Thursday, March 17, 2011

Close, but no cigar

I give ATAC props for installing these digital countdown clocks at some of the major bus stops... BUT (you knew that was coming, didn't you?) they still need to tweak the system a bit. I always dread reading "A Capolinea" (at the end of the line) beside a bus number because it gives you no indication at all of when the bus will in fact come by- it could be in 2 minutes, it could be in 20 minutes... I've waiting as long as 25 minutes. Not even my beloved iPhone 4 and its ATAC mobile app can save me because it feeds from the same source as these countdown clocks.
I know, I know, beggars can't be choosers but still, it would make life a tad easier to actually know how long the bus will sit at the end of the line (read: how long of a cigarette/coffee break the driver intends to take) so I can plan accordingly. Maybe I'll write to ATAC about this... cue hysterical laughter.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I know people are always grumbling about globalization and the demise of mom & pop shops, but I have to say I am thrilled that Rome now has several Sephora stores. For years we've been at the mercy of overly priced & overly rude profumerie where pushy & impatient salespeople were up in your grill the second you set foot in the shop, where you could barely touch a product let alone look its the label, where asking questions about a product or its ingredients was frowned upon (I recall once asking if a product contained parabens, the salesperson basically laughed at my concern saying it was nonsense), where merely mentioning the word "sample" caused jaws to drop and attitudes to flare up (I'm convinced the owners of these profumerie have stockpiles of samples at home though), where prices were never clearly marked so you could get jacked depending on your accent or what the salesperson imagined you could spend. Trips to these profumerie always ended with me leaving empty-handed or me buying a 50 euro product I used once and tossed out.
Enter Sephora.
Pure bliss: tons of products in various price ranges, where you can actually touch the products, look at their labels, and GASP... get samples! Seriously, for all I care all the other profumerie can go out of business. I finally have a place in Italy where I can buy products and not feel annoyed, abused, or ripped off. Hooray for Sephora!