Rain again, as though the ancient aqueducts are overflowing and Mother Nature is hoping we will drop competition and get back to our roots. Multinational futbol game of Japan, Italy and USA vs, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary, Seconds of competition interspersed with moments of unparalleled sportsmanship. A twelve year-old dribbles through nine forgiving foreigners to score, while a Japanese comedian ducks and weaves into the hearts of the international community. Joie de vivre with cross-cultural cheerfulness and a soccer ball.
Summary of the day:
Visit the modern architectural marvel of commercial capitalism where Japanese athletes have a go at McDonald’s burgers and Korean beauties stroll beneath two tons of leather purses. Italians even do shopping malls better!
St. Peter’s Square – the once-in-a-lifetime trek for religious folk, with a large glut of Americans who all seem to be from somewhere in the San Fernando valley and who show no shame while jumping up and down and cheering when they see other Americans.
Inside the Vatican – Pope was apparently in the bathroom all morning. Poor guy. Probably took a bender with the wine and had it out with the porcelain goddess. Snapped photos of Michelangelo sculptures while resting hands on heads of Asian athletes and Polish diplomats. Surrealism means little until you are inside the globe’s greatest church, while Ave Maria plays on the world’s largest organ during a morning mass, with five thousand silent photo-snapping tourists, and surrounded by homages to dead Popes, as apostles and angels stare down beneath several representations of God, and an old Italian woman grabs your ass and winks.
Piazza de Espana – hard to imagine better moments than pulling at the rim of a wine glass while watching colorfully-skirted Italian woman wander cobblestone streets during Sunset as you perch upon the Spanish Steps. Maybe only doing so with an East meets West gathering could add to the moment…
Quintessential Italian experience – accordion music echoes through narrow streets….two tank-topped men make suggestive hand-gestures in hopes of luring belladonnas into their grasp….an aproned twenty-something steps out of the kitchen for a quick smoke….four joyful Americans bump into a stunning and famous Sicilian actress who recommends a local eatery….absurdly smooth red wine, pestos and alfredos and putanescas top pappardelle pastas and large plates of vegetables all set the stage for a dessert of flan and tiramisu that nearly brings them to tears
….a stroll through Rome’s back alleys with no destination and the Fontana di Trevi’s misty spray cooling the night air…spirited photos with diplomacy-seeking Egyptians while foreign embassies quell riots somewhere in Cairo…
…a thirty minute taxi ride home along the first road ever built, followed by the realization that Caesars and soldiers passed this route two millennia ago…a soft pillow’s comfort as old men clink cappuccino cups outside the hotel room door….
…sleep seems so wasteful these days.