What is Rome going to do with me???

Posted on March 2, 2011


Dear Uova,

Egg. Dear eggs in Rome. I can buy half a dozen eggs for only ,95 euro! That is cheap but I am wondering if it is because not only they are fresh but they are not refrigerated? Is that bad? Seems strange but sometimes milk is put on shelf and not a shelf in the refrigerator section at the supermercato. Seems if this were to be a “sale”item in the States at a local grocery it would offer “Eggs 75% off! Never refrigerated!” Either way I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to leave the house today (even for only a short egg run!) since I am on day 3 of the third week of Matteo staying home with an earache. Such a happy kid and seems fine but the staying home is part of his healing; we cannot risk any blunt forces to his little ear at school. He gets beat on by his brother enough at home so a crowd of children running around seems deadly. It was lunch time and Nana was making us some pasta (everyday. I just eat pasta everyday!) with fresh ricotta but she insists that we need more than that. I ask if she wants to make a frittata and she says yes, or something like that. There were no eggs so I offered to go buy some. She gave me money and I was out the door like a fire alarm was kicking me out! I take my time and catch raindrops in my mouth to slow the clock and trudge back up 4 flights of stairs. We set the table before I left and Matteo’s eyes were glued to the mini DVD player watching Scooby-Do when I opened the door. Again. Same disc as the last two days of lunch. I think the repetition does help me learn Italian better but I am over Scooby-Do and this Goblin story! It doesn’t matter that he has seen this probably over 27 times (12 with me) he still will grab my arm or face and tell me to “guarda! (look!!!)” at all the same scenes. “Lo so! Vedo! Vedo!) (I know! I see!) We finish our pasta and Nana brings on two eggs cooked over medium. This I have not seen served in Rome! I made them for myself (once the first few weeks I was here when I was feeling like I needed eggs for breakfast) but not like these sunny side up eggs made with love (or force. I feel that she force feeds me but everything she makes tastes good so I am not complaining just working out a little longer everyday!) She dips some dry bread into his egg and shoves it in his mouth after he tells her that he is full. You can never be full with Nana present; you eat until she says its okay to stop. She has some serious power over me too. After my two huge servings of pasta she tells me that the other egg is for me. I take a big breath, pat my stomach and nod. I then pepper up my egg and take a small piece of bread to soak up this uova with. She asked me if eggs are ever served like this in America. I almost choke because for some reason this is funny to me. I remember my first egg over easy! She asks me if they always serve them scrambled and not like this. I smile and tell her, “No. Cosi anche.” (Like this also) “Sempre strapazzate?” she asks me while violently whipping eggs in a pretend bowl. I never heard the word but I knew the motion for scrambled eggs! I love our half English/Italian/Signed language conversations! She prepared a small salad for him and I to share for the last course of our lunch. He refused so I had to finish it. I finished all the dark greens with olive oil (heavily distributed over my few leaves) a little salt and mean squeeze of lemon. This is my favorite way to have salad, even in the states, so I always accept extra greens; even if I am full.

Matteo and I filled our day from 9:30-4:30 playing silly games, organizing all the “trading cards”, building mini offices and boats for tiny Legos, playing dress up, practiced English and cleaned his teeth on my favorite blanket. Yes, that is right. He came in my room while I was putting some chapstick on and tells me that he will use my blanket to wash his teeth. I looked at him with pure confusion because I was not sure if I understood him correctly but I was positive when I saw him pick up my beloved blue blanket and smile as big as he could while rubbing his teeth into my blanket! Where do kids come up with this crazy stuff?! I was trying not to laugh because I didn’t want him to do it again or on another occasion but I couldn’t help it! When he says it in Italian its funny on its own, “Ora. Mi lavo i denti con la tua coperta!” (Now. I wash my teeth with your blanket!) So sure and confident of this plan. As if this is all very normal to wash with blankets. Mama mia I have to get out of the house more! By 4:30 I caved and let him put on some cartoons. At least they were cartoons I knew and that didn’t need subtitles. Looney Tunes with Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner. I will never grow tired of these same episodes and him telling me to “guarda!” because these are the best! They each have a crazy long name in Italian which is entertainment alone. I cannot remember how to spell each but I will next time (there will be a next time no doubt!) and pause it to write it down!

It rained all day again this 4th Wednesday in a row. I know that it is the 4th because Mickey and I have “talked of” or “attempted” to Ice Skate for that many Wednesdays (Mercoledi) now. By now I don’t care and still feel that I may never skate here in Rome but I will live. I don’t have to skate or even be with him every Mercoledi. We both work a lot and barely get to see one another but today he told me that since the weather was so bad that he didn’t feel like going out. I understood and didn’t mind that we decided not the hang out. Truly, it was okay with me! It took me literally 10 minutes to assure him that I didn’t mind and that I was not sad or thought that he didn’t want to see me! Ten minutes are a long time! Made me laugh actually. I am just not this way with guys. I am happy to see him whenever I can and I understand that we both have lives. I think that women here maybe are not as relaxed and calm as me about “our relationship?” It is like he cannot get used to my independence and he always seems worried that I am sad if we don’t get to meet up. I am fine and just happy to get text messages to know that I am on his mind! I like that I can actually “miss” him since I don’t see him often, its nice to miss someone.

I am simple here and don’t require lots of attention. Something new for me but I am adjusting used to it. Me being in Rome is not about me. It is about everything around me. It is about my connection with the people important to me at home. It is about my maturing and caring more about others than always thinking about myself. It is learning to make decisions on my own, without anyones input. It is about learning to communicate, not only in a different language but with an alternative attitude and awareness in new world. Rome has shown me a new sense of patience and appreciation. Appreciation for the time I acquire alone and the time I spend with the new people who I meet. Even if they are a crazy angel on a bus, a tourist from Pennsylvania, a student from England or another nanny from Paris. I have become more patient and kind to strangers. I am more thankful and smile plenty. I laugh everyday and thank the sun when it shines. I also curse the thunder and jump when lightning strikes but at the end of the day I am just happy and cannot believe that another day has ended and another one will welcome me tomorrow. I think that it is pretty amazing that I just up and left everything and everyone that I love at home to be in another country to do whatever it is that I am doing. When I can put into words what I am doing here so that I understand I will write it down! Sometimes I wake up and ask myself that very question,” What am I doing here?” but then I laugh and smile in the mirror and think, “No, what is Rome going to do with me?”


Posted in: When in Rome