Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Colosseum is Old.

I don't know why blogging is so much harder in Italy.

Maybe it's because I haven't been on my computer all week so I feel a little out of practice. Or maybe because the things I have been doing are so different than my regular daily routines that blogging about it just feels a little strange because I'm still processing where I am and what I have been doing.

Either way, I've had another two eventful days since I last wrote. After our McDonald's Internet excursion yesterday, Eia and I set off to see the Colosseum. We took our time getting there, because it was a pretty long walk from where we're staying. We ducked in to a few little shops (one in particular where a nice lady kept giving us samples of this "fruit cream" drink that she failed to mention was alcoholic until after we'd tried three kinds xD), and of course hit a few more gelato places.

We've been seeing how many different gelato flavors we can try while we're here.. so far I've had Caramel, Peach, and mixed berry with Vanilla. I think we'd need to extend our trip another two weeks to try them all.

On our walk we stopped at this pretty building with lots of steps of which I can't remember the name (there are a lot of buildings like this in Rome! I'm sorry!) and I saw a smooth, shiny rock on the ground. Kayley sent me a worry stone in her care package she sent for me, so I thought I'd pick it up and take it home for her, to replace the one she gave to me. I bent over and grasped it between my thumb and forefinger; turned it over, examining it... and freaked out. I threw it back on the ground and rubbed my hands against my pants. Turns out it was a cough drop. Sick.

We stopped at the Termini to buy our train tickets to Paris (we leave tomorrow evening). We're taking the night train, which takes a total of about 14 hours, and while that may sound horrible to anyone else, we couldn't be more excited. Plus, one less night we have to pay for a hostel in France.

We eventually made our way down to the Colosseum, and I stopped a few moments to take it all in. I mean, it was pretty touristy, with people in colorful fanny packs and visors milling about on the grounds and up in the open windows and everything, but if I squinted my eyes just the tiniest bit, it was so easy to imagine this place existing thousands of years ago. Basically, it was old, it was breathtaking, and despite the tourists and the cheesy men dressed as gladiators, I really got a sense of just how much history there is out there. This isn't like... a monument or a statue or an homage to the past like we have in America - this IS the past. A very well preserved, constantly under renovation, tourist attracting version of the past, but people WALKED on those streets, well before the Internet was invented or Converse shoes or Chipotle or, you know, electric plumbing.

We were going to stroll through the Roman Forum as well, but there was all sorts of construction happening, which kind of detracted from the impact, so Eia and I instead sat in the shadow of the Colosseum for nearly an hour, just taking it all in and chatting. It was really hot and dusty there as well, so we were feeling a bit sluggish. I'm sure not walking through the Forum is something I'll probably regret forever, but I was there. I saw it through bars. I ate some more gelato. I took a picture for a family from some random country.

The gladiators were desperate to earn a euro, and were demanding of pretty woman that they let them take their picture. One particular gladiator man didn't quite have the lingo down - I laughed for about five minutes after I heard him yell after a woman, "No picture? But - but you're a sex machine!" How that's going to make her turn around, I have no idea.


After another half hour or so of laughing at all the high-heels wearing people tripping their way along the cobblestone, Eia and I headed home for the night, where we made ourselves some wonderful Gnocchi and watched most of Season 1 of Weeds on my laptop. ANOTHER GRAND DAY IN ITALY.

Today we slept in again (couldn't help it) and spent the morning wandering the streets nearer to where our apartment is. We ended up eating some ham, mushroom and pea tortellini in a little café and bought a chocolate pie in a bakery that we're saving for tonight when we drink wine and finish Weeds. :)

Right now Eia and her grandma are at her cousin's wedding that I ended up not being able to go to because of strict catering numbers, and they feel a little guilty but I really don't mind. I am going to read my book (I'm finishing up "Extras" by Scott Westerfeld and then I am jumping headfirst into "The Hunger Games") and maybe wander a bit in town on my own.

Tomorrow was going to be beach day (god have we been looking forward to having a beach day) but I think we are going to the Vatican and then having drinks at Rome's Hard Rock Café, since our train leaves a bit too early in the evening to make it to the beach and back and not be stressed out about it. Oh well.

Times I've had Indian food: 12
Times I've had gelato: 3
Days until I leave: 14

43 comments:

Cody Hotel said...

