Our last day in Rome

“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.

I love to visit New York

More than a year ago, I visited New York City with the intention of deciding whether I would move here That visit was full of events with friends, job interviews, examining the neighborhoods. Needless to say, it was stressful and anxiety-inducing. I was disappointed with the people, the attitude, the anonymity of the large buildings, and the cramped spaces.

Coming from San Francisco, I wanted a similar lifestyle. After all, so many New York City transplants were in San Francisco—quite often, seeking a relaxed lifestyle.

On this return, after more than 7 days in the city. Coupled with my ice cream interviewing and slow walks through neighborhoods, I loved it. And for some reason, the East Coast edge that was grating me last year was almost nearly absent. (Although as I walked down the street once, I got punched in the arm…)

Or is it because ice cream makes everyone happy? I would like to think so.

I don’t want a doorman in my building

The idea of living in New York once appealed to me. But then faced with the tall concrete buildings in Manhattan, the souless apartments…I desired nothing else but to have my apartment in San Francisco. And most of all, a doorman.

Some state that doorman increases the building’s security. That I have always found false. I have walked into my sister’s Manhattan building at three different locations throughout the island undetected, smiling only innocently. What if I was an angry ex-girlfriend that wanted revenge? Nothing can stop me there. Social engineering is easier than expected. Most of all, there are areas in San Francisco including in front of my apartment where crime has been committed. I am not afraid. It’s a choice that I made.

Packages? Sure, that’s the most annoying thing about my duplex. I come back and the sticker is on my gate. Whoops, missed the package…again!

At one point, I thought…Green Point or Williamsburg. maybe.

Birthday WISHlist 2013

This year, I will be spending my birthday abroad in Rome. Ever since I was young, I always had a self-entitled day. But this year, for my 31st, I’ll be in Florence with my number one fan. They say Italy will be enrapturing. But will it? I don’t know. I stopped being fascinated by Italian cuisine when I reached my teens (no more spaghetti and meatballs!). And wine? Unless it’s high quality grape juice… But the culture of Italy, that is what I seek to experience!

Previous years: 2012, forgotten year in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, a forgotten year of 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002

1. Safe unencumbered travels abroad (like not getting lost)
2. Serendipity while traveling (no more ending up in concrete jungles of nothing)
3. A better cheap AT&T data plan
4. So that it makes sense to upgrade my spotify account
5. Good casual walking shoes
6. Homemade ice cream. Like really homemade.
7. Candy!
8. Portable tripod