While having lunch today at Piazza Ungaria with my friend Carol Anne I saw a few sights that reminded me of how colourful a city I've been living in for the past few years.
As we sat sipping our prosecco behind the plexiglass divider that separated us from the sidewalk we watched the parade of Parioli ladies and gents in their finery as well as the African vendors and a few of the local beggars that work the area. An elderly gentleman lurched out of this rather esoteric procession of the good, the bad and the ugly. His tongue was hanging out, he appeared to be gasping for air and was in obvious distress. He supported himself against a lamp post and seemed to be on the point of collapse. Both of us expressed alarm to the owner of the restaurant as did people at several other tables. She gave a little laugh and said "That's Antonio, he's working. Just watch him." A woman stopped to see if she could help and he burst into tears and gesticulated a story of some sort - she gave him a few euros. We saw this act repeated several times as he "worked" his way lurching and collapsing along the street. He must have made €20.00 within 10 minutes. On a contract at the Embassy I'd have to work over an hour to make that much. Obviously I'm in the wrong line of work.
Later we sat drinking our coffee when my eye caught this rather interesting sign on some sort of service box on one of the sidewalk poles. No I don't mean the one for the dog sitter!
If the advertiser were writing in classic Italian it would suggest they were Slavic and looking for a lady however I have a feeling it may not exactly be the intention of the service being offered.
26 maggio - San Filippo Neri