People in Our Adventure
As most of you know I came here with the mission to investigate the women of the laundromats of Rome. Well after three weeks the photos below are the results of my effort. They do not have self service laundromats in Rome as I thought. Instead, their idea of self service is you bring your dirty wash in and some worker bee will wash and dry your laundry for you. Here is the laundromat closest to our apartment. That fellow is folding one of Brenan's shirts.
Laundromat Babe #1:
I had better luck a few days later when I ventured one block further.
Laundromat Babe #2:
After input from Hynda I have switched to looking for BancoMat Butts. The ATM machines here are known as BancoMats and in our travels Hynda and I have noticed that there is a large selection of BancoMat Butts to choose from. I have reluctantly agreed to include men in my search. Hynda has fallen in love with Italian men! Look here for more photos in the future or look for an article in the International Herald Tribune about a man being arrested for photographing people at ATM machines.
Street Sweeper Babe #1:
On my walk today I found a new category - street cleaners. I did not get a great picture of this young lady but she was all made up and looking very good for a street cleaner!!
The Knife Sharpener
One day a man appeared in our neighborhood who was riding a stationary bicycle on the corner of the street. When I went over to him I realized that he was actually turning a wheel and he was sharpening knives with the wheel. I had never seen him before on this corner and the only thing I could think of was that he goes from corner to corner and somehow people know that he is there. He had a whole pile of knives that he was sharpening and he told me he charges 1Euro per knife. As you can see from the photo below this is not some fancy contraption. In the picture he has dismounted from the bike after sharpening the knives and now he is polishing them.
The Fruit and Vegetable Shop
We buy all our fresh fruit and vegetables from a little market down the street from our apartment. The market has a number of men dressed in green jackets who wait on you. As you select the item they take it from you and wieght it. Today they learned we are Americans and they got all excited. The Italians love Americans and we told them that we love Rome!!!
The Waitress at the Coliseum
I was walking with my Aunt Anne and Cousin Sharon near the coliseum and we were looking for a place to have some lunch. There are many small bars near the coliseum that try to attract tourists by standing outside and telling you how great their food is. Almost all of them serve the same sandwiches and pizza. We passed up a number of them until we got to the one with Valentina. She had more personality than all the others and at first glance she appeared to be a 12 year old boy. The bar had one other waitress who I would not want to meet ina dark alley and a female cook who also looked like a male. Valentina posed for us.
The Waitress in Frascati
One weekday night Hynda and I took the train to Frascati to walk around and have dinner. Frascati is about a 30 minute train ride from Rome and it is where the Pope has a summer home. We had a wonderful meal and this was our waitress - Julia. Why do I have this s*&@ eating grin when I am photographed with a cute woman??
The Sport T-Shirt of the Fruit and Vegetable Lady at Campo di Fiori
Today's photo is brought to you by one of the fruit and vegetable ladies at Campo di Fiori. I did try to see if I could find a pro-Bush or anti-Kerry T-Shirt/slogan, etc. but I was not able to. In the interest of fairness, if any of my Republican friends or relatives have a slogan/T-Shirt, photo, etc that they would like to put on the website please email me and I will make sure that it gets on page one.
King Kleinchik Gets His Hair Braided
I had not had a hair cut in almost two years and I decided to either get a haircut in Rome or have my hair braided. Hynda had a women in her lab give her the address of a hair salon near the railroad station. That is Maureen who braided my hair. She is from Nigeria and did not use beads and tin foil at the end like those braids I had done in Costa Rica and Jamaica. She actually burned the ends of my braids to fuse them together. I am now the only white Rasterferian in Rome.
The Book Lady
Everyday there is an older lady that comes and opens a little book stand at the corner of Via Flavia and Piave about one block from our apartment. She sells only used books in Italian. We have never seen any people actually buying a book from her. She sits in her little chair next to the book stall and occasionally gets up to straighten her books. We pass by her everyday as I walk Hynda to work and then return later. I always greet her but for the first two months she always looked away and never repsonded. When we came back in September, I resumed my greeting and she has finally started to respond.
For the entire month of June she wore the same clothing everyday. Then in July she changed but continued to wear her `July' outfit everyday. We were not here in August but in September she had a new outfit and wore that everyday. Here is a recent picture of her in her October outfit.
