Today is Friday and I’m waiting for my sister Sandra and my step-mother Carla to arrive from Toronto. It is going to be a lot of fun to have family here to visit. I love Rome but it has been a bit lonely too. The past week has been rather calm and uneventful. Lots of studying – I’m still not particularily intelligent in conversation but I’m starting to dream in Italian. Naturally they are rather chaotic and incomprehensible!

I am coming to the conclusion that strikes, demonstrations and rallies are just a part of the Roman psychology. They seem to take place all the time, everyone just gets on with it and then they are over. A bit like Italian government; lots of noise and bluster, little or no affect but things keep on going none-the-less.

Yesterday there was a huge rally in the Piazza Navona for the “Congress (?) of Italian Pensioners” – I imagine that with the current economic crises these people are facing some real hardships. Again the Carabinieri were out in full force and again although they seemed prepared for the worst, nothing bad happened. I did have a small contre-temps though! I got into the square – walk through there everyday – but they didn’t want to let me leave. There were barricades at all the exits with Carabinieri in riot gear and big trucks. So after trying several exits I ended up having a bit of a hissy fit – probably NOT the smartest thing I’ve ever done – and dressing down this cop – in English – words to the effect that I OBVIOUSLY wasn’t an Italian pensioner, that I wasn’t part of the -bright orange ponchos being required attire – demonstration and that he’d better let me leave! Fortunately he seemed to have a sense of humour – thank GOD – and after giving me the once over – let me out. About two blocks on my knees started to shake and I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or sit down and cry! Apart from anything else big noisy crowds aren’t my thing.

My little church next door is all finished now and happily they aren’t ringing the bells at unsavoury hours anymore. Perhaps the previous weeks incessant ringing was just to make sure they all still worked after the restoration or in thanksgiving or something. Anyway it is a lovely spot and i find myself stopping in every other day or so. It is a lovely little church, lots of gilt and marble of course but small and cosy. I think because it isn’t big and important very few tourists go in so I mostly have it to myself. The thing I love though is the mosaic inlaid on the floor – it is an artichoke plant. Somehow that strikes me as very personal and intimate and just for me!
Have to go – some errands to run before my guests arrive.
Alla prossima volta!

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