Too Much Coffee Can Lead to Nightmares and Impulse Shopping

Posted on May 7, 2011

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Dear “I never”,
Everyone knows this game. Or so I thought. I met with Miss Ford near her house and we walked to have a drink and some tasty apertivo and mini buffet. I don’t like that it is called a “buffet” because I know what that means having worked in restaurants all my life: Buffet= whatever is left in the fridge? Make into a dish to throw on a counter and sell, sell, sell. One price it is ALL YOU CAN EAT! I have no proof that is what is happening here but I have reason to think that it is all fresh since it is a daily occurence. The food is always a surprise yet similar in style and presentation. A few slices of pizza on a piece of wood, over-dressed salad, fried goodness, french fries (why do Italians LOVE fries so much!?), roasted peppers, rosemary potatoes, chick-pea salad, peas with prosciutto, pasta, pasta salad, and bread of some sort. Each little fried ball is a surprise. Sometimes it is cheese, sometimes it is meat or rice and once in a while? A green olive stuffed with meat then fried! Yeah, hello salty surprise. Welcome to my mouth, yum. What was that? Oh no thank you on the ricotta fried ball. Not my favorite. Together Frances and I scrutinized our small plates and rated our favorites while sipping our Spritz. We both found it a surprise that we were served our drink in a pint glass versus the typical large wine glass. Perhaps the bartender was offering us more liquor? Either way, we were happily drinking and talking away about boys (not men) and shoes. Both having a weakness for both we complain and want and then wish away any mess or inconvenience.

After paying only 10 euro each we walk to meet a few of her friends. She didn’t want to go where they were drinking because she says the foods bad and the place is full of “stuck up boys” (my best translation in English) and the drinks aren’t great. We took our time finding her friend and I wondered if the person she kept talking to on the phone trying to organize a meeting point was female or male. The name didn’t give me nothing. For one all the boys here are called Andrea, which in the states is a feminine name. Her cousin is Daniella. He is a dude. Like I said, I never know. A small long-haired blonde with a big smile greets us called Matilda (she called her Matia) and I am introduced to a Frederica and Domenico. I have met the “Dom” before so told him it was nice to see him. Another couple comes to join us and introduce themselves as Frederico and Andrea. Cute boys damn it! Cute boys into each other. Cute couple they were and entertaining. Together we walked and talked in a big circle near Piazza Venezia and near the Colosseum. I was happy that I chose my checkered Vans tonight and secretly smirked at the girls in their wedge heels. Wedges are comfortable but I think they are best for standing and looking cute in a dress. After we covered most of Rome (umm joking) on foot the pretty blonde friend of Miss Ford invited us up to her flat which had a terrace that overlooked the Colosseum! The “Dom” and I argued about “flat” mate versus “room” mate for about 10 minutes. English versus American versus the Italian. After we stopped for three beers and a bottle of Coke we headed up her steep terrace steps. She handed me the half drunk white wine and we carefully stepped upstairs to the night sky. What a gorgeous view! It was one of those moments that I knew that I would never forget. I didn’t even know these people very well but I didn’t care. Sharing this time on this terrace was undeniably the most gorgeous view I have seen in Rome. Bug torching candles were lit and we poured our drinks into tiny plastic cups. The seven of us drank three beers, half a bottle of wine and the bottle of Coke. If I was back anywhere in the States if we were going to party on the terrace it meant get a keg, food and mass text message! Here it is not like this. Not even a six-pack. A few chips and nuts, which was hospitable, but no body shots or anything wild. The people I have enjoyed drinks with do not drink to get drunk. Maybe since the legal drinking age is 18 they get it out-of-the-way much earlier than Americans? Whatever it is I admire it and I like the relaxing calm of just hanging out. I feel like a real adult at a gathering or something mature! Maybe I have more responsibility here so my mind isn’t set on curing my last hangover or telling myself that “I will never drink again!” YES! To the game “I never.” I explained the simple game of “I never” to the group and proceeded to play with my new strangers on the terrace. Seriously, English is the worst language! I have come to realize that it is outrageously confusing, it seems that we are short on word supply (for example: how many versions of the same sounding word with different meanings!? (you can get fined but someone can be fine? the sun is shining but his son in bright? People change but here is your change?) The “Dom” here in Rome pretty much told me that American don’t speak English well! I reminded him that American and English are NOT the same thing. He agreed but like me, he must always have the last word. He is the guy that “one-ups” you or has a snide remark and wears suits daily. He is very well-educated but that doesn’t mean he has the best manners at times.

“Non ho mai….” I have never…(see? English game called “I never”? Sounds like a rap song, correctly said is I have never. Get it right Americans!) This game is a fantastically entertaining for people who think they know each other well and want the juicy truth or an easy ice-breaker for new friends. I explained that if someone has done something then all they do is make the affirmation by a simple sip of their drink; no explanation and no questions are allowed. I am not the type to just sit in a group and let there (their…they’re?) be silence! Off to a rough start I made everyone drink by saying that I have never driven a car or bike in Rome. The game always turns south on juicy and left on dirty. After we revealed too much about one another we called it a night and Miss Ford and I walked all the way home to her house. She knew of a little “bakery/pastry shop” that is open 24 hours so we had an after midnight treat! I had my second barchette with Nutella of the day! (either a mini “boat-shaped treat or a flaky goodness like pastry filled with anything sweet) while Miss Ford inhaled a chocolate giant “donut” that was fluffy and amazingly soft. I frowned at my hard pastry but still finished it and shared some sugar with my black shirt. We also took some extra treats for the morning (all for only 4 euro!) I choose a cream, pine nut and raison pastry after she choose another variation of a donut filled with too much cream.

We got home and she made me a bed. She has a rather large room with two full couches that turn into beds plus her own queen size bed! I was ecstatic to sleep in a bigger bed, even if it was a flimsy mattress, I was happy to sprawl out in borrowed black and white polka-dot pajamas. And then I dreamt the craziest dream I have had in my entire 26 years of life! I cannot go into detail but lets just say that pretty much everyone I know in my life was there, I was attacked my an electric shaver, my nana called me on my cell, I had a door with my name in a Star, a huge water ride and it was a dream within a dream. I watched Inception not too long ago so maybe this has made an impact on my dreaming state. This is the second dream within a dream here in Rome.

When I woke up from my wild dream within a dream I reached up slowly to make sure that I didn’t in fact get attacked by a razor and had all my hair and no bald spots! Miss Ford was just waking up as well so we had our breakfast treats and a coffee. Then we dressed to shop and walk around for the morning. It was another beautiful day of too much coffee, expensive window shopping and gelato. I had three coffees in two hours with Miss Ford! By the time that we went back to her house to make gnocchi with cheese I was wired. Together we enjoyed our lunch and ate a bag of cheese puffs! Worse than Pringles these cheesy poofs! She couldn’t get these shoes off her mind so after her cousin took us for another coffee (4th for her!) and gelato they went back to buy the sandals and I finally walked home and made it into the shower by 5pm. Long day and night! I washed and brushed my hair out so that I could give myself a trim (not attack my scalp with a blade!) and then straighten my long locks. For the first time in my life I feel that I have really LONG hair! I am unsure of my cut this time but when it is curly no one can tell the choppiness I created. In many cultures I have learned that it is absolutely normal to want to change the way that you look after a big change in life or a transformative learning experience. I have wanted to “change” my look but don’t want to cut my hair off and don’t trust anyone to mix colors for me here in Rome. By wearing my hair straight and wearing my glasses that instantly changes my look. People don’t know me here or that I have fancy Fendi black frames with diamonds because I am legally blind (maybe not blind but I wouldn’t walk a mile without contacts on!) so I did change my look.

Here is to another alternative version of myself!

Lex 2

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Posted in: When in Rome