It’s 2:44am and I am sleeping in a convent in Rome…
Rest assured, I have not found God just yet (I’m still too busy looking for Carmen Sandiego and Wally) but I should clarify the hotel I’m staying at was once a convent. God it’s a big room, but holy hell do these Roman hoteliers know how to squeeze way too much furniture into one room.
There’ll be no more religious jokes or puns in the rest of this post I promise … there’ll be nun of that.
Anyhow, you may be wondering why I’m awake and writing at almost 3am in the morning. Or you may not, but I guess you are, because you’re the one reading this, aren’t you?
I’ve been woken by my brain. Happens quite frequently, honestly when it’s not the urge to pee that wakes me, it’s a rogue thought in my head that’ll have me up and more alert than a choirboy in a monastery. Yes I went there.
This is my second time to Rome, and I always find it intriguing how the second time around things can seem completely different. When I was last in Europe in 2008, I loathed Paris and loved Rome so much I wanted to move here.
Now a few years older (and regrettably no more centimeters taller despite eating all of my greens) I’ve found myself loving Paris and in a quasi ‘meh’ sentiment with Rome.
At first i thought, maybe that had something to do with my missing a train and ending up being ‘shipped’ to this city in a train carriage full of Swiss Mountain bikes. But then I thought about it some more and I’ve come to accept that whilst I’ll always have a soft, no doubt, delicious pasta-filled spot for the Eternal City, it’s just really not that amazing to me anymore.
Sure there’s the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and The Spanish Steps, but there’s also the off-putting Italian waiters, pushy Nigerian dudes selling rip-off designer handbags (Pradah anyone?) and a gold coin donation just to use the toilet.
But it’s not all bad I guess. There’s the fact that the food is awesome (hello gelato), walking down cobblestone alley ways is lovely and there’s culture pouring out of every Roman crack… even the ones on humans
In 2008, on my first European tip, I stood misty-eyed and Peroni-filled by the edge of the Fontana Di Trevi. I turned my back to the fountain and threw three coins over my shoulder, as is the romantic tradition.
I was told that each coin represents something different, one a wish, one a true love and the third coin is a promise to yourself (and the city) you’ll return one day to the Fountain. At the time I threw the three coins, the first two landed with a lovely splash, the third coin made an ‘Ow!’ sound, specifically because I had missed the water and somehow hit someone in the head with my stray Euro. Fortunately they then threw it in for me.
Now many years later I find myself once again standing by the edge of the famous fountain. I guess the third coin was right, I have returned.
So I once again turn my back to the fountain, threw two coins and then I thought about the third one in my hand. Then I tookit and walked around the corner to get some hazelnut gelato.