Praise from a 4-year-old and the “New Girl”…

Posted on February 16, 2011


Dear Public Transportation,

I have a love and hate relationship with each type of transportation here in Rome. The Tram…I might like since there is a Tram that is solely a restaurant that takes you around while you eat. Brilliant. The Metro…one word. Dirty. The bus…I have the best relationship with the buses. I have not needed to take a taxi, hopefully, I won’t ever have to. Heard they are expensive. Plus, I don’t want to get lost and then have to pay for it! Cars…second best way to travel. Motorbike…my absolute favorite transportation. Funny, I have only been on three rides total but I am certain that it is the most exciting and dangerous. This morning I would have prefered to have been on a moto! Even though it was raining pretty bad it seems that those bikes get around faster and easier than most cars. Him and I stopped for colazione (“breakfast” I put this in quotes along with parenthesis since I still don’t agree it is breakfast). We had cappuccino and the tastiest breakfast pastry with raisins, butter and fluffy goodness (sugar?). The caffe at this bar was really exceptional. I didn’t need to add any sugar is what I mean. Together, we walked under the umbrella and laughed about the night before. When we got to his house his mother was still awake and came to talk to us. When she saw me she actually looked pleased and said, “oh! Ciao Jessica!” He and I laughed so hard after he corrected her! I have so many names now I might have a difficult time remembering them all. He promised that he doesn’t know any Jessica. I don’t care if he does or not it still makes me laugh right now, hours later. We both decided that since she forgot my name she thought of the first American name that came to her mind and she landed on Jessica! I still don’t think that I look like a Jessica but I don’t look like a Nancie either. Bo. (Roman for “I dunno”) Bo is one of the first words that I learned upon my arrival. I think its perfect response for everything. I say it plenty since I really don’t know that much sometimes! Bo…

When we left the house this morning it was barely 8:40am. By the time I walked in my door it was 10:37! I had no idea that it would take THAT long to get across the city! At night it takes barely 15 minutes. Daytime is a whole new experience. After about 45 minutes in the car stuck in traffic and rain he decided that the best thing to do was literally park the car then take the Tram to the center then take the bus in order to get me back home in less than 4 hours! I believe him so we park and are once again under the umbrella. He tells me that rain makes the traffic worse and “paralyzes the City!” That is such a strong word but now having experienced heavy rain and traffic it is the right word. I don’t believe that anyone was on time doing anything today because the weather was extremely dismal. By the time that we are on the bus I let him know that I was close enough to home that he didn’t have come any further. I must take another bus to my street but there was no reason for him to join me. He tells me to take his umbrella but the rain isn’t that heavy so I decline the offer. He insists. I ask him if it is collateral and he has never heard the word. I explain and he agrees, “Yes, to guarantee that I see you later.” I like when he tries to explain things to me he always says,” how do I explain you…” and always looks up as if he is asking some Roman God’s for ways to communicate to this Americana in the simplest way possible for one to understand. I take the umbrella and thank him for everything. Grazie di tutto. It began to rain again soon as he was out of sight. Collateral was the right choice in this scenario.

As soon as I walked in the door I was happy that I had brought the boys some stickers. Both of them were wrapped in their fuzzy robes glued to the couch with glazed eyes in a television trance. Foreign cartoons. Once they saw that I had something for them a jolt of madness came back into their eyes as they sat up to receive the stickers. They have been collecting these players for weeks and weeks now. They share this huge magazine type book that has all of the soccer teams and the object of the activity is to match up each sticker on each page to create the entire team. There are many teams and these sticker packets hold maybe 10 players. This process can take quite some time! These boys are clearly Lazio fans and even at such young tender ages they display the  strong animosity towards Roma. I am looking forward to attending a soccer game with the boys and their father some day soon. When Lazio plays near us he says that he will take us! I cannot wait to see these babes up close and check out their hot legs! Soccer players have the most intense muscle definition in sport history. This is all according to me…fact or not these players are sexy! I would borrow their umbrella as collateral if they offered me. That is all I saying!

Donkey Kong, apples, the game memory, and a short rest filled the rest of the afternoon. For their snack one of the boys wanted an apple cut up and the other wanted it some way else. I have not prepared it this way but basically I made apple-sauce today! There is this little “grater” type plastic tool that you smoosh the apple against and it makes super fast apple sauce! With a little sugar and squeeze of lemon I was easily impressed. I must get this tool to take home. I fed the apple mush to Matteo while we played memory. The cards were colors and transportation. Of course it was after my day of transportation. We had some serious laughs about the word bicycle. Not in English but in Italian. I could not say it correctly for the life of me!! Bicicletta. Bicicletta. It sounds like “beach-ee-klet-ah.” I think that Matteo enjoys me trying to pronounce words correctly more than the games we play. I make him laugh when I mess up! I am not trying to be funny I really have a hard time sometimes saying words! T finally asked us what we were laughing about a while later and  I explained that I couldn’t pronounce “bicicletta” and then she told me how to say it right! I can say it perfect now. I had to repeat it to myself out loud about 17 times but I have it right! She tells me that “bici” is fine too, it is not necessary to say the entire word. It is to me. She asked me to put on some water for the pasta for lunch. I practiced the word a few more times in the kitchen. Matteo came to see what I was doing and I turned to him and exclaimed, “bicicletta!” and he fell over laughing and told me, “ahhh bravvvvvo!” Finally, the kid praised me. Lets hope that I don’t have to ride a damn bicicletta from one side of the city to the other…but at least I know how to ask for one if I needed to get my hands on one!

The New Girl,


Posted in: When in Rome