Finally in Rome

Rome Travel Blog

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Good news - the Pantheon is still there.

After wandering around London in a zombie-like state after 30+ hours of no sleep, I caught a train to Stansted airport. While waiting in line for my boarding pass, I was reminded of the fact that Italians don’t choose to understand the concept of lines. The old lady behind me would constantly shove against my back. Either she thought the constant pressure would cause me to capitulate and surrender my place in line, or maybe she thought it would cause the line to move faster. When neither of these things happened, she became more aggressive and I was left but no option but to push back. At first I felt bad about pushing an old lady, but soon she stopped pressing against me, and we exchanged icy smiles. Realizing that she could not defeat me by strength alone, she attempted to sneak by, by slowly inching her luggage cart further and further along my side.

Piazza Navona
This attack was easily countered by throwing my duffle bag in front of her cart, and this final obstacle proved impossible for her to surmount.


During the plane ride over, I struck up a conversation with the Italians sitting next to me, and asked them to explain why Italians don’t wait in lines. They both laughed and the elderly gentleman explained that it was just part of their culture. He said that Italians don’t like to follow rules, and told me a story about how if you asked a bunch of Italians to draw a circle, they wouldn’t do it the easy way (i.e. using a compass). Instead, they would first draw a square, and then slowly chop and round off the corners, until eventually they would have something resembling a circle. He said that this mentality was both good and bad, and I agree. It is good in the sense that it sparks originality and creativity, but it is also bad in the sense that it encourages chaos. You can see this firsthand in Rome simply by comparing the amazing artwork in the museums to the insane drivers on the streets.

Jessejb says:
Wow. I just returned from Italy, your description on the old lady trying to push ahead is amazing. I believe I had the same lady behind me as well. And the driving! I was fortunate enough to befriend some romans and i was able to drive around with them. Just WOW. yet pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. I like that being I was usually a pedestrian.
Posted on: Feb 11, 2007
foolz0r says:
Way to defeat the old lady with a cunning mixture of strength and duffle bags.
Posted on: Jul 20, 2006
bramwan says:
There is a shop called Volpeti (south along the river, near piramide) in Rome - also in some guidebooks, which is great if you like awesome cheese and cured meats. Also make great take away pizza.
Posted on: Jul 06, 2006
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Good news - the Pantheon is still …
Good news - the Pantheon is still…
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
Above Piazza del Popolo
Above Piazza del Popolo
Leonardo da Vinicis room of mirro…
Leonardo da Vinici's room of mirr…
The line for St. Peters or Why t…
The line for St. Peter's or "Why …
photo by: vulindlela