Stiamo a Roma! I'm going to be completely honest with you guys. Because I'm pretty sure only my mom reads this blog. I haven't cried in a long while. I don't know why and I'm not sure how I feel about it. But once we landed in Ciampino and were on the bus through Rome to get to Termini, I began to feel overwhelmed with a desire to stay. It's like I'm reliving my last 5 days in Rome all over again. That feeling of being ripped away from everything that I am. And I cried. Jessica is my external hard drive of emotion so naturally she cried too. She's already cried multiple times. I kid you not, she cries every time it would be appropriate for me to cry and I can't. Examples to follow.
So after we got to Termini, we walked over to our hostel and I ended up having to ask directions. I'm pleased to report that my Italian came flooding back, like riding a bike. We found the hostel and once we got settled in I took Jessie over to Trastevere. I wanted to take her out to a place called Dar Poeta tucked back into the recesses of the town. After a significant amount of wandering, we located the restaurant. It's a very popular restaurant so we ended up waiting for about an hour. We didn't mind, the listo guy was cute.
Dinner was delicious: bruschetta, vino, pizze, e calzone. After dinner I wanted to take Jessie to Campo dei Fiori but I ended up going the exact WRONG direction. Like 180 degrees of wrong. But we found our way after a while and made our way back to the hostel. Campo dei Fiori would have to wait for another day.
Also on the bus ride home, I was a little intipsicated from the vino. I kept hanging on the bar and swinging around. Basically I was a monkey. Also, coined a new phrase: "judge me".
Woke up the next morning and got ready. Then we took the metro over to the Colosseum and Forum because Jessie had to see them and I wanted to get it out of the way. A few hours of touristing later, we were through the gauntlet. We walked over to Piazza Venezia and Jessie saw the wedding cake, but she didn't get to climb on it. Then we went over to Largo Argentina and I showed her the cat babies. Then the Pantheon for granite and scaffolding. Gotta love restoration.
After the Pantheon we went to the TIM store and finally got Jessie a SIM card for her phone. So we are now officially on the grid. I was going to get one for my phone as well but it turns out my phone is broken. I can't say I'm surprised.
Then we hopped on the tram to Monteverde because I wanted to show Jessie where I used to live. I had wanted to see my signora but I was pretty sure that since she hadn't responded to my last email that she wasn't in Rome (she had said she would tell me when she got here). So I just planned on taking her to my favorite sandwich place in the whole world and wandering around my old stomping grounds.
We got off the tram and were planning on going over to my old home but Jessie had to use the restroom. FINE. I take her to a bagno and then we start walking toward where we were going, but on the opposite side of the street. Then I see a familiar face sitting in front of a pizzeria. Holy shit, could that be my signora? As I'm staring dumbfounded and Jessie's grinning like a fool/already crying, my signora notices me and adopts the same expression of utter shock. We run toward each other and embrace and she begins speaking to me really quickly in Italian. It takes me a while to figure out what she's saying and by then she's begun speaking in English. She tells me all about what she's been doing for the past 2 years and I tell her about how I'm done with school and traveling before I begin work. She introduces me to her companion, a male friend from Switzerland who speaks many languages, and invites us back to her place.
So we drove in her car (my first time in her car, she almost never uses it but had driven to the beach that day) back home and went upstairs. I was able to show Jessie my old room and balcony and terrace and kitchen and just was overwhelmed with the fact that I was back home. Then we sat on the terrace as the sun was setting and drank wine and ate antipasti e pizza. One of Ruth's friends was there, a really nice Italian lady who consistently speaks to me in Italian, which I love. It was lovely catching up and Ruth was just as wonderful as always, if not more. Jessica kept crying intermittently whenever something particularly moving would happen. We took a bunch of pictures and after a few hours, they had a concert to go to and we went out to a bar/club. I still cannot believe the luck of finding her on the street. Jessie's bladder: always making things happen.
Then I took Jessie to Pan Zai for my favorite sandwich. The same guy still works there, I'm not sure if he recognized me. The sandwich-making process was slightly different (a departure from the 20-30 minute process 2 years ago) but the taste was all there. Heavenly. Then we trammed back to il centro and walked over to the bar/club we wanted to try out.
Sooo we walked by and it was EMPTY. Like, two sketchy dudes sitting out front and nothing. I nudged Jessie, "just keep walking Jessie, just keep walking". So not down for an empty bar. We ended up at Ponte Sisto drinking Peroni and talking. This random group of four Italian guys stopped to chat with us for about an hour and invited us to go to the beach today to watch their band play. Obviously, since I'm sitting here on the computer at 3 in the afternoon, we will not be going to the beach today. They were fun though and didn't speak much English so I got to practice my Italian.
Then, as those guys were leaving, Robbie texts me to tell me he's on Ponte Sisto. Robbie's a friend you might remember from the last time I was here. He's living in Rome now. So we wander over to him and he's hanging out with his 3 roommates: Chris, David and Rob. We drink Peroni and chat and the guys play the bottle throwing game (try to throw bottles of the Ponte onto a concrete island and make them break). Then eventually we decide to walk over to Campo dei Fiori.
We hang out in Campo for a while, drinking and chatting. Robbie and his friends knew a bunch of young expatriates and they kept coming by and talking with us. At one point, this guy created Jessie's and my new favorite quote: "So there I was wearing my purple shirt and my pink helmet, looking at myself in the rearview mirror and I was falling in love with myself". Trust me, it's hilarious when you're drunk. At one point we got 3 euro absinthe shots. Just as gross as I remembered.
After a while of drinking and hanging out, we went over to a club called Mood that the guys used to promote. It was super crowded and everyone was shoving to get in. We all linked arms and the GUYS got US in. Rome, you're weird. When it takes 4 guys to get 2 cute girls into a club for free, you're doing it wrong. But anyway, we got in and it was fun. By then I think it was around 2 in the morning. I was dancing with this one guy and kept taking sips of his drink. I remember thinking, 'wow, this guy likes his drinks really strong'. Turns out it was whiskey. Ew. But that definitely explains the intoxication level. So Jessie and I are dancing with peeps and hanging out and wandering and periodically re-finding one another. We ended up losing the guys and left the club around 4:30. Shenanigans ensued and we wound up at our hostel around 5.
We made a beeline for the kitchen and started drinking free stale bread. Then the front desk guy started setting up for breakfast and eventually busted out some cookies. We asked him for some and he obliged. And then we took about 50 and shoved them in my purse. We thought we were being really sneaky, but in retrospect, the security cameras probably gave us away.
We woke up around 2:30 in the afternoon and are now at the computers communicating and blogging. And eating our cookies out of my purse. I love Rome.