“So many things happened today that we wanted, and they didn’t quite turn out the way we expected,” Chris said.
1. Hiring another driver for the scooters
We were entranced by the idea of riding Vespas throughout Rome á la Roman Holiday. Unfortunately because his motorcycle was stolen more than 6 years ago (covered completely by insurance), he never bothered to get a replacement and thus didn’t really have continual experience. The guys highly recommended that we each get drivers. So we reluctantly did, hesitantly forking over another 100 euro.
2. Being stopped by the Roma Polizia for more than 90 minutes
In fervent Italian, the police told us that we could not continue the tour. They were confused and called a “specialized car”. So while Chris and I were standing around surrounded by a language that we did not understand, just outside the Roman ruins of a public bathhouse, near a major highway…we waited impatiently as our driver and guide were interrogated by the police. Three men pulled up in an unmarked fiat. The five officials argued over a book where they flipped over and over again. Chris was asked to give a police report in the officer’s halting English. “At least we got to be like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck,” I observed. “They also got stopped by the Roma Polizia when she started driving the scooter.” After 90 minutes, the owners of the rental shop arrived…and then after conversations with the police, he said that our money would be returned in full along with a gift.
3. Hunt for cough drops in the wrong places
I was feeling a cold coming on. At least, I knew my throat did not feel well. So I wanted cough drops. In the pharmacy, I used my translator app…but could not communicate effectively about what I wanted. He handed me something that was nearly 10 euros and eventually I said, “Grazie” and waved my hand away. Later, in a grocery store, we went up and down the aisles lost. Finally located the cough drops nestled within the candies. Candies? I never thought so, but perhaps Italy thinks so.
4. Savory gelato
I considered this a great experience, but the strange pairing of pepperoni, mushroom, habereño pepper, gorgonzola with proscruitto, cheese, breadsticks was too much for Chris. When all he wanted was a smattering of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, peach, etc.
5. Plaster in our dinner
Just before we got very far in our main courses, suddenly plaster from the ceiling fell right next to our table, dusting our table…thus our entrees and water. Confused, we looked up. Then before we looked down, the server whisked our entrees away, apologizing. Next, we looked at our water, glancing up trying to find out where the plaster fell from. In moments, the server also took that from our hands saying, “This will not do.” In moments, he gave us another bottle. This time, sadly, still water. And when our entrees came again later, there was less meat, less shrimp. We ordered a dessert, where I thought it was the beautiful glass of white something decorated with berries and it turns out to be two crispy layers of cream dotted with raspberries.