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Hail the Conquoring Hero!I hate to disappoint anyone, but I have to tell you the truth:

Rome was full of a lot of cheap tacky crap. It was very strange.

Luckily, everyone who asked for something to be brought back asked for cheap tacky crap, so that was okay, but it was a bit surreal. I'm used to drooling over things of various levels of affordability and bringing back at least one really nice thing that one can show off to people and say in that oh-so-casual-I'm-really-worldly-but-hide-it way "Oh, yes, I picked that up at this little shop outside the Coliseum. It was a sunny day, I'll never forget how warm it was, and I'd just popped in there to see if they had any air conditioning, and I found that..." I'd put it on the nick nack shelf, next to my goat from China and dragon from Wales and the lovely clock my mom carved me.

I.. uh... brought back a bright pink glittery Coliseum made out of plaster. It turned blue once it left Rome. I have no idea why.

I alternately loved and hated the seemingly deliberate tackiness of all of the stuff you could find near the tourist-places. I wonder if it would be any easier during the summer, when tourist season is at its height and the place is packed with people who just want to be cheated on something nice.

Ah well. I have memories, I have photos of Don dressed up like a crusader, and I have this lovely blue sparkly Coliseum. What else could a girl ask for?


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