|Sidd, knowing how bad a flier I am, thought it would be a laugh to count down the "klicks" left during the trip. Little bugger snickered every time we hit turbulence too! He keeps that up and he will be traveling with the luggage not in Club Class!|
- For over two years I would keep a medical appointment in Trastevere every Tuesday at 1400. And every Tuesday at 1350 I would drop into a cafe-bar in Piazza Piscinula and have an espresso - it got to the point where Paolo the bar man would see me coming and start making my coffee. On Sunday afternoon we sat on the wooden terrace there and Paolo came over - greeted me as if I had never left and brought me my espresso. We exchanged pleasantries - he joked about the new waitress as being the love of his life and as I left we shook hands with the assurance that we would meet again.
- The number 8 tram, which ran through Trastevere and ended at Largo Argentina has been extended down to Piazza Venezia. A big improvement and makes getting into Centro so much easier from where we were.
|After the church stuff it was even more difficult to explain the whole Kosher food schtick to Sidd; however he took one look at the roasted tomatoes and grilled chicken at Taverna del Ghetto and decided it was a good thing!|
- Tropical Ice - our favourite Gelatoria - is still open and the wonderful fresh flavours are still being served up by the charmingly handsome owner. And he remembered that I take my coppetta neat - no whipped cream. The sad news is that he has sold the business and will be moving on to other things. It seems to be a story that is repeating itself over and over again here.
|Okay now this was a bit more to Sidd's taste - just some of the wonderful flavours at Tropical Ice. And they were just as delicious as I remember them being - and with the intense taste that only natural ingredients bring to Marco's gelati.|
- It looks like other businesses in our old neighbourhood have closed: Stella Maris, so often our Friday night local, has been replaced by a pizza chain. And where the Bifteka, a very good streak house, once stood is now a very large McDonald's. A few other stores have disappeared as have several of the coffee shops - fortunately none have been replaced by Starbucks.
- There are more beggars on the streets and not just the regular crew of gypsies - though amongst the lame, the halt and the maimed most of the faces were familiar ones. Older people here have seen their pensions cut and, in a repeat of something I recall from Poland in the late 1990s, some of them seem to have taken to begging. Hunger has no pride.
|Sidd admires the Mostra della Acqua Felice which I wrote about extensively a few years ago. He noticed that though it was only cleaned three years ago, the exhaust from the traffic is starting to blacken the stone already.|
- Many of the restaurants in our old neighbourhood stood mostly empty on Monday at lunch time though I was happy to see that by Wednesday business had picked up at Checco e Lina, an old haunt of my friend Dario and I. It was the fullest I had ever seen it at pranzo. The food is still dependable solid cucina Romana and the service as welcoming as ever.