We have a couple of favorite restaurants that we have gone back to multiple times. One of them is Lampada. This restaurant was discovered by my cousin Gale, Aunt Ruth and their friend Eric while they stayed in our apartment during August when we were still back in Maryland. Fortunately, they left a card for the restaurant and a note about how good the food and service were. We tried it soon after we returned and have taken all our visitors there. The two waiters are incredibly nice and always greet us with big hugs and smiles. Here is a picture of the King with the two waiters. By the way, the King is wearing his newly acquired leather jacket gotten in the Via Sannio market for 15E.
Queen Kleinchik Lunches With the Folks From Roma Tre
This is Hynda with some people who work at Roma Tre. That is the third university in Rome. They had emailed Hynda and asked her for a reprint of one of her articles and when she told them she was in Rome and she could bring it over they invited her to visit and give a lecture. They invited Hynda to lunch and the King joined them. That is the Tiber River in the background.
We had a neighbor whose apartment was located directly above ours. In order for him to get to his apartment he had to walk up the stairs and on the roof past the second bedroom windows. Our guests who stayed in that bedroom reporting hearing him walk by at various hours of the night. His terrace was directly above ours and he watered his plants at various times - sometimes 3AM in the morning. He often had lots to drink and when he watered he used a hose. His aim was not good and our terrace was often watered also. He was a very friendly guy who talked rapidly in Italian and we never understood much of what he was saying. He did fall in love with the Queen and would greet her with loud shouts of `me amore' whenever he saw her in the street. He rode a broken down old red motor scooter that we nicknamed the `Graziano'. He either worked as a chef, a violinist in an orchestra or a secret agent of the Italian government - we never understood which. He did introduce us to the Libyan Jews and that led us to the adventure at the synagogue for the high holidays.
The Everything Store
Around the corner from our hotel was a store that had been in place for over 50 years. It was a store that had everything. The owner was a older gentleman who came everyday with his wife and his small dog named `Mickey Dog'. He was sad because he knew that once he retired that would be the end of the store - his children did not want to run it. He was also Jewish and like Hynda. He had learned English by hanging around American troops during World Was II.
The Medici Hotel
The apartment that we rented was on the top floor of a hotel. The owners of the hotel had built 8 apartments for the family. Six were still in the family - one sold to the owners of the apartment we rented and one was given to an ex-wife in a divorce settlement. Although we really had nothing to do with the hotel - the staff was very nice to us during our stay. Here are some of the staff. This first picture is of Lorraine. She worked the day shift and had a cold when we arrived and never managed to get rid of it the entire time. Hynda gave her a bracelet for her daughter (and eventually her) and she became our best 'desk' friend.
This is Frank who worked the night shift. He was a retired Italian Air Force Officer and was very nice to us.
The Hash Couple from Bethesda
Of the Has House group we ran with only one couple was from the US and it turns out that they lived in Bethesda and their children went to Whitman High School. The live near the forum in an apartment that they have rented for the past six years. They are both consultants to the UN. Their favorite restaurant was located directly across the street from their apartment and we had dinner their a few times. This is a picture of us with Peter and Gretchen Bloom and the owner of the restaurant.
On the first night of our stay in Rome the owners of the apartment we rented took us out to dinner at their favorite restaurant. We ate there often and the waiters got to know us. Because the owner was a professor the waiters assumed the King was also and they greeted me by calling me `Professore'. They gave us free after dinner drinks - normally just putting the whole bottle on our table and never giving us a bill for it. The waiters were all from Malaysia and could only speak Italian - no English!!! The waiter in the middle is Emil.
Catherine and Mimo
This is a picture of the owners of the apartment. We had dinner with them at Monte Arci on the first night and then they took us out again for dinner on the last night. They were extremely nice and we could not have asked for better landlords. Whatever problems we had, which were very few, they fixed immediately. Mimo was a gynecologist who delivered Catherine's daughter when Catherine was married to someone else. I guess he checked out the goods and liked what he saw. Catherine was the director of an English school but in a previous life had been involved in the movies and had worked as Assistant Producer on the portion of Gangs of New York that was filmed in Rome.