Getting To Rome

Trip Start Nov 09, 2012
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Trip End Nov 25, 2012


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Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hard Things Nice people

As a tourist you are slightly less capable than a reasonably bright three year old. Yesterday someone (me) thought it was a good idea to send these three year olds to Rome, Here is a list of problems I had and people who fixed them

1. Using the pay phone
I bought a card and pushed it in but after ten minutes of me stupidly pushing buttons through a menu (naturally everything was in Italian) finally asked an older man with a cane in my best pantomime what to do. He looked at me and lifted up the receiver and typed in the phone number. Ah. You do it like that. Got it. Yeah, in America we call not by picking up the reciever and calling. Yeah. Thanks.

2 Getting off the train.
Eden in my Rome buddy and Sam is Marys. This means they have to be in physical contact with us when we are in Rome. Sounds like a good idea right? The problem is I clearly also need a Rome buddy. The train stopped at San Petro and we jumped to get off. Mary and Sam made it of fine but my gargantuan suit case got wedged in the seats. Eden and I waved frantically to Mary as the train pulled on to the next station. A kind lady in the compartment kept holding up six fingers (oh why don't I speak italian' I didn't get it until the train stopped and she pointed frantically to the tracks. Ah. Platform6 to take a train back to Mary. We pulled up and found Mary and Sam waiting patiently eating peanuts.

3. Everything in our apartment.
Here are things I spent a significant amount of time getting to work. I am a PhD candidate. If my committee reads this they are likely to revoke that status.
a. Stove...you do what with the what?
b. Opening the door...Ive grown dependent on door knobs.
c. Washing machine...I stared at a wad of wet cloths for roughly fifteen minutes before I could figure out how to open it.
Luckily Mary knows old apartments. She lived in Russia and this all comes smoothly to her. It was also lucky that this place has a bedet that kept my kids in stitches while I fiddled with everything.

4. Getting ourselves locked into someone elses apartment.
Our apartment in in a complex built around a lovely green garden. On our way back from Sistine Chapel a kind man held the gate open for us to get into a lovely green garden courtyard. We Gratci-ed our way in and walked over to the corner with our apartment building. Only it wasn't our apartment. We were in the wrong complex. We laughed and went back to the gate. And we couldn't get out. We were locked in. Luckily a kind old lady somehow understood our strange predicament (why are those tourists pretending the gate is a jail?) and flagged down a passing woman. She must live in the complex because she pulled out a key and opened the gate. People are so kind. No one needs to help. We aren't friends or family or even countrymen. The only claim we have on their kindness is that we need it. And people step up. Yeah people.

Vatican Museum

Most of the day was spent making simple things hard. But we did make it to the vatican museum. This was by far the easiest part of the day. You see, the vatican knows how to tourist-proof so we don't accidentally poke ourselves or get locked in the toilet room.

Art is Poison
I love art. It gives me goose bumps and makes me cry and I love standing by famous peices that I had to memorize in Art History (I have to envision a statue on a small black and white flashcard before I can remember the name). So I was surprised when our "Rome with kids" guide book told me to pretend I had a ticking bomb that would go off in 90 min and to use my time appropriately. I was incredulous at first. But, against my better judgement I followed the book.
We zipped through and spent just minutes in front of meaningful pieces. We made it to the Sistine Chapel in t-4 minutes. We did all of the fun find games the book had and headed out the door. Within seconds of the 90 min Eden had a melt down. I JUST CANT HANDEL THIS ANYMORE, she cried. Art is like that. It can really move you. So we canceled the St Peters church part of our visit and took them home to giggle at the bidet while I bought groceries and made dinner.
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