Alcoholic "fruit cream" drinks, an abundance of gelato flavors, ancient arenas filled with gladiators calling tourist women sex machines, Rome sounds like a pretty fantastic place. Not to mention all the authentic Italian Food, which is always delicious.

jenny said...

Rome sounds fantastic! I'm so jealous, I doubt I'll ever get there. I've not had gelato, but everyone raves about it... eat one for me! :)

'The Hunger Games' is pretty great.

Elizabeth... said...

I read you write "fanny packs" instead of bum bags and I chortle.
Sounds lovely.
Keep up the smiles!

Sadaofujiwarasan said...

When i was in Rome with a friend the gladiator told me: "Take a picture, i kill your boyfriend, YOU AND ME FOREVER!" funny characters the gladiators =), Rome is fantastic

partyweetow said...

It seems that your trip is looking up now that you're with Eia. Are you guys going to be together for the rest of your trip?

Mush said...

That's exactly how I felt about the colosseum as well - the fact that it is living history right there in front of you. Of everything I saw in Rome it is still my favourite:)

Sydney Swift said...

it sounds like so much fun. kinda like a 13 little blue envelopes journey, without the envelopes. how incredible.
wait... pineapple?!

Indigo said...

Mmm, I love gelato, it must be so much better there than in the US :D

Caitlin said...

I have a worry stone! My nana gave it to me a couple of years ago. I love it.

I'm so jealous of you right now. This blog is like "List-of-things-Kristina-did-purposely-to-make-Caitlin-jealous".

VicMorrowsGhost said...

You're sounding good bambino.
BUT YOU'RE A SEX MACHINE!
Ciao!

Katie said...

Am I the only person who calls them "belly packs"? I get made fun of for this and come to think of it, I don't even know where I picked it up...I guess the most logical answer would be from my Filipino mom. I would wear it frontwards instead of on my fanny anyways! I just don't know. Bah.

Martin K. Smith said...

When we went to Rome, we took the night train from Paris. It was alright, the experience was tainted slightly when I had to pay an extra €100, due to the fact that I'd lost my rail card. Whoops.

You're talking loads about gelato, but i've not heard of any pizza... what the hell, Horner?

Sarah said...

Just don't try the overly weird ice-cream flavors. When I was in Nice for our ninth-grade class trip, my friend tasted a flavor called 'Tomato and basil'.
It tasted just as disgusting as one might think it would. ^^,

I can't wait to get my hands on the Hunger Games. =)

Ashley said...

http://www.theage.com.au/environment/big-stink-brews-in-antarctica-20090902-f8fq.html

Before you go traipsing off to Antarctica, you might want to check out this article! Crazy, and gross to say the least.

Ashley said...

Oh and BTW The Hunger Games was amazing and Catching Fire was INTENSE.

Faith said...

I finished Extras yesterday and as soon as I get to a bookstore or Library I'm going to read The Hunger Games! That's so weird... (Not really, but I like pointing out things like that.)

Michaela said...

Glad your having a better time! I just picked up The Hunger Games and I'm going to start it after I finish 13 Little Blue Envelops. :)

Cadisawi said...

I am living through you so hard right now. Sigh, if only I was rich and not at school right now.

said...

European history astounds me *sigh* I'm proud to be European :)

Oletha said...

Hmm, what you said about actual history makes me realise America hasn't really been around/discovered for that long compared to everywhere else...

What's a worry stone?

Ravenclaw2313 said...

I love the "fruit cream" story. My brother and I had the same problem in Mexico where I woman offered us Fruit Punch without mentioning the alcohol content.

Sounds like a good time even if you didn't explore everything. I look forward to hearing about the Vatican and especially the night train, which I would be excited about as well.

kira902k said...

your trip sounds amazing, in the touristy kind of way, so that's great.
Have a good trip to France, I know you'll love it.

-alex

Larriell2323 said...

Careful wondering the streets alone! I had my first uni class this morning. I accidentally enrolled in an Irish language course. It's the closest I'll get to exotic for awhile! But reading about your adventures helps me feel like I'm traveling :)

TheAdventureBegins said...

It sounds like you're having a wonderful time! Italy is always someplace I've always wanted to go so it's nice to hear how much you're enjoying it :)

jcfreaknrdfghtr said...

I was in Rome a couple years ago... but I can't think of any good ideas. Ugh!

try getting one scoop chocolate and one scoop of coffee gelato. it's the bomb.

