Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rome Day 2

What does it really take to make a bathroom?
Enter your bathroom. Turn to your toilet. Right in front of the tank, at the back of the seat, there are two screws. Undo those screws. Remove the toilet seat. Now sit down anyway. You've now gone winky-tinky*(see foot note), Italian style. Public or private restroom-it doesn't matter. I've never thought of a toilet seat as optional or luxurious. The most disgusting/I-95 South Carolina/haven't been maintained or cleaned in 20 years (not that it would help much because the stains are permanent) bathrooms have seats. They even have the holes for the seat screws. The plus side is there are no marital arguemnts about leaving the seat up+. When in Rome,...
My million dollar idea of the hour is to make portable, lightweight, fold-out seats for Americans. Or even disposable ones that could be sold in a vending machine in the bathroom (patents pending, watch channel 50 at 4 am for an infomercial for investors - I promise consistent returns of 87% annually)^.

Crossing the Via
Walking into traffic is a different way of crossing the road for me. I really don't like jaywalking, but that's the way it's done here. Most roads don't have signals, and many have a continuos stream of cars. So you just step out and the driver hurtling in your direction slams to a stop. Any sign of hesitation, which is natural to me as a car plows toward me, and he won't stop. I almost got in trouble when there was a red light, which I didn't notice, and I stepped out anyway.

We crossed the river and looked around for a while. We didn’t find the restaurant we were looking for from a web site (got to the address and it was empty), but we found a decent one. One we found didn't open up until 2 for lunch! After lunch we needed to cross back over the river to get to the museum.

Bus to nowhere
Finding Plaza S. Pietro (In Motorio) is very different from Plaza S. Pietro. The latter is a transit stop while the former is atop a big hill with only the terminal bus. "Terminal" is very different from "termini" when it's on the front of a bus. The terminal bus went around in a loop and never went closer than a mile from the metro. Termini would have taken us to main metro station. Now we know. Lara asked, "Why did you get on a bus when you didn't know where it was going?" Some people ask Why? and I ask Why Not? I had a delusion that buses would hit some metro stop, and the Terminal label fed that delusion. Seeing the same sights in a loop broke the delusion.

The Museum
We saw many, many paintings, sculptures, and painted ceilings at Galleria Borghese. The transit made us late. The reservation was at 3 and we got there at 3:30. It would have been plenty of time, but we were told "That is impossible," so we rescheduled for 5:00 PM. It only took us an hour, so 3:30 would have worked. This is strange because Italians' conception time seems to be ish-based, like I'll meet you at 4ish or so. The pizza shop we went to on the first day reopened at 5ish, which was 5:20. The video shop down the street post hours end at 9:30, but I saw them close at 8.
The McRib lives
Afterward, we even found the right bus, hidden a few blocks away, to the metro/train station. Time demanded McDonalds for dinner, to go for eating on the train. There are three McDonalds in or directly across the street from the station. I chose downstairs because it seemed more familiar. They had a Barbeque sauce that tasted like McRib%. After ordering, I figured out we should be ordering cheeseburgers and fries off the 1 Euro menu and get a meal for €2-€5 instead of the combo price of €6 ($8.25, yikes). Coke seems to be especially expensive everywhere here. My gut reaction is to blame European farm policies (blaming socialism and the EU is so obvious I shouldn't have to say it). Again, no free refills, not even on water. There are several free fountains arond the city with continously running potable water. The restaurants can't seem to figure this out.

Nun and monk count is up to 17+.
Black people count notched up to 4. Update: Lara saw 15 people in the train terminal.

*Winky Tinky is the international word for the restroom, according to Mr. Favaza, health teacher at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in the health double-wide, Alexandria, Va (1993).

+For the record, I consistently put the seat down, when one is available.

^Forward-looking financial statements may have been made in this prospectus under the safe harbor rule. The state of California requires this message: this investment scheme is a complete ripoff, known to cause cancer, and you should run know. Instead invest in California municipal bonds, which we promise we'll repay eventually.

%By some estimates, bringing back the McRib was Bill Clinton's biggest achievement. A sauce to bring McRibiality to every food increases his legacy substantially.

No comments:

Post a Comment