Well, hello Rome!

I was top of the class in English at high school and bottom of the class in French and German.

I am HOPELESS with languages other than my native tongue.

It’s a bit like swimming – I’ve been for endless lessons but nothing sticks.

Oh the money I’ve wasted at Alliance Francais and WEA!

The kids and I arrived in Rome yesterday in pretty shattered shape. After a bleary shower we wandered outside in search of food and decided all we had in us was the dodgy bar/pizzeria across the road.

The gods have smiled on us with our choice of hotel. I forgot to bring eczema treatments for my plane-desiccated youngest and – you beauty – there’s a farmacia across the road that was open until 8pm on a Saturday night with an English-speaking spunky Italian pharmacist behind the counter.

The children were quite mortified by both my appalling attempts to sort the eczema situation out in pigeon Italian/Spanish/English (I get my sketchy Spanish and Italian very confused) and my observation that the pharmacist was a spunk.

They were even more mortified by my attempts to order dinner. I swear, it was the most terrifying moment when I walked up to the counter and stared at the woman behind it before embarking on my Italian-Spanish-English-mime act.

(I always relied on my ex to do the talking before because I was so crap at it.)

Fortunately my attempts resulted in a table full of pizza, sparkling mineral water and wine, so I don’t think they should be too harsh on me.

We sat outside at a bar table surrounded by people chattering in Italian and drinking bright orange Aperol-like drinks in the late afternoon sun.

I looked longingly down the street at the city beyond but the kids were beyond exhausted, so we staggered back to the hotel and called it a night at 5.30pm local time.

Hence another blog from me because I wasn’t sure of the wisdom of nodding off at 6pm local time.

But I can’t really tell you what Rome is like, aside from the immediate vicinity of the Hotel Villa Morgagni, other than very convenient.

I’ll wake them up soon – they’ve been asleep 13 hours – and we’ll go exploring. Can’t wait!


4 thoughts on “Well, hello Rome!

  1. Oh, thank God for the dodgy Italian pizzeria! And the pharmacia that is always open til late. And the spunky pharmacist!

    We always seem to arrive during siesta when we’ve been to Italy. Cue trudging around in unknown part of town completely disoriented, delirious from jet lag, and STARVING. But we usually stumble across a dodgy pizzeria and thank the gods, it’s almost always been good pizza, too!

    As for foreign chemists, there was that time I was in a Belgian chemist and I was in dire need for Canestan – the internal pessary kind. My mangled French didn’t produce the item I was after, so I was reduced to using my hands to illustrate my needs in a rather crude manner. Ah, good times.

    Have fun with your girls, Alana! You’re in ROME!

  2. I can relate to your English/Spanish/pigeon/mime act: Before I arrived in Italy I was so cocky about being fine with the language, because “I speak French! And they’re so similar!” Wrong wrong wrong. I arrived at Milan station from Switzerland, had to hop on another train to Florence or Lucca (can’t remember now), and there was some drama going on with the trains. Some strike or re-routing or something. Hopped on a train hoping and praying it was the right one. It didn’t move. They made various announcements that I couldn’t understand a word of. No one spoke English. Turns out it was the right train but I spent a very anxious few hours wondering where the hell I was going! How lovely to have a spunky English speaking pharmacist to help you!

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