There's a place that sells REALLY big gelato cones.. my friends and I laughed for a solid five minutes watching a woman trying (and failing) at eating hers. It was melting all over her. good times. good times.

Chelsea said...

Enjoy Hunger Games, it is AMAZING!

Chrystie said...

i love gelato!

Kaedtiann said...

Lol'd about the cough drop. Hahaha. Gross, though.

I'm glad things are going well. Have fun with the rest of your time in Rome, and then in France!

Runningonempty said...

Oh how I love the comments spurring from the phrase "fanny pack".

By the way you are so lucky to see Rome, I wish I could tour Europe someday.

Kaitlyn w/ a K said...

Not walking through the Roman forum was my one regret from my trip to Italy. I did SEE it, though, like you said, as we drove by it on our bus.

And gnocchi is probably my favorite food. Ever. In the world.

Kaitlyn w/ a K said...

Oh. Also, please try the Nutella-flavored gelato. Not only is it delicious, but some shops label it as "nut cream." And you know that's funny. :-P

I love when things are lost/made funnier in translation.

TheSailorGeek said...

If you can find a street called Via Di Serpenti you will find three different Indian Restaurants there. The Coluseum can be viewed from there. I reccomend Maharaja. If you make it there, try the butter chicken.
If you want a nice Irish Pub check out The Scholar's Lounge. Great atmosphere there.

TheSailorGeek said...

I hope you are collecting footage of your Roman Holiday. Here's a video of one of my Rome visits. http://tinyurl.com/kvt7ck

JustMargaret said...

:D This blog made me so happy. The Colosseum was DEFINITELY my favorite part of Italy when I went there. (And by "favorite part", I clearly mean "favorite site". My favorite PART was the food.) It was like the original theater. The whole time I was there, I just imagined stage manager-types running around underneath the stage and gladiators waiting to make their "big entrance". I'm such a theater nerd...

And WOAH our reading patterns are similar. I started the Hunger Games at 9 one evening and was finished by 7 the next day. It's AWESOME. And now I'm going back to finish Specials and then Extras, biding my time until I have another day off work to read Catching Fire (because it's going to require my full attention for a day).

RebeccaInTheTARDIS said...

I love reading your blogs- they make me feel like I'm "there". I'm so jealous you got to go to Rome though... sounds like you're having fun! x

idyllic said...

Don't you love living history like that? The feelings I had when I was at the Parthenon and Mycenae are feelings you just can't experience until you've been there and felt it yourself. It's just magical :D

I just started reading Uglies anddd The Hunger Games! Craazy :D

thecornerchair said...

Have a great time in Paris. I know when I went, I fell in love. Try some nutella crepes while you're there; it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. :) Also, if you're down the Champs-Elysees, go into Sephora around mid-day. They have a RAVE. I'm serious. It was awesome. And, of course, if you go to the Louvre, see the Mona Lisa - but also go into a room behind and to the left of the Mona Lisa. There's this BREATHTAKING painting of a lady lying face-up in a body of water. I could stare at her for hours.

Have a great trip, and good luck with Antarctica. I voted for you!

-Morgan

celesteisrad said...

Sounds like you're having such an amazing time!
I am truly, truly jealous of your whole trip, including the school part, 'cos that's exactly what I want to do in the second half of next year. But it's a longer exchange for about 4 months.
Anyway, I saw that you were reading Extras and I was wondering what you thought of the one before that, Specials? I read Uglies last year and thought it was brilliant and such a great concept, read Pretties and thought it was still very good, but not as good as Uglies and then I started to read Specials and about half way through just completely lost interest. What do you think about them?

Enjoy France and the rest of your trip!

Lynx said...

Be careful about picking up rocks at historic sites - you can get arrested for that in Rome!

Shauna Taylor said...

Oooh, I hope you checked out the ATM's at the vatican! They're in Latin. :D

andruida said...

hey!! how long are you staying in paris??? I live there !

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RhianonLives said...

They don't sell pineapple at Mc in America? Wow.
It's strange how you're so mesmerized by the idea of true history_ I guess in America everything goes back only a couple of hundred years, right? Sucky...
In my town, which is a tiny little southern portuguese city, there have been christians, romans, moors,celts... You name it, it's been here. We have remains of roman walls, arabic squares, celtic gods and their shrines. Europe rocks.
HAVE FUN IN PARIS!