Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Day 6, Rome: it’s like Little Italy, only bigger

While taking our cab ride from the central train station, the Termini to our hotel, I was convinced that I was going to die on at least 3 separate occasions. It wasn't our cabbies speeding which bothered me, he rarely got past 40mph, it was his blatant disregard for stationary objects. Usually when most drivers see a parked car in front of them they will change lanes…after all, why wait until the very end when you know you have to do something? *

*PS: It's this mentality which caused me to accidentally eat hot chilis on my dinner plate when I was a kid because I saw them on my plate and I didn't wanna ruin the rest of my meal thinking about how I have to eat them. So I stuffed them in my mouth and chugged like 5 glasses of water afterwards. It turns out I didn't need to eat the chilis in the first place because I accidentally had taken my dad's plate. But I digress…

Instead our cabbie felt the need to accelerate and turn ever-so-slightly at the last moment. As it turns out this is a driving style adopted by most Romans. When in Rome…

Rome is the first city that I've ever been in that made me have an incredible desire to wanna leave immediately…then utter comfort….and then a sort of acceptance. All within the first 45 minutes. As for the city it reminds me a lot like Bombay: constant noise and confusion, but a weird underlying order. It's akin to listening to Rage Against The Machine warm-up. The city is incredible from the standpoint that it literally is a modern city built on top of an old one in its many incarnations. Walking down a narrow shop-lined street only to have it open up and reveal a massive fountain or relic from over a thousand years is a sight to behold. The juxtaposition makes the relics seem even nobler, rather than taint them from their less worthy new context.

Okay enough touchy feely stuff. I've gotta say that out of everything I've seen, the most anti-climactic moment was the Coliseum. It's one thing to view the Taj Mahal or something in person, because not only are you looking at something that was incredible in its time, but it continues to look incredible. Furthermore you just can't build stuff like that. The Coliseum is the opposite feeling. First of all it looks far better in "Gladiator." Secondly a cynical side of me can't help but look at it and think "I think Giants Stadium is bigger and grander than this."

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