This post is unfairly titled, because most of my time was spent in a (rather nice) office building. The perks of said office building include the Best! Espresso! Machine! Ever! And the fact that everyone is bilingual – at least – and kind. I’m here to meet my team, and other teams that I/they work with; hopefully next time I can stay longer than two nights.
Outside of the office building is Rome, Italy.
Several things I suspected and now know:
- Roman food is good. Like really, really good. I had gnocchi twice one day. Pasta. Cheese. Saltimbocca. Chicoria. Baba. So glad I lost a pound before I left…
- House wine is good. For 4 Euro you get half a liter of something drinkable and amongst two of us we couldn’t finish it, because you ALSO get a big huge bottle of sparkling water.
- Bidets do exist here and they are a wacky piece of swank.
- My phone doesn’t work here without adding on international services, which the procurement area of my work completely failed to do, and so I ITCH without the ability to get email or make calls on my phone.
- The gym at my hotel is serviceable but not stellar. Having had gnocchi twice, though, I used the hell out of it.
- It’s completely safe to walk alone, at night, by myself, on the side of the road (Sunday night = everything dead in Rome (at least where I’m at, on the ‘way north end), so I had to walk a couple of miles to get dinner).
- Everybody likes the new government, and no one thinks it will last, because it’s too “reasonable”.
Things I did not suspect and now know:
- Coffee is WAY stronger than the strongest stuff Starbucks puts out. Two teeny coffees and I was literally zinging around.
- Italians have AMAZING depth perception. I will never again fear sitting in the male person’s Awesomely Huge Truck, because I have seen an Italian park 0.2cms away from the nearest car, back and front.
- There are no traffic rules here, particularly for pedestrians. Crossing the street means you make eye contact with oncoming traffic, and once you do, you walk into the street.
- Dinner is at 9 because no one leaves the office until 7 and no one gets in before 9. Commutes range from ½ to 2 hours to/from home, and people go to bed at midnight.
- Italian women can run, in stiletto-heeled boots, down an icy, cobblestone street, after the bus, and not kill themselves.
- There is a high percentage of home ownership here, which drives home prices UP as real estate is more often handed down than sold. An 80sqm apartment with no parking (call it 725 square feet) in the area I’m in goes for about half of a million Euro at lowest. Hence the commutes. People have to move out to own a home.
- I am a total princess and cannot handle staying in a hotel where the internet is dodgy at best. They handed me an Ethernet cable. It works some of the time. This plus my brick-of-a-phone makes me sad.
This trip I didn’t get much time to go out and about but I did manage to eat everything in sight and meet with people I needed (and wanted) to see. Later today I head via 3-hour flight to London, where I will have a completely new hotel and social experience. I am definitely coming back to Rome!