Monday, November 15, 2010

Roma + the return of Marshmallow

My gluten free pizza came with a german flag on it?
There were so many black clouds of birds in these trees.
Seriously though, Rome is too damn photogenic.
Chiara, who's first words this sunday morning were: 'Marshmallow, are you awake?'
Francesco, who once yanked on my ears eighteen times for my 17th birthday.

I could try as hard I might to explain this weekend in proper, but there is no way that any words could capture the sentiment. To summarize: Solo sight-seeing walk, gluten free pizza, 48 hours of only italian spoken, gelato, and friends I haven't seen in almost four years. 

I took the train to Rome friday enjoying every minute of that four hour trip (I always get my best thinking done in trains). The countryside was gorgeous to say the least. But what really intrigued me the most was this white line that followed the tracks the entire way. It was crooked and zig-zagged the whole way. I'm sure it was merely a covering for wires, but the thing that caught me was that when we entered a tunnel the white line would follow. A bright white, painted zig-zag line on the stone was inside the tunnel. It was like a playful travel companion zipping along next to us. 

While in Rome on Friday I walked around all day to see the things one should see in such a city. The old guard: Colosseum, the super ancient area right near it, Trajan's column, campo di fiori, the vatican, Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, and everything else in between. Seeing as I really detest long lines and large crowds of people, especially when one is paying to subject themselves to this torture, I declined to enter any of these attractions. Everything was seen from a far. I got make up my own story instead and enjoy the architecture. Lies, I went inside the Pantheon. It was breathtaking. Someday I will go back and spend proper time in the Vatican museum, especially after reading a NYT article about after hours tours with no more than 15 people, che pace [what peace]. Never mind the fact that it is over $300 for a two hour tour...

Saturday brought what could easily be classified as one of the best days I have had since arriving in Italy. It had nothing to do with what we did, which was really nothing out of the ordinary, but instead it was 100% thanks to the people I was with. And this is where I will just never be able to fully explain the feelings I had this weekend. The most important, wonderful part was that I saw friends that I had not seen in over three years and I felt like nothing changed. It was as if we saw each other last week, nothing awkward and such a feeling of comfort. My heart felt so at easy with these people, enough so that I almost find myself with tears thinking about it. I really feel loved with these friends. [For those of you who may not know my whole story: I spent a semester of my junior year of high school living with an Italian family in Lecce, attending the local high school, and trying my best to be a regular old Italian teenager. Here I learned Italian, made amazing friends, and picked up the name Marshmallow]. It amazes me how I can have such a strong connection to people I have only known for six months previously. There is something that is not lost but instead gained and even multiplied in translation. I spoke Italian all weekend, and I loved it. I may have only understood two-thirds of what my friends were saying, but nonetheless we communicated with ease. It is impossible to put words to the feeling of really being wanted by a group of friends, especially those of another culture. They really took me under their wing and made me part of their group. As said with my Italian teacher earlier today, these are friends you will have for tutta la vita. I will always be their Marshmallow.


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