Erika came to visit me in Rome this weekend, travelling with Hallie (whom I know from Azoria '03) and Jake (whom I know from Duke). Some of the highlights included:
- Saturday - Mime versus Hare Krishna Showdown! After meeting at the Pantheon, we decided to sit and drink some coffee in the Campo dei Fiori. As we sat down, a mime laid down his little black mat and started interpreting.... well, something. We watched for a few minutes, and suddenly a giant ruckus arose, and we looked down the piazza only to see a giant band of Hare Krishnas marching, singing, and banging on things. The mime got pissed, made a big time-out sign to the High Hare, and they got into an argument (which the mime seemed to lose). After a few minutes, a female HK came over and gave the mime a peace offering - from where we sat, it looked like a carved radish. He begrudgingly accepted it and returned to climbing out of his imaginary box.
- Sunday - Baroquetacular! After some spectacular miscommunication and cell phone failure, Erika and I hopped a big, hot, stinky, packed bus to Tivoli to see Hadrian's villa. Armed with no guidebooks, we figured we could find it. Although we did make it to Tivoli, Hadrian's villa is about 6-7km below the mountain-top town, and we were far too lazy to attempt to find a bus. Instead, we ate a lovely lunch in a garden restaurant and toured the Villa d'Este, built in the 16th century. It's like the Biltmore of Rome: hideously baroque with rather nice gardens. We returned to Rome for a chill dinner alla mia casa. Oh, and I got asked for directions a lot. Including the following exchange waiting for the metro:
- Italian woman: Does this train go to Termini?
- Me: Yes
- Italian woman: Are you sure? To Termini?
- Me: Yes
- Italian woman: This train? The one to Laurentina? It goes to Termini?
- Me: Yes
- Italian woman: [Something fast and unintelligible in Italian.]
- Me: I don't speak Italian well sorry.
- Italian woman: I want to know if this train goes to Termini. Do you even understand me?
- Me: Yes, I understand you. This train goes to Termini.
- Italian woman: [Not convinced] Thanks.
- Me [what I wanted to say]: You're the one who's lost, bitch. Don't question my language comprehension.
- Monday - Mangiamo! Today involved... a lot of sugar. Coffee and gelato at Giolitti, the famous Roman gelato shop, and then more coffee at San Eustachio, a Roman institution (although it looks like a hole in the wall). I also browsed Zara trying to decide which dress I want for my birthday present.