Tuesday, February 5, 2008

there's things i remember and things i forget (i miss you, i guess that i should)

A year to the day after I stepped off the plane in Rome Fiumicino and tried to figure out how to buy a train ticket, these are a few of the things I remember about Italy:

1. The glowing pink trees in the Villa Borghese.
2. Carla's "American" accent. "I'm just, like, really glad to be here."
3. The dueling Chinese waiters on Via Cavour. They stood outside their respective restaurants trying to get you to come in and if you went in one restaurant, the other waiter would yell at you.
4. The dandelion that grew on the roof across from our bedroom window in Rome.
5. Heidi in bed in Vernazza with her ear plugs in. "Are you TALKING TO ME? I can't HEAR YOU. I have EAR PLUGS IN."
6. Yvette and I trying to cross the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore for for the first time. I thought I was going to die.
7. Our weird tour guide at the Priscilla Catacombs. I thought we might die then, too.
8. The woman at the Greek gastronomia who taught us the names of the fruits in Italian, and the other woman who gave us pieces of chocolate when we couldn't pay for our yogurt.
9. Running to the National Museum of Rome with Brie while being pelted with hail.
10. Brie's gelato obsession.
11. Maria's shower breaking and not draining and making the entire apartment smell like something had died.
12. "I went to Georgetown. Maybe you've heard of it."
13. The bottle of wine my Pakistani internet cafe friend bought for me my last day in Rome.
14. Brie's top five: identifying scents, predicting waves, opening things, catching, and throwing.
15. "Con calma, con calma."
16. The pizza at the GranCaffe Strega (aka Santa Monica Pier,) and how when I first saw it, I thought, "There's no way I can eat this whole pizza."
17. Carla showing us how to get free drinks at the Irish pub on Via Nazionale.
18. The time I accidentally kicked a dog and got screamed at by an old Italian lady.
19. Yvette offering me food to pacify me.
20. How miserable Brie and I were for a couple of weeks back in Rome. I was working on an arbitration non-stop on Carla's laptop, and Brie had some mysterious wasting illness.
21. The guy at the gelateria near our apartment who always asked me to come out dancing.
22. Wearing two sweaters to bed in Rome.
23. Playing the movie game with Coma and Steve at that cafe in Trastevere where they gave us free beans, which we then felt obligated to eat.
24. "I think of yes."
25. How Vernazza was so quiet and small that it was news that we were there. One of the waiters there told Heidi he had heard that there were four American girls in town.
26. The waiter at the pizza place on Quattro Fontane: "I can't believe my eyes! You are full of magic!"
27. Choking on the word margherita, repeatedly.
28. The duck rape.
29. Going grocery shopping in the store across the piazza and keeping the fairly disgusting tuna kit I bought on the shelves above Yvette's bed.
30. Talking to Adam on my cell between cars of the train on our way back to Rome.
31. Crik crok sour cream potato chips.
32. "Oh, Meeshell, that is not a word!"
33. Walking down to Termini station with Carla to get noodles.
34. Brie journaling everywhere.
35. The lemon-scented rainy streets of Sorrento.
36. Reading "Harry Potter e il Principe Mezzosangue" on the train with the Italian guy reading over my shoulder.
37. "Piano, piano."
38. Going to church with Brie. There was a man there who kept staring at us during the sermon. One of the women in the church was trying to warn us about him, but said he was "non pericoloso." After church, we were walking back to the train station and he stepped out from behind a bus to say hello to us. We realized that he must have run diagonally across the field to be able to get in front of us.
39. Mamertinum, traditionally held to be the cell in which Paul and Peter were held.
40. Touring churches with Brie, and then more by myself after she left.
41. Fried zucchini flowers.
42. The Jewish ghetto and Bernini's turtle fountain.
43. Watching Walker Texas Ranger dubbed in Italian on the little TV in our bedroom.
44. "Gucci, prada."
45. Birds circling the domes near the Roman Forum.
46. The noisemakers sold in the piazzas.
47. Rain in the gutters in Pompeii.
48. The "passagiatta" in Florence.
49. The sound of the sea at the train station in Monterosso.
50. The feel of the sun on my face as I lay in the grass in the Villa Borghese on my last day in Rome.