I've been asked this dozens of times so far: "How was Rome?" And I still haven't come up with an acceptable reply. It's so hard to talk about, because the experience was so... much. So many things, good and bad. I remember telling Don that at one point I felt that I *had* to have an amazing time, because I had to come back and write about it to all my jealous friends.
But I did have an amazing time. Rome is so... different than anything I've experienced, even than Paris. It was being in this city so huge you know they don't care about you, with such ancient history that your country isn't even a blip in comparison to, and just wanting to wander around and gape at everything. It is finding these beautiful fountains and small little restaurants that are so... common to the people there that they don't get a mention on the map. It's a city where even the "bad" food is good, and where they complain that winter is here because it's only +8.
I loved it. I loved every second. I loved staring up at the sky through the window of my hostel and trying to decide what shade of blue it was. I loved seeing people on the street in the evening wearing scarves and hats and shivering while I was wearing my tank top and bemoaing forgetting to leave my coat behind. It didn't rain once.
I don't know where to start, sincerely. I don't know how to write about it.
I want to go back. I want to spend a month walking through the small little courtyards that make up Trastevere, I want to find more restaurants that make food that actually has bursts of good flavour that overwhelm your mouth, served in back court yards lit only with candles, I want to get lost and orientate myself by the dome at St Peter's.
For now, I have only pictures and words and memories, because I bought so little while I was there. There didn't seem to be anything I could take away that would be as meaningful as gazing at Christan frescoes from a 6th Century church, build on the ruins of a Mithral temple, that has in turn be built over by another Christian church.
I bought a little St Christopher's medallion, though. That might be enough, all things considered.