Last year, I came to Rome with my friend Aine. She’s terrific and I miss her terribly. I notice her absence especially in places we walked, places we ate and places we saw.
But in none of those places did I miss her more than the night I went out with Sandro and Marco, who you met in this lively post one year ago. (That post is really worth reading. Go ahead. I’ll wait.)
Last year, Aine and I spent a great night with Sandro and Marco. So it was quite sad when Aine couldn’t join us for an evening out on the town in Roma.
|We were very sad that Aine wasn’t with us in Rome.|
We were so sad, in fact, that we had to drink ourselves to cheerfulness.
|Sandro and Marco attempting to find cheerfulness through Sangria.|
And when that didn’t work, we had cuddle.
Eventually, we started to feel better so we danced in the fountains.
And took bad drunken photos that made us laugh.
But seriously folks, we did miss our Aine.
And without her here, I feel a little lost, which is why they stepped up to help me navigate the mean streets of Roma.
They helped me with ordering my favorite gelato flavors:
|At the request of Mel Heth, I tried Caffé and now must add it to the list.|
Sandro and Marco gave me a geography lesson, showing me the three most important places to visit in the city.
|My house and their houses.|
They also told me of one place we must visit together outside the city. Yes, please.
They also cleared up a question I had about a commonly used word I kept hearing around town.
After the Roman survival lessons, I told them my big news. That I quit my job and am now traveling indefinitely.
They stared back in amazement.
Sandro said, “Non c’e‘ terra che te regge.” No soil can hold you.
Marco said, “To a Roman, you are both a hero and a fool.”
Apparently, when someone gets a good job around here, they keep it as long as they can. And they are grateful for it.
As a person who spent her career in advertising, the concept of keeping a job for life floors me. In advertising, we routinely move around from agency to agency, city to city. If an agency loses an account, poof! You could be gone in as much time as it takes HR to do the paperwork. But after the initial awkward conversation with your boss and the strange feeling of a midday commute home, you bounce back relatively quickly. Advertising people learn to roll with the punches.
But Sandro and Marco say that this line of thought is not common in Rome. And Romans are generally quite satisfied having the same jobs in the same place with the same people.
And you know what?
I found this to be a pleasing idea.
These guys are who they are. They are doing what they do. And much of their definition of self is set.
It’s kinda interesting to know exactly what you’re going to get. Eliminates the guess work.
Conversely, I’m zipping around the globe like a pinball, not knowing anything more than that I’m a writer. But where will I be a writer? What will I write? When I’ll get an income again? No clue.
This led me to ask about dreams. Do people have dreams if so much of their life is set in stone?
Yes, they have dreams. Just different kinds. Dreams of far off places to see. Dreams of marriage. Dreams of children.
But they admitted that they’ve been to a lot of places and it’s not easy to find somewhere better than Rome.
I couldn’t agree more. And though at this point in my life, no soil can hold me, I’m getting closer to being pleased with the notion that one day, one soil will.