Thursday, September 13, 2007

Inconsistent Consistencies

Aurelian Walls
Aurelian Walls The Aurelian Walls were built to define the boundries of Ancient Rome.
Porte PiaMichelangelo's last great work for Pius IV.

Every morning as I head to school through the Aurelian Wall at Porte Pia (and when did I ever think I would write a sentence like that) I am struck by how inconsistently consistent things are in Rome. From day to day things can be very much the same and yet entirely different.

The Number 36 bus at 0845 in the morning can be standing room only or half empty when it reaches my stop. Now that everyone has returned to the city bottle necks are a morning traffic given – but one morning it can be at Via Zara another at Porte Pie and a third at Santa Susanna. I can be almost alone walking down Via Nazionale at 0910 or in the middle of gaggles of tourists and Romans heading to work. My morning Cappuccino at 0920 can be a solitary enjoyment or I can be surrounded by Polizia from the station next door to the school.

Every morning an old beggar man sits on the top step at Santa Maria della Victoria – except once a week it is an old woman and it’s never the same day of the week. The beggars working Via Nazionale are always the same – and not even in the Middle East, have I seen such open displays of severed limbs and diseased bodies – but they change street corners from day to day and sometimes even during the day. And the two gypsy squeegee woman at the intersection of Via Asmara and Via Nomentana (the main intersection nearest the apartment) can be counted on to be there every morning but even they switch corners on a daily basis.

Perhaps I am just noticing these things because I come from a small government town where everything was pretty much the same from morning commute to morning commute – same people on the bus, same beggar on Lyon Street, same bus driver etc. But it does make the time go by on that fifteen or twenty or maybe forty minute stand or sometimes sit on the bus.

4 Settembre – Santa Rosalia


Anonymous said...

heehee ...

do you have change NOW, sir?


haven't seen her around lately ... no loss, i guess ...

2 dogs

BigAssBelle said...

reading about this, i think "how delightful." it's hard to make things different in my day to day life and in envy you.