I am an emotional loon hiding in Roma. I have been so blessed, fortunate or just dumb lucky. I think it has a lot to do with my mindset. Despite my fears and insecurities life has been opening her arms telling me to walk and don’t worry…………. ..”I gotcha”
On my first day in Roma; I cannot write Rome anymore; I stayed at a hostel. I am familiar with the owners so it made perfect sense as I was waiting on housing to come together. Once I registered and put my bags down my first mission was to get a phone sim. Luckily, there was a TIM store at the end of the block of my hostel so the search was quick.
The store is very small and there was only one person ahead of me, a lady with long black straight hair. She spoke Italian with a thick Asian accent. The sales clerk was a bit annoyed with her because she making him do his job instead of sitting and doing nothing. At one point , the clerk asked me what I needed while he was helping the lady before me. I responded in Italian-English I needed a sim card. He was use to foreigners and comprehended my nonsense speech.
The lady before me, turned and her eyes grew big! “ You American?!” I said yes. “ Oh! good I need practice English. I do not speak very good and need practice” She then turned and said something to the clerk. Unfortunately, I could not understand at the time. The clerk was getting annoyed since she was talking to the two of us at the same time. She was talented, switching from Italian to English in a thick Asian accent.
She later forced the clerk to help us simultaneously so that we could talk about her English lessons. This is how I met my big sister-the opera singer. After frustrating the clerk for about an hour she took me to find a hairdryer. I had mentioned I just arrived and needed to get somethings..hairdryer, flat iron, cosmetics. I figured it would take a few days to acquire the essentials. However, with my sister I obtained all my necessities within two hours. She then told me I would be coming to her house tomorrow for lunch and then SWOOSH she was off to another appointment.
It was too unbelievable yet I made a friend in under an hour and was going to have lunch with her the next day. It sounds odd from State sides that a person would do all of this, plus going into a strangers car in under an hour. It is a bit different. I knew her name and address in twenty minutes and for some reason I said OK.
My sister made me an amazing lunch of fresh , homemade sushi. It was amazingly good. I know it’s Italy, yet how often do have fresh made sushi in Italy..rare. In truth many Italians are skeptical about the sushi places in Roma. (There is a theory about fish bought far from shorelines is questionable. I have found one that I will recommend called Yoshi in zone Ostiense; visit countless times and still livin. Another place is Fish Market, it’s an Italian restaurant. Fish Market smells fishy yet the food and service is good). Anyway, my sister has been a great source to my life here. She pimped me out. She did. She took me to restaurants, events and community centers, she introduced me to many important people she knew from the orchestra hall to celebrities. She pimped me. She knew I was an English teacher. I would not be working at my school until September. I had a few months to get adjusted. She helped me get business cards offering English lessons over the summer. It seemed far-fetched to me yet I had income coming in.
She has been in my life heavy and yet like the wind she leaves, touring through Europe and making trips to Korea. Now I barely see her.When she is here, I check in giving full details of what I have been up to; who i am dating, any new plans, ecc. She is always cooking for me or treating me to a meal. No matter how I ask to pay or try to contribute she reminds me, “ I am the big sister, it is my duty.” She is just this way. She is off always now. I miss her. She has become my family here and I am forever grateful to her. This is what happens when I open up and just be.