Friday, January 22, 2010

Pronto Socorro (the emegency room in Roma)

On our way to the Milano Knife Show that is held every November we stay in Rome for the week between the NY Show and Milan Show.  One year we even got married in Rome!   Walking 2 miles in Rome Italy is nothing for me.  It goes by in the blink of an eye.  Partly because I am a fast walker, and partly because there is so much visually to feast my eyes upon.  The architecture draws my eye to so many places.  I grew up in Chicago, where I took architecture for granted.  Where I live now, I joke that there must be a city ordinance against architecture!

So I am happy to wander the streets of Rome, propelled by my last cappuccino, which I found out was not to be drunk after breakfast.  Every corner has a coffee bar that the Italians stand at while they have their shots of coffee.  So I "shot and run."  Bob trying to keep up, always telling me to "slow down this isn't a marcha forzata!".  Wheels of parmesan cheese in windows of shops, pizza slices freshly baked, whole proscuitto hanging by the dozens, and the man slicing me my 1/4 kilo holding up each slice for my approval before placing it on it's own sheet of waxed paper...all common place.  The buzz of traffic and mopeds whining, horns honking don't seem to bother me here, ever.  It has become a second home.  Every day I try to figure out how to justify moving to one of the little apartments full time at Residence Candia.  The people are like dessert...they top off everything. They are passionate, friendly, and endearing as  Italians can be.

Bob and I had been to the open market in the morning.  Shopping for the apartment.  We went to Campo di Fiori (plaza of flowers) while their market was still open.  Mostly watching the people do their biding.  We ate and drank at a little cafe that had outstanding pizza slices.  Our plan was to walk along the Tiber River to Castle St. Angelo to watch the birds perform their dusk aeronautic ritual before settling into the trees lining the Tiber  River. 

Here you see the path that is tree lined along the Tiber River, the bridge going to the Castle St. Angelo, and the beloved wheels of parmesan cheese.  We learned that there are banks in Italy that have wheels of parmesan cheese as collateral.  Imagine a bank bail out with parmesan cheese? You can eat  that kinda bail out.

The streets and sidewalks in Rome are uneven at best.  Cobblestones are everywhere, and are placed on top of thousands of years of civilization.  With the heat and the cold they tend to heave.  Then the few places that there is asphalt or is cracked and pot holed.  Bob and I were walking single file on the path in the photo above.  What you can't see is the holes, cracks and tree roots making their way up and out of the path.  I was walking ahead of Bob (yeah, what else is new?) and I turned back to tell him something about what I saw on the river.  He wasn't there!  I looked around.  He was on the ground laying on his side.  OMG!  I thought he was having a heart attack, or stroke, or some horrible health issue that makes one fall to the ground.

"I'm okay, I stepped in a hole and fell."  he reassured me.  I struggled to help him up, and dust him off.
He kept proclaiming his "fineness", so we marched on, a bit slower to the Castle. 

We crossed the bridge and climbed all the steps of the castle to get our birds eye view of all of Rome.  I love this particular spot for so many reasons.  The 360 degree view is spectacular, the castle itself has sculptures, and adornments like no other.  And I get to watch the starlings turn themselves into "bird lava lamps" that change shape over and over again.  The magpie in me longs to soar with them in their aeriel ballet. Below is a video of the birds.
You have to see it to believe it.  It it truly one of my favorite things to see.

The next morning we were to go on a tour inside the Colosseum.  When I was bringing Bob his coffee from our tiny kitchen and even tinier coffee pot I noticed him looking at his foot.  It was purple and swollen on the top.  He looked as if he'd been stomping grapes in his sleep.  I knew we would be seeing a doctor, or going to the "Pronto Socorro." I asked the building manager if there was a doctor to see.  She laughed and said: "pronto socorro."  We actually took a taxi there. Passing the Castle on our way.  The driver stopped at a driveway leading down under the hospital and pointed to where we should walk.

We walked through double doors into a crowded city hospital.  All signs, and there weren't many were in Italian.  And this is where Bob shines, because his Italian is so much better than mine. 
I'll leave you here and continue this on my next post.

Buona Notte.  Thanks for reading.  It still amazes me that you do.

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