Greetings From Beautiful Rome!!!

Hmmm, where to begin?!? Several things have stood out to me so far, including:

– O’Hare airport is freakin’ huge; that place makes McCarren look like a guest house…..walking from one end to the other, trying to get on an international flight is slightly challenging…..and a pissed off sistah working for the TSA has the potential to delay your progress.
– The airport in Zurich Switzerland is full of glass enclosed ‘smoking rooms’ sponsored by cigarette companies….lots of them all over….and yet, there are also strongly worded disclaimers posted all over as well, i.e. “smoking tobacco is dangerous and unhealty”, etc…..weird….
-Both Zurich and Rome actively court the English speaking tourist….lots of English signage everywhere, and iconic American companies are everywhere as well….the McDonald’s near Rome’s main train station is tucked into an old building, with a nice sized canopy outside for outdoor dining….and I saw a sign pointing out where Burger King was….along with Coca Cola and Starbucks, American corporations are well placed and making nice coin over here.
-Rome is a strange mix of old and new….some of the trains in the train station were covered in graffiti like old school NYC subway cars & the majority of the buildings are old, if not downright ruins….yet, the streets are littered with scooters and Smart cars, and there are curbside gas pumps, literally in the middle of a city block….
-Was not prepared for and frankly am kinda surprised by the local’s rudeness towards us….not to indict a whole city, but we have approached folks for directions and have come away pissed from the response we’ve gotten….not to mention the asses at a local supermarket here, who came close to making the West Philly come outta my wife….as much dough as folks will spend in these establishments, some act like they can’t be bothered to be approached & that’s just all kinds of foul.
-Shout out to the car full of folks that happened to come down the street at the same time that I was on my knees, attempting to take a pic from a different perspective…..they thought I was proposing and burst into applause…..cracks me up every time I think about it….
– the Vatican Museum is a mind blowing experience….from the rooms full of classic statues of early Roman people of influence to the impressive display of Egyptian artifacts that included sarcophaguses of Pharaohs and sculptures & each and everything in between, that place is simply awesome, there is no other way to look at it….and the Sistine Chapel was magical, to see Michaelangelo’s work up close moved me beyond any words I could muster up to put here; the colors, the detail, the scenes….makes you admire and cherish the good that could come from one’s faith…..truly beautiful.
– the memory of Pope John Paul II is alive and well here; the tourist stands and souvenir shops are chock full of items baring his image, and there is a huge banner of him in St. Peter’s square….you have to wonder how that has to effect the current Pope’s ability to rally his parishioners, that can’t be an easy thing to do…..
– Speaking of Pope Benedict XVI, I was not able to holler at him as planned…..wanted to see if he could hook me up with a discount on those uber fly red Prada shoes he’s always sporting….
– this place is massively expensive….not only is the Euro crapping all over the US dollar, but the price on some items here is staggering….for example, we walked past a sidewalk cafe that had a slushee machine outside. The owner of the store came out and asked if we wanted one…..we said yes and he went back inside and returned with two of the smallest plastic cups you’ll ever see and told us that the larger one was 4 euros….this fool was gonna charge us the equivalent of $6.40 US for not much more than an extending swig….hell yeah, we walked away….
– had the best apple I’ve ever eaten in my life yesterday…..damn near the size of a softball, a beautiful deep red color, perfectly ripe, juicy, sweet….really, really good.
-the subway here reminds me so much of Philly’s Broad Street subway; they even have an orange line too….& we were treated to a mini concert by a street musician, who serenaded us with a violin solo, right
on the train…..dude was serious about it, too; he had a portable sound system and everything….and as I thought about it, we could have easily been in North Philly, headed for City Hall…..
– Still haven’t used the bidet in our room…..don’t think I’m ready for all that….that’s a lotta water splashing, not trying to feel like a freakazoid on my trip.

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~ by darrylthewriter on July 9, 2011.

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