Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Curious Incident of the Keys in the Night-Time

First there were two sets of keys. Those belonging to my roommate, and those belonging to me. On Friday both sets were accounted for, and by Saturday, both were gone. This is the tale of lost and curiously recovered keys and the confusion that followed.

On Friday I wandered around Rome with some friends, hopped some fences, kicked around a soccer ball, you know, the usual. I got home around 6 o'clock pm and let myself in with my keys. Somewhere between that time and the time I left to go out that night, they had disappeared.

My roommate came home about an hour later, and let herself in with her own keys. These she set on the night stand between our two beds, and this is the set I grabbed that night before I went out. My roommate stayed in that night and I let myself in when I got home.

The next morning, my roommate woke me up saying that she thought I had taken her keys the night before and that she needed them now to go to meet up with a friend. I opened my junk drawer where I had tossed them before falling into bed, and handed them to her. I figured a quick search of pockets and table tops would reveal my keys in no time. I was wrong. They were nowhere to be found.

That day, I stayed in and cleaned. When my roommate returned home, she had some amusing news.

"I dropped my keys down the elevator shaft" she announced.

"Shit." I commented.

We wanted to go out that night but no longer could because we would have had to sleep in the streets, and the streets of Rome are no place for sweet dreams.

The next fews days were spent making sure at least one of us was home at all times so the other could get in. This worked out surprisingly well because my roommate has morning classes and I have night classes.

Then on Tuesday, the door man fished my roommate's keys out of the bottom of the elevator shaft. One set down, one to go!

Tuesday night I went out and took my roommate's keys with me. She told me to set them on the night stand when I got home so she could find them easily in the morning to go to class, so I did.

That night I had a dream aboout homeless people and a whale being stuck in the street, but more importantly, I dreamed I had found my keys.

The next day I was extremely hung over and slept in til about 3 pm. When I finally pulled my alcohol-soaked body from bed, I noticed something very peculiar. There were two sets of keys on the night-stand.

When I inquired my roommate about this curious reappearance, she said she had found them in the livingroom next to one of the potted plants. I have no idea how they got there, but we now have two sets of keys, where there were once none.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Purple Prostitute Phenomenon

Upon arrival in Rome, I was told by a fellow American that the color purple signified prostitute.

I took care to avoid all things purple. I abandoned my purple knit hat and secluded my new purple scarf to the bottom of my closet. No one was going to mistake me for a prostitute.

As the days wore on, any glimpse of purple caught my eye. I saw women with suede purple high-heeled boots, luscious dark purple scarves and hats, and even some with shameless purple dresses.


Then I had my first Italian class. My professor, a Tuscan woman looking good in her 50's, showed up to class clad all in purple. The next class was no different. She was decked from head to foot in all shades of purple imaginable. I was confused.

Did my professor have a side job turning tricks and refused to change before class? Or had I been misinformed?

One night I asked my Italian friend. After a few amusing minutes spent attempting to define a prostitute and their relation to the color purple, I could see a light bulb click on over his head.

"No, no, no," he laughed, looking bewildered. "This is not true."

"Oh good," I thought as I looked down in sudden horror. "Because this shirt would have made things really awkward."

Bruised Pride

My pillow was calling my name. I had been out all night drinking and dancing at Coyote Bar and finally made it home at 5:30am.

My bed was there, just how I had left it. The pillow fluffed up, the blankets and sheets in disarray, just how i like them. Tonight there was nothing on my bed, no laptop or books or papers. The way was cleared for me to leap and be consumed by everything bed-like. I knew my bed would not fail me, sleep would come quickly and I would dream of feathers and silk and my favorite bathrobe, and everything soft.

I kept the light off so as not to wake my roommate. I tip-toed to the edge of where I knew my bed was waiting for me and I leaped with a child-like grin, my arms held wide, ready to embrace sleep.

And I missed.

"What the fuck?" said my roommate.

"Uhhgghhhowww ehhhh," I replied.

I felt the bruises begin to bloom on my knee and my pride. It will be a while before I trust you again, bed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Royal Pick-Me-Up

The learning never ends here in Rome. Every day I learn new things about the culture, the people, the language etc. Just the other day in my Italian class, I learned about the origins of the Italian dessert tiramisu.

Long ago, the Duke of Tuscany took a trip to Sienna because, as legend has it, that is where the most beautiful women were. The Duke supposedly was a legendary lover and had lots of women but he wanted to check out the Sienna babes. So, to welcome him, the good people of Sienna made him a dessert.

The dessert consisted of fresh eggs, coffee, and rum, all good aphrodisiacs and energy boosters for the Duke's "enterprising" in Sienna.  The people of Sienna named it tiramisu, which in Italian translates literally to "pull me up." Basically, the good people of Sienna made the Duke a pick me up to help him spread his legendary loving around.

I love Italians.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

There's a flood in my bathroom!

I totally scored on my apartment. It's right in the center of Rome, close to campus and is absolutely beautiful. Even the bathroom is exquisite. However, there is a problem.

The Puddle. The constant, stagnant, leering puddle that has taken permanent residence in my beautiful marble bathroom. Every day when I go into the bathroom to fix my face or my hair or do whatever else I do when there's a mirror present, it's there, staring, making its presence known. I have no choice but to step around it.

I've tried different tactics to ignoring The Puddle while still trying to keep my feet dry.
Tactic #1: Spread eagle over the puddle. I keep each foot on either side of The Puddle so I can get close enough to the mirror to put on my face.
Tactic #2: Standing behind the puddle. If I stand behind it, I can lean into the sink in a sort of awkward slanting position, held up only by the fortitude of the marble counter.
Tactic #3: Say fuck it and wear my combat boots. That's right. I mean business. I walk through that Puddle with my steel toes kicking up trouble and meaning it.

So why go through all the trouble of spreading eagle and wearing steel toe boots to combat this Puddle? Why not just mop it up with a towel? Well, my roommate and I tried this quite obvious plan of action to no avail. We mopped it up with a blue towel, and left it there to prevent further puddling. But you see, The Puddle was too much for the towel and we were left with a mess of unraveled blue threads.

The worst was when the landlady and her cleaning crew came over to tidy up. They took one look at our bathroom, shook their heads and gestured wildly. I don't speak Italian but I can only assume that their gestures meant These American girls are pigs! 

Bathroom, will I ever win? 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This is the last jar. I swear...

I’m walking down the alleyway to my apartment, clutching my jar of Nutella in both hands and grinning like a child when I realize… the previous jar of Nutella was supposed to be my last. Damn.

My roommate and I had an agreement. When she finished her bag of cookies and I finished my jar of Nutella, we wouldn’t by any more. Well, this new jar that was making me grin like a lunatic was even larger than the previous one. And the one before that and the one… well you get the point. I have a problem. A chocolatey, gooey, hazelnutty, delicious problem.

It’s funny though, I don’t normally eat Nutella at home. At least I don’t normally buy jars of the stuff and eat it like it was a compulsion. I was talking to somebody about this yesterday. It seems that people only get really into Nutella in Europe, even though it is quite available in the states.

Is it because there’s less processed food in Italy and Nutella is a remembrance of the highly processed sugar saturated foods of home? Is it some kind of comfort, some tiny piece of home that we can grasp onto? Something that our American stomachs can recognize and embrace? Who knows.

In any case, with my limited funds I should probably be buying something more substantial, something that will get me through the week perhaps. However, there I found myself in the supermarket, holding nothing but a large jar of Nutella and not feeling one twinge of guilt. Okay maybe a tiny twinge.

Anyways, this is the last jar. I swear…