Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rome: No soil can hold you

Last year, I came to Rome with my friend Aine. She's terrific and I miss her terribly. I notice her absence especially in places we walked, places we ate and places we saw. 

But in none of those places did I miss her more than the night I went out with Sandro and Marco, who you met in this lively post one year ago. (That post is really worth reading. Go ahead. I'll wait.)

Last year, Aine and I spent a great night with Sandro and Marco. So it was quite sad when Aine couldn't join us for an evening out on the town in Roma.

We were very sad that Aine wasn't with us in Rome.
We were so sad, in fact, that we had to drink ourselves to cheerfulness.
Sandro and Marco attempting to find cheerfulness through Sangria.

And when that didn't work, we had cuddle.

Eventually, we started to feel better so we danced in the fountains.

And took bad drunken photos that made us laugh.

But seriously folks, we did miss our Aine. 

And without her here, I feel a little lost, which is why they stepped up to help me navigate the mean streets of Roma.

They helped me with ordering my favorite gelato flavors: 

At the request of Mel Heth, I tried Caffé and now must add it to the list.

Sandro and Marco gave me a geography lesson, showing me the three most important places to visit in the city. 
My house and their houses.

They also told me of one place we must visit together outside the city. Yes, please. 

They also cleared up a question I had about a commonly used word I kept hearing around town.

After the Roman survival lessons, I told them my big news. That I quit my job and am now traveling indefinitely. 

They stared back in amazement. 

Sandro said, "Non c'e' terra che te regge." No soil can hold you.  

Marco said, "To a Roman, you are both a hero and a fool."

Apparently, when someone gets a good job around here, they keep it as long as they can. And they are grateful for it.

As a person who spent her career in advertising, the concept of keeping a job for life floors me. In advertising, we routinely move around from agency to agency, city to city. If an agency loses an account, poof! You could be gone in as much time as it takes HR to do the paperwork. But after the initial awkward conversation with your boss and the strange feeling of a midday commute home, you bounce back relatively quickly. Advertising people learn to roll with the punches.

But Sandro and Marco say that this line of thought is not common in Rome. And Romans are generally quite satisfied having the same jobs in the same place with the same people.

And you know what? 

I found this to be a pleasing idea. 

These guys are who they are. They are doing what they do. And much of their definition of self is set. 

It's kinda interesting to know exactly what you're going to get. Eliminates the guess work.

Conversely, I'm zipping around the globe like a pinball, not knowing anything more than that I'm a writer. But where will I be a writer? What will I write? When I'll get an income again? No clue. 

This led me to ask about dreams. Do people have dreams if so much of their life is set in stone?

Yes, they have dreams. Just different kinds. Dreams of far off places to see. Dreams of marriage. Dreams of children. 

But they admitted that they've been to a lot of places and it's not easy to find somewhere better than Rome.

I couldn't agree more. And though at this point in my life, no soil can hold me, I'm getting closer to being pleased with the notion that one day, one soil will.


  1. AnonymousMay 11, 2011

    Think you have talent to write, Janice!
    And I believe that you are also brave and fool enough to do that.

    The "Curiosity and 'Did you know?' " section director. Sandro

  2. You know what? I