September 28, 2007

L'ultimo post da Roma

Well, this is it. My taxi comes to pick me up in 7 hours. And I have to decide whether to stay up or attempt to nap. I still have to throw a lot of stuff out, and I still need to clean. And eat. And shower.

The last few days have been pretty busy. On Wednesday, I went to the Markets of Trajan, which are finally (almost completely) open. I had some fun lying on and getting into some strange art installations. After that, I finished up my souvenir shopping, got my last gelato from Giolitti's, and said goodbye to the Pantheon and Imperial Fora.

Thursday, I had to meet for a bit with my colleague to get a letter that allows me to transport bone and tooth samples out of Italy. I wandered over to the Colosseum after that to get a picture of my UNC anthro water bottle (for an upcoming contest to photograph UNC anthro merch in exotic locales). As I was doing this, an Italian stopped and struck up a conversation by asking if I was taking artistic photographs. He was a banker, his name was Pino, and he liked to go windsurfing. He found it greatly amusing that I could understand everything he said but couldn't really speak any Italian. I finally managed to get away from him after turning down numerous requests to go get coffee and spent the evening watching TV and packing.

Today, I went down to Mussoliniville, the EUR, to check out the Museo della Civilta Romana, which is the mecca of Roman reconstructions. Like everything in the EUR, the Museo was built on a grand scale, with giant columns and giant reconstructions of giant Roman temples. The focus was on Rome's military history and on the civilizing process of Christianity. This museum is famous for two reconstructions in particular: a large 3D model of Imperial Rome and all of the friezes from Trajan's column unwound. On my way home, I took a picture of the little shrine area to Madonna of Largo Preneste. People leave marble plaques that say "Per grazie ricevuta," often when they or a loved one overcome a health issue. My favorite plaque is the one from Sabina, who seems to have had stomach problems. And the now-infamous Nolita anorexia billboard made it here to Rome just opposite the Madonna shrine.

It's been a crazy 8 months, but I am thrilled to be going home. Everyone asks what I want to do first, so here's my list (not necessarily in this order): eat lots of Mexican and Indian food, sit on a couch, sleep in my own bed, spend time with Patrick and the cats, drive a car, use a clothes dryer, make American drip coffee, talk to people in English, live in a place without loud noises, enjoy not having roommates. I'm sure there's more, and I'll revel in the simple things that I lack here in the big, noisy, dirty, foreign city of Rome.

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