It’s hot in Roma. It is so hot the choices are 1) stay at home in your underwear and drink everything cold in the house, never use the stove because that will make heat 2) go away –far away from Roma 3) go to the beach daily if you cannot afford to travel or you have time to use before your vacation 4) Stand still. I chose option 3- the beach is what i did for a week or so , more or less. I spend my days burning my already brown skin ( with SPF 30) until was completely even.
Ostia is easily accessible by train. The station is Piramide in Ostiense. It’s about 40 minutes from beginning to end . Then a 10-15 minute bus ride, depending on what type of beach you fancy. My fancy is the free beaches that are closer to the end. Ostia doesn’t have picturesque beaches. Its a usable beach that works.
I went for a few days to pass the time sometimes solo or with friends. I am so tan right now my mother is going to have many words for me when I see her in a few days. Anyway, I was at the beach, trying to practice my weak swimming in peace when a man decided he should invade my space. Like a true shark he swam around me for about 2 minutes getting closer and closer and then creating dialogue. He ask formalities and I answered with short answers. Then he decided to talk about the beach. “This beach is used also by nudist:”
Me: I know I see them.
Man: I usually am too
Me: Good for you
Man: Would you like to try to?
Me: Why are you so uninviting?
Man: it is perfectly normal,….in fact i will do it now…( HE took off his shorts in the water) ………He was standing there feeling proud in his unclothing .
I turned and swam away. On the sand my friend asked me if she just saw what I witnessed..I shook my head yes. We sat in silence. The man comes out the water , puts on his pants and disappears for some time. When we are settled and relaxed , like a shadow, the man appeared. I was getting ready to responded when the couple beside us jumped in and told him to go away. He left for good. This is Roma.
I am a woman of color. I have many experiences of highs and lows of living here. This is just one encounter that was UBER extreme. Overall, my experiences have been graceful and respectful. This guy was the first to just disgust me and I am sharing it. When men ask if I am Brazilian , it’s more due to what they know of black culture. Despite watching all modern programs , music artists and pop culture…a large group of Italians are still un-evolved on foreign women. It is not only dark skin women in this boat. I am only mentioning my experience.
I have met normal guys here , yet as in all things the asinine encounters really stick with me.I don’t let them become my personality I just don’t forget. I have on many occasions confront them , which makes them run. Having a strong character is a must here. I have a great love for Italy in a whole . I love the feel of living in this ancient slightly modern world. I just have no desire for romance, which many women find here , as the Italians call it EAT PRAY LOVE moment. I would love to have such a moment even a temporary one. This would require a brave guy to rise from the non-commitment, mammoni , bubbled culture. It sounds impossible …however I still believe in unicorns.