Monday, July 26, 2004

Joanne's in town

So I left to meet Joanne at her hotel which is near the Vatican. But I don't know exactly where, and the area isn't on any of my maps. So I figure I'll get a taxi and so I walk to where I think the taxi stand is but I must have gotten it wrong because I didn't see a taxi anywhere and just kept walking and found myself in front of a flower stand waiting to see if a taxi will come by and none do. Then I ask the flower stand guy, 'Where can I get a taxi?' and he kind of shakes his head and laughs. I'm obviously not in a taxi neighborhood. So he asks where I'm going and I show him the address and say 'It's near the Cipro metro station, at the Vatican.' He again kind of shakes his head and seems there are no buses or metros or any way I can get over there from here. He grabs a map and his keys and starts walking to his car, motioning for me to follow him. I say, 'Oh, I couldn't.' He's insistent. I ask 'How much?' He laughs and says, 'No, no, no.' I keep thinking about the bus pass. The bus pass has a phone number on it and it's a hotline for 'if you are being forced into prostitution.' But it's light out, and I guess I could jump out of the car if he started getting weird on me so I go. And he was very kind and gave me his card and took me to the neighborhood of her hotel and I left 10 euros in his ashtray because he wouldn't take any money from me. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. So I walk the few blocks to her hotel and it seems there was a mixup with her car service and she's not there, but she did show up and we had some wine and then got a snack at a nearby restaurant and all was well. On Sunday we met at the Vatican at the obelisk in the center of St. Peter's Square. It was pouring rain. The roads were slick and everyone was soaked and it was all around gross outside. We could barely believe it, because we haven't had a drop of rain in five weeks, and then Joanne comes and it pours! The line for the museum had to be two miles long and we were just not into it since it would mean being in the rain. So we did the Basilica of St. Peter's (2) then waited out the rain in a nearby cafe. Around 1 we decided we had to try the museum again. There was no line, and I was thinking, 'This is a bit odd.' Well, it's because on the last Sunday of every month the museum is free, but then they close early. Just our luck. We ended up having a siesta and then it cleared up so we walked from the Vatican to Trastevere and had a fabulous dinner and that was that. When I woke up this morning the sun was out again, and it's cool, lower 70's so I'm going to meet Joanne and we'll do the Rome thing. I think gelato is definitely in order. Ciao!

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