I can't believe I have now been here for two days already. At this rate, I will be home before you know it, which would make my mother very happy!!! Poor Mum, she doesn't quite understand the concept of my new life adventure. All she knows is that she lost her shopping partner for 6 months!!! But I will ensure that I make her proud. I am continuing to shop!!! I walked into one clothes store yesterday and the shop assistant flattered me so much regarding how great my new TShirt looked on me, that she convinced me to purchase it. What choice did I have? I couldn't disappoint her. She looked so pleased when I purchased it.
Now, where do I start? Firstly, my Bed & Breakfast accommodation is great. The lovely Freidrich & his mother are so friendly and helpful. There are only a few others here, so I almost feel like I have a whole apartment to myself. And free internet access. So happy about that!!! The only minor concern is the old style key & lock on my bedroom door. I keep forgetting which way to turn the key (it's one of those tricky ones where you only put the key in half way then turn it), and for the last two mornings I have taken about 5 minutes to open the door. Have not panicked, but it is not good to be struggling to open one's door when one needs to pee very badly.
Well haven't I been the good catholic girl these last two days!!! On my last morning in Rome (when I was here on holidays with Melinda in 2009) I spent the morning attending Sunday mass at the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore. Well, I decided that the only fitting way to celebrate my return to Rome was to again spend the morning attending Sunday mass at the same Basilica. What I didn't know until arriving here, was that I had picked a very special day to do this - the Beautification of Pope John Paul II!! Oops should now be calling him Blessed Pope John Paul II. Beautification in the Catholic Church is performed for individuals whose lives have exemplified heroic virtue and is strongly supported within the church (I just googled that for you). Apparently Popey John Paul is a miracle away from being called a Saint!! Go Popey!!
Now, when I arrived at the Basilica I found that they were having a huge open air mass outside the church, with a big screen set up so we could all watch the 'official mass proceedings' being held at the Vatican City by the current Pope Benedict XVI. I did consider going to that one in person, however so did one million other people (no exaggeration), so I am glad I didn't!! The mass at the Basilica was amazing. The faith of the thousands that attended the Basilica where i was, had to be seen to be believed. Some ladies were crying; everyone was clapping during parts of the mass; the 'peace be with you' (la pace sia con voi) segment where we all shook hands during the mass was wonderful; and I even lined up to receive the Eucharist/holy communion (where you are offered the symbol of bread). You are supposed to give confession before receiving it, but I think I should be okay with that. I am generally a very good person?? Now it did last 3 hours, so just lucky they were handing out free water. At one stage I started eating a biscuit and then realised I was technically 'in church', so I slid it back into my pocket before anyone saw me. I did take heaps of photos (of course) so when i get a chance to sort through them, I will add some to the blog.
This morning I decided to head to Vatican City and before i knew it, I was in the middle of another open air mass. Gosh, these italians just can't get enough!!! More clapping, more tears, waving of flags, singing..very moving. Speaking of moves, an old man tried to make one on me!!! This spritely old Polish fellow walked up to me and I thought he was just trying to tell me something about Popey, when all of a sudden he pulls a card (with all his details on it) out of his jacket pocket and asks if I want to come back to his house. What the f#ck???? In a few years time the only thing he would need a women to do is give him a warm bath and change his bed pan!!! OMG, why me!!!!!!! Although the more I think about it, he really needed to put a bit more effort into getting a business card if he wants to 'officially pick up'. The scrawly writing on a piece of torn off cardboard just didn't cut it!! WHERE IS DONATELLO??????????? Why isn't he trying to pick me up!!!!
Oh, I just remembered the other reason why I chose not to go to the Vatican city mass on Sunday. I read on one of their pamphlets that they were bringing in 400 portaloos. HHHmmm you work out the math for that. 400 portaloos vs one million people. I wouldn't hire that event coordinator again??? I actually had the pleasure (??) of using one today. My sister laughed at me when I packed a roll of toilet paper in my suitcase. Well, I made good use of it today. That and the lovely cucumber and aloe hand sanitiser I also packed. Gosh, I am becoming a seasoned traveler now. See good reason why I travelled with 27 kilo's. I told you i had to pack for every occasion!!
I must have walked from one end of the Rome City Centre to the other in the last two days. I may have just slightly covered more streets than necessary on that rare, odd, hardly ever occasion where I tried to navigate my way around without a map. But gee I was rewarded with the most beautiful street scenes. And on one of those occasions yesterday I met this gorgeous young photographer Carlo. I wish I could take him home - purely so we could play on photoshop together (of course). I just had to stop to admire his work. His photos were spectacular. He got so excited he dragged out his photo album and was describing all these different photoshop techniques he had used. It was like he was whispering sweet nothings in my ear. I loved Carlo!!! I took his business card and his photo!!
I've been to see most of the famous sites again. I made sure I went to the Trevi Fountain. That is where the traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain they are ensured a return to Rome. Obviously worked last time I threw in a coin, so I did it again today. Mother will be pleased to know that I also threw in an Australian coin to make sure that I returned home as well!!! Hey, I just googled it, and it said that if you threw in three coins it will ensure a marriage. How excited am I!!! I threw in three Italian coins (and 1 Australian one). Mum...get that dress ready!!!!!!!!!!
And on that note, I will again leave you.
Ciao, Ciao from Bella Roma,