Still here in Rome, which has been and continues to be, an amazing part of this trip. I love this city. I love the buildings and the attitude and the pizza and the pasta and the salads. Most of all I love the arguments, which seem to happen all the time (at least to me) and somehow always seem to end with a new friendship born and all forgiven and forgotten.
Like, for example, the other day: We had dropped off our laundry (for 23 people) at a laundromat. The woman told us that we could pick up the clothing at 2:30, but failed to mention that they were meant to close at 1:30. We arrived around 4 or so to find the place closed. We got in touch with the owner somehow, who told us that he would reopen at 7:30. And so, we worked our way back there, arriving at 7:33, to find the place closed. We called, and the man told us that he had left, as we were not there. He yelled at me, I yelled at him, he yelled, I yelled, he hung up. I called back, we yelled, he hung up, and we repeated the process once more. And then, the next morning, he called me to tell me to feel free to pass by, that the store was open. I did so, we talked and had a nice laugh, and shook hands.
This has happened nearly every day here. It is pretty ridiculous. I have even better examples, but I will have to share them at a later date. (I would especially enjoy telling someday the story of the woman who charged us an exorbitant rate for a drink, and when I told her that it seemed like a robbery to me, basically kicked us out of her bar, and who now, three years later, invites us sometimes to free coffee and jokes with us regularly).
Other than argue, I have spent time here checking out the sites, visiting Pompeii (one of my favorite places in the world to visit), drinking coffee, and walking until chafing becomes a serious issue (cured by Vaseline applied liberally).
But that is another story entirely.