mardi, mai 03, 2005

Rome Springs Eternal

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Piazza di Spagna in Flower

My absence from the ether is due to an escapade to the eternal city for a prolonged weekend. To be honest living in Luxembourg is not half as bad as the impression that is normally given by us denizens of the Duchy. Wet, grey and excessively organised does of course have its downside but I do find that you can get used to it and strange as it may seem I even tend to refer to my flat on the park as home. For yesterday's homecoming both the Duchy and the Royaume up north reserved a nice surprise of sun and green transforming the three hour train ride from Brussels into a pleasant experience that was not even spoilt by the usual loud brats who invariably hop onto the train at Namur/Naamen.

Back to La Citt� Eterna. Vecchia Roma was bursting with life and colour. Tourists in their thousands as well as the invasion of communists and reds and sindacalisti on their way to the Festa di Primo Maggio. A lovely mesh of in-duh-viduals in their own right zooming from one sunlit terrazzo to another. One thing you see in Rome (and Naples) is the look in tourists eyes� tired from adventuring through the maze of public transport, exhausted from their negotiations with the latest waiter who will force feed them what he is SURE they will like from his menu, and knackered by the sweltering sun, they resort to mini-espresso breaks. Now your average tourist (especially those hailing from this area) is used to his 'espresso' as being that soup-like serving which is a little less than an americain (yep the French had the audacity to describe a type of coffee as American). They are definitely NOT prepared for the compressed punch of caffeine that is the Roman espresso. So tired they are� but suddenly driven to overdrive with eyes wide open and bloodshot. (Ma n'do vai? Se l'espresso non ce l'hai?)
Roma, Roma, Roma,
chi nasce qua non t�abbandona.
Roma, Roma, Roma,
chi vi� da fori se �nnamora.
Roma citt� eterna,
oma citt� aperta,
Roma cos� antica,
Roma cos� moderna.
Sotto la coperta delle mejo stelle,
noi la stessa madre ma con diversa pelle.
Le cose belle non le tiene sotto il letto,
le porta sopra al petto come uno scudetto.
Fatto e detto nel 2000 in un momento,
Roma sempre dentro e fuori dal tempo.
Noi colla barba bianca, il passo pi� stanco,
morto un Papa infondo se ne fa un altro.
Un altro sindaco al comando mi raccomando,
qui ciascuno � pagina di un libro eterno

-Er Piotta

Disorganisation is paramount (and I was shocked to note my sudden distaste of chaos� am I being Luxembourgified?) but everything still manages to happen in the way only disorganised chaos can make it happen. More effective than that was the beauty of the spring air in the south. You could feel the slow Mediterranean pulse starting to increase its beat along with the cool breezes of the night. The long thaw of early spring was over and the rites of spring have revived the spirit of fun, food and frolic. The 1st May celebration was also that in Rome. No doubt about it. The beat goes on� the Mediterranean days with the cricket and the dryness are on their way� the nights of wine and dancing are also shooting into the picture. That is where saudade begins, that is where all attempts at justifying living in the Duchy ends�. That is when I am glad that come 14th May I will be landing in Malta for what I hope will be a week of breathing in all that is wonderful about out land and our people.

Meanwhile� I will kill time here� really really really trying to understand whether a country bursting in green, a park in flower, birds in the air and the daily sun-or-rain gamble can ever really become a second home.

Until now I remain convinced�

give to me the bumpy roads,
the shabby transport system,
give to me
the drive-as-you please,
the minister and missing gas cistern
give to me a ride by the sea,
il- front, tal-pep� and the hilton tower
far from the duchy as far as can be
away from this spring of shower!!

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Euclide Train Station

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