“Anzi No!” On the Contrary…Rome is NOT a Small City…

Posted on April 29, 2011


Dear Lost Gift,

For about a week now I have been searching all over my room for a present that I got for someone at home with no luck. I looked in every corner, in shoes, in bags, purses and drawers and found nothing. I went out early today to shop around for an alternative gift and attempt the same store for the same gift but was not successful. I found another present for someone else but no replacement for the missing gift. I hauled ass my new way to get to Via Del Corso on foot in less than 35 minutes along the river. Speed-walking through the shops on the famous strip I bought nothing and had to turn around to make it in time to take Matteo early from school by 12:45. I cheated on the way back and caught the bus to the school. Worried that I would be late I jumped onto the 46 bus since I knew that it would at least take me the right direction. I arrived with 40 minutes to spare and I didn’t bring anything to do. I had forgotten my book on purpose to save space in my small purse. Luckily, I did have my iPod with a low battery so I listened to some good jams while waiting in the sun for the doors to open. A few other people joined me in this long wait outside the perimeter of school. It became cooler and the sun hid behind some clouds. While changing a song on my iPod a fat raindrop landed on the screen while I shuffled from a playlist. Great. I did not have an umbrella or a hood today. It was pouring by the time that the doors finally let us through. Always, when I walk inside a Nun will greet me and tell me which area Matteo is. Normally, they are upstairs and he is easy to find. Not today. I misunderstood and walked upstairs to empty rooms. I finally realized that she told me that he was outside in a fenced in area and found him while all the children were lining up to go back inside since the clouds were throwing bigger drops by the minute. I like that the sun still shines when it rains here, something that I have only seen in Hawaii. I help Matteo to put on his hooded jacket (thank goodness someone had a hood) and walked back outside. The rain had slowed and I asked him if he wanted to walk or to take the bus. I can pretty much speak to him in English and he will answer when he can in English but if not he will tell me in Italian his answers. He changed his mind about 3 times before we got to the street but landed on taking the bus. I learned today that the direct translation of “anzi” is “on the contrary or rather.” I get this many times from the kids and now I know exactly what they are saying. I thought it meant “actually” but I was wrong but close to the truth. For example when I asked if he wanted to walk, first he told me “yes, walk” then a second later, “anzi, no, prendiamo l’autobus.” (No, let’s take the bus.) We waited for the bus while I listened to my iPod with only one ear bud and one eye out for the bus; the other? On him. I had brought a toy for him and had to keep a close look on him to make sure that he stayed in one place while playing with the wild toy. It is some sort of ” BeyBlade” toy that is a metal fusion spinner that you wind up with some pulley and then yank out and it battles and spins? Boys and their toys. I spoke of these earlier when we were having trouble assembling them last weekend. We jumped on the bus without a ticket and rode it out until our stop. Matteo held my hand all the way home until I had to get my key out to let us in.

I couldn’t wait to get inside to wash my hands! Shopping really is a dirty job and my hands felt filthy. Maybe Rome has just enhanced my obsessive-compulsion disorder with the clean hands but either way I made Matteo wash his with me. He refused at first but when I told him he couldn’t watch TV without washing his hands he complied with a mean smirk. I had barely changed his pants and shoes and loaded a DVD when T came through the door. I realized that I had not had lunch yet and it was almost 1:30. I asked T if she had eaten yet and she had not so we put on some pasta for enjoy with the sugo from last night. While Matteo watched TV I helped her put the shoes back into the shoe and coat closet. The housekeeper had taken out every single shoe box and stacked them neatly in the small hallway. I was reminded when I used to work the shoe department and had a faint melancholy feeling. It was the best when I worked in the shoes and got to open the new shipment of merchandise! I was in charge of ordering all the black high heels and always felt like it was Christmas morning those early Thursdays when the Steve Madden shipment would come! Box-cutter in hand I would rip into the box and pull out the 6.5 of each one and put it one before actually doing anything else! One morning while I was in charge I ordered the “new kid” to hide in an upside-down already opened box and hold still until I got the other guy on shift with us to “open” the new shipment. The “kid” was worried about the blade near his head so I told him he better hold real still and duck down! Come one, a box-cutter could not hit farther than an inch, relax! Once the other worker started to cut the box a tiny bit the kid jumped and scared the living HELL out of him! He ran around the corner like a little girl and screamed! It was the funniest thing ever and I always remember that day because I fell in love that morning. I fell in love with some black and white polka-dot heels with pink bows. I bought them before they were reduced to the sale price and I learned to NEVER buy anything until it went on sale. Especially at your workplace! Sadly,  it still haunts me that I paid $98 (plus tax) and then a month later marked them down to $29 with an additional 10% off. Live and learn. They were 98 with my 30% discount mind you. The saying should be: wait. live. wait longer. learn.

It is Friday so we had Judo. Together we picked up Tommaso in the Jeep and were still late to class. Matteo cried full on tears when I got out the car and left him with his mom so she pulled me over to let him accompany me. I don’t know if it was about going with me or just getting out of the car. I hope he wanted to come with me but who knows. Tommaso showed me a minor injury on his knee while telling me that it wasn’t possible for him to attend Judo. I rolled my eyes and told him don’t worry about it and pressed on to grab my hand to cross the street. After loading into the car he forgot about his knee and glued his eyes to his DS and started to eat a panini T made for him. I am pretty sure that the car floor and seat enjoyed the panini more than he did. Perhaps he was sharing with the car? By the time that we arrived I jumped out with Matteo to run in and change him so he could still make it to class in time.

I was settled on a cozy old couch reading my horrible/can’t put down crime novel by the time T and Tommaso found me. He complained to his mother about his knee some more and she went and got ice to have him hold to it to help. He still refused to participate in his class so we packed up to leave soon as Matteo was done. There is a little park outside the school so Matteo insisted on playing before we left. Tommaso joined his brother in running and playing too hard. Maybe he just didn’t feel like Judo today. He had enough energy to push some crazy three-wheeler down some steps and push his little brother on in at full speed yet limped into the building. I love it and think its pure entertainment. He is a great actor and very convincing to his parents. Me? No. I used to be the same way so I read all his sneaky tricks and sit back to watch the show. Maybe that is why we sort of bicker and don’t get along as smoothly? We are much too alike.

During the drive home T asked about Mickey, if I have heard from him or what was going on. I told her, “nothing new” and that I have not spoken to him since Tuesday. I tell her that I probably won’t either and that I hate that I can’t seem to avoid his work area. My dearest friend and mentor is trying to plan a trip to Rome for a seminar and to see me here in Rome and asked me to check out a possible youth hostel. I told her it would be no problem and to send me the address. Once I put it in Google and mapped it sure as shit there it was: Piazza Repubblica. Of all of Rome!? I can walk from his work to the location in less than five minutes. I shake my head at coincidence and flipped off the monitor when I made the discovery. “Davvero!?” I asked out loud, which means (really!?) I realize now that I asked my computer in Italian, which is good for my practice of Italian but useless in this situation. I threw in some cuss words that I won’t bother writing as well because I have made my point. I share this information with T and she looks at me and laughs while saying, “you know…Rome is NOT A SMALL CITY??? Strange…” No, Rome is NOT a small city at all.


Posted in: When in Rome