Ah, Roma - a city that reminds you of the delights of womanhood. Hello again, catcalls. No, I am not your baby, please f*ck off. Hello, hyper-sexualized* women. Hello again, overtly sexist jokes. Hello, familiar old female ritual of comparing instances of sexual harassment (know what I'm talking about?).
I did enjoy the food, though - as enjoyable a way as ever to empty your wallet-, and the abundant sunshine. And the old architecture - walking through the ruins, one can hardly imagine the amplified magnificence that these multi-story structures must have been a few thousand years before reinforced steel hit the scenes. Perhaps best of all, I got to reunite with a friend almost of a former life, one where we were all just idiot teenagers with little foresight of the people we would turn out to be.
Curiously, I find that many of the people I once cultivated friendships with, only to lose touch and reunite years later, end up curiously having turned into individuals with a similar outlook and similar values. I wonder whether this is coincidence or whether life- and personality-paths simply follow patterns. Or perhaps a bit of both.
Most maddeningly, no one has yet managed to answer the question of what Italians ate prior to tomatoes and pasta (most guesses contain "olives?" though). I will nonetheless take pride in knowing that they owe their beloved modern cuisine in large part to my Chinese forefathers and the continent on which I was raised.
*Women are hyper-sexualized in German media, too, but less on the street (i.e. less makeup, less tight clothing, fewer manes that look as though they took 2 hours to blow-dry into perfection, fewer unsolicited compliments from creepy men).