of the Feltrinelli in Argentina, and he gave me his old blackberry wooo.  He suggested a place to eat "Pizza Rè", a place which I refused to eat at. Suzanne and I had eaten there during the World Cup game last year and the Caprese salad we got had green tomatoes.  Probaly decent just for drinks, but wasn't about to eat dinner there, so I made him come to the Jewish Ghetto where we ate at Ba Ghetto.  I put my SIM card in the blackberry and wooo it worked as a normal phone! Then we ordered, a bottle of red wine from Terracina, I got fettucine cacio e pepe and he got gnocchi alla sorrentina.  I was a little upset cause he said he was getting the pasta that I had wanted to get fettuine al quattro formaggio con funghi, so I changed my order because I have a problem with people ordering the same thing at dinner... seems dumb... and then I ordered before him and he ordered something different after me! ARG.
Anyways, we ate, paid, then went to walk around.  We went to the bar in Piazza Navona where he works, I met some of the people he works with, used the bathroom, got some water then we walked back to Argentina to get the tram to go to Lungotevere.  I think its dumb waiting for public transportation when you go 2 stops... but we did anyways.  Then I was tired so he took me home.  The night was just so-so.   The pasta I had would have been delcious had I like spicy things!!! Anyways its a moot point.
Dinner w/ Benedetta
Tuesday, Francesca was back at work, and I was back to looking up words that I hear her mutter to herself while working :o) Day was normal, lunch was normal, all was good.  I got home around 6 and planned to go to the supermarket to get some tomatoes and mozzarella to add to the salad I was going to make for dinner. Benedetta was packing up her things and said she need to go out toget packing tape, so she came with me to the market, then we went to find tape.  Seemed like I knew the area better than she did, and she was very timid going into the hardware store, but I helped her find a place to buy tape then we went home and made dinner together.  She cooked some meat that she had, and I made a salad from the veggies Nonna had packed for me, and the tomato and mozzarella I had just bought.
After dinner I made sure all  was set for the next day and that I was keeping organized, then I went into the kitchen and said ci vediamo piu tardi to Marta and Benedetta, then I went out to walk around Trastevere.  I walked around for a while, then plopped myself on the stairs of piazza across from Ponte Sisto.  There I just sat and watched people, listening on the Italian conversation, the occasional embarrassing American.  Just as I was about to get up and head back home, I noticed two blondes who looked rather familiar, and before I could catch myself I was yelling "EMILY NUSS!?" And low and behold, it was Emily Nuss, her sister and father, using their GPS with downloaded Italy maps trying to get back to their hotel.  What a small world!  We chatted for a few minutes, then they said goodbye, I sat down for a little while longer.  Went to get myself a Nastro Azzuro to enjoy on the steps, and then I walked to Argentina to get the 62 to go back home.  I was in bed by midnight, resting up for the big day ahead of me at the beach! ha.

Brioche and Cappuccino @ Mizzica, nom
Wednesday was a holiday for rome, as it was the patron saint, San Pietro's birthday!  So, instead of going to work, Adriano planned to take me to the beach at Ostia.  Fun.  I woke up around 8, planning to have my first Mizzica experience because I felt like at 8am on a holiday it wouldn't be too crowded, so I would have space to figure out how the place worked.  I had no idea of the name of the pastry I wanted, so I winged it, and just asked for the usual cornetto and cappuccino, coming to a total of 1,90 euro, then I took my receipt to the bar got my cappuccino and pointed to which doughy pastry I wanted, success! And then went to go sit outside at a table on the street.  I read and ate and drank casually, enjoying the nice weather, and prepared myself for the day ahead of me at the beach.

I headed toward the metro at Bologna at 9:40, and got to Termini well in time for our 10:00 meeting time.  I waited for him and his sister and hour at the train station, lucky for me that meant I was able to see someone else I knew (kinda) in this small world.  Waiting for Adriano at Termini, I saw a block U shimmer on a pair of someone's lacrosse shorts at the station.  I did a double take then realized, indeed, it was a Union College block U, then I looked up to see the face attached to it, and realized that I had seen this kid walking around campus before, but had never formally known him.  So I walked up and started a nice and awkward conversation with him and his family, and how I noticed he went to Union... yadayada yada.  His family was very nice, and they were headed to Firenze within the hour to conclude their vacation.  Brian Solinsky is his name, so I facebooked him on my blackberry while I waited for Adriano at the station.

One of the pools at the beach
Finally, he arrived, saying we had to wait for Patrizia because she was making sandwiches and needed to get money for him, but wouldn't be coming with us to the beach. Strange things were happening.  We rode a packed train from termini to Pyramide, then switched and got on an even more packed train to take us to the last stop on the line, some colombo beach in Ostia.  There Adriano took me to a military beach that had 2 pools.  The beach was nothing spectacular, everyone says that the water is sporco and most Italians don't even go in it.  That's why we stayed at the pool, where this hyped up black italian man was giving water aerobic lessons and ruining the peace.  The best part about it was that they made us buy bathing caps before entering the pool, and the cheapest ones only came in ridiculous patters, so when I got over heated, I pulled on my zebra print bathing cap, of course had to go rinse off in the shower before going in, (pool rules) and then finally jumped in!  Boy did I look good, if only I had a picture... darn!

Lunch was awkward, and I slept most of the day, overall I was happy to be able to have a day off and enjoy it in the sun.  I wanted to head back early because I wanted to go out and walk around in town and get dinner on my day off too, but I had to wait until 4ish to get moving, because Adriano ate 1.5 sandwiches and he wanted to go in the water one more time, but he couldn't go in until 3:15 because he ate 1.5 sandwiches.  Literally, I said I was going in, and it was 3:00 and he stuck by his rule despite it being 95 degrees. Crazy italians.  Then he took a 40 minute shower after the pool and then we finally got moving. Quite the beach day!

Band Playing in Campo dei Fiori
When I got home I showered and found something small to eat, then went downtown.  I walked around aimlessly looking for people to converse with, and I stumbled upod two girls from USC who were studying engineering abroad in Rome.  I hung out with them, talked and we walked to go try and see the fireworks, and it was nice to have some english speaking girls to converse with.  We parted around 11:30, I went to go find a crepe place to get a crepe :) so I walked back through Campo de Fiori and stumbled onto one.  I asked for a crepe and was told I would have to wait five minutes for the batter to be made, I wasn't doing anything so I plopped myself down on the steps, and while I waited the shop owner brought me a variety of samples of gelato and yogurt and then finally made my crepe (forgetting to put strawberries and bananas in it like i asked)  It was still good though.  I got the bus at Argentina and rode the most packed bus I've ever been on back home, literally my butt got squished by the closing doors, lots of rubbing up against foreigners, good times.

Band along the Lungotevere

When I got home I chatted with the roomies for a little then resided to bed.  Thursday at work was going to be like another monday after my day off, but tease like it was friday. Rough!  Work ended up going by quickly though and not boringly.  When I got home I made nonna's zucchini she had sent me back to Rome with, Benedetta was moving out the next day and said she didn't have any food, so we split the zucchini and ate together.  Then I asked if she wanted to come walk along the lungotevere with me later, and she agreed. At 9ish we went to walk to the bus stop and rode the bus to Argentina and then the Tram to trastevere.  We talked back and forth, english and italian, went to find a place to get a pick me up caffe and then some dolci.  The nightlife was hopping, so many people were out, and there was a nice oldies coverband playing at one of the bars down along the river. Always good entertainment in Rome in the summer.

Gettin our Caffe'
We returned home before 1am, Benedetta showed me how she had learned the Hoedown Throwdown, we did the dance together in our room, then I passed out. Friday morning I woke up and got ready for work, then I woke Benedetta up to say goodbye because she would be leaving while I was at work, and I thanked her for being so nice and a good friend for the 3 weeks I was there with her.  So I said arrivederci and then I was off to work, and back home before I knew it ready to go to Firenze for the weekend, and reorganizing the room with Benedetta's stuff vacated.