Entry 92, June 16th, 2011, 11:32pm (ship time GMT +2)
I spent another day in Rome today. The highlight was lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant near the Trevi fountain (one coin in the fountain ensures a return to Rome, two means that you'll fall in love, and three means you'll get divorced!) that my friend Pierre (the fearless Filipino-Canadian youth staff manager) knows about. We got there right as they were opening for the day, and I had gnocchi with the best pesto sauce I've had in my entire life. Ahhhh, I sigh just thinking about it right now . . . I don't need to marry a woman that can cook anything else; if she can make good pesto sauce my loyalty is iron clad.
One of the more surprising things about Rome is that there are Egyptian obelisks all over the place. Apparently the thing to do back in the old days when you were putting up an important building was to head over to Egypt, nick some random obelisk, and set it up in front of your building in a big fountain. I bet if they were translated they would have nothing to do with Rome at all. It seems sort of like a non-speaker getting Chinese or Japanese words tattooed on their body – sure, it looks nice, but how do you know that the obelisk in front of the Italian parliament isn't dedicated to the Egyptian god of death or somesuch?
Side note: speaking of tattoos, I am thinking of getting one. Criteria so far: not words, not pictures, small, and one color. I'm trying to think of something abstract enough that it will not lose meaning
fifty years from now.
Between the pesto, some white wine, and a bit of limoncello I was feeling great (although exhausted) by the end of the day. I still can't imagine living in Rome, but that doesn't mean I'm not in love with it a little bit. I'm not sure it is possible not to fall in love with Rome a little. It was a perfect day.
Our railroad car on the way back to the ship had graffiti totally covering all of the windows. We had to open them to see what stop we were at, and to make sure we were actually getting off at the ship. If you're ever traveling back to a ship from Rome, leave yourself some extra time as we haven't figured out the difference between local trains (90 minutes) and express (50 minutes). We caught a local train on the way back, but it was okay because we met an Australian man (originally British) who had been a cruise director back in the 70's. He was on a ship for the first time in 30 years and had a grand time telling us about the “good old days.” When he heard it was my first contract he laughed a big, bouncing laugh and wished me the best of luck.
So, I have friends traveling everywhere this summer! I highly recommend these travel blogs, both are good friends of mine living in interesting places and having interesting thoughts. Maria is a student living in Ecuador, while Moyindau is a musical ensemble touring Central Asia. Stop by, leave some comments, and let them know that I sent you! Here they are: