Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fumes & perfume

This morning while running, my ipod and I realized something: What's worse than breathing in smog while exercising? Breathing in cigarette smoke (who smokes at 9:00AM?!!) and excessive amounts of perfume from people I jog past. Damn, those ladies sure do douse themselves, I'm surprised they can actually breathe in their own presence! They must spend a fortune on perfume every year...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


1) How happy am I that the summer is FINALLY over? (Answer: unbelievably happy)

2) Just came across this website which lists farmer's markets throughout Italy. The ones in Rome aren't exactly centrally located but I may try to check one out eventually. But I have to say, some market stands at Testaccio are essentially run by farmers. In fact, they're the ones who usually charge less- most produce (which is strictly seasonal) is 1.00 euro a kg and quite tasty.

3) Yesterday while standing in line at the tabaccheria to send a fax... You may be thinking: who the hell sends faxes in 2008? I DO- not by choice but because my Fastweb saga is still not over and the only real way to get in touch with them is via letters or fax. Ridiculous huh? Nice to know that Italy's biggest telephone/Internet provider is so behind the times. Anyway, I'm in line and there's an elderly lady in front of me mumbling to herself... not in a crazy way but rather in a "I'm so fed up I don't know what to do anymore" way. Her story: she had been on a waiting list for 4 years to get a knee operation at San Giacomo hospital, it was finally her turn and guess what? The hospital closed down. So now she has to start the request process all over again. It broke my heart to see the desperation and frustration in her eyes. She didn't know who to turn to, where or if she could complain, she's yet another victim of this fucked up public healthcare system.

4) Is it just me or has the number of cars in Rome increased threefold??? WTF! I don't remember there being this many cars before the vacation exodus. Twice yesterday I had to get off the bus and walk because we were stuck in traffic for ever. Argh... it could also be due to all the roadwork they've decided to start doing in the center of Rome in September. Nice planning, guys! Just a suggestion for next time: consider doing it in August when the city's empty and so are the roads, it would make for a much better work environment for you and a more livable city for us.

the end

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I just saw a movie that made me fall in love with Rome again. Although I've seen Rome on screen many times, this film actually gave me goosebumps and reminded me of why and how this city and my neighborhood first stole my heart way back in '94.

Pranzo di Ferragosto is a true and tried masterpiece. Low budget, simple story, but powerful and impressive. Hard core Trasteverini will no doubt recognize some of the neighborhood characters featured in this movie.

This is a MUST MUST see...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Da Venezia a Roma

Listen up, cinema fans! Da Venezia a Roma has begun: a selection of flicks from the Venice Film Festival will be shown at various movie theaters in Rome so I suggest you check out the schedule and get shaking because most flicks will only be shown for one day. All films will be shown in original language with Italian subtitles.

Today we went to see The Wrestler. Beau-ti-ful.
Modern Italian directors should watch and learn...

Monday, September 8, 2008

August blues

To think that just a few weeks ago I was singing the blues waiting for August to be over: the city was too deserted, stores were sealed shut, and everyone was away on vacation while I was stuck here working...
Well, now I'm singing a different tune- September is here and the Romans are back with a vengeance: cars are everywhere, I risk life & limb on a daily basis while crossing the street near my house, the supermarket is jammed with people who stand uncomfortably close to me in line (Why do they do this? It won't make the line go any faster... I've come up with a new technique to ward them off and create more space between us: I pretend I'm stretching my hamstrings. What can I say, I can't stand having strangers breathe down my neck).
Sigh, I miss August now...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Feccia del mare

Love this, spotted it at the Roma- Lido di Ostia train station. Instead of "Freccia del Mare" (which literally means arrow of the sea but idiomatically can mean sea express), someone cleverly scraped off the R so it says "Feccia del Mare" (scum of the sea). Too funny, especially considering how nasty Ostia is!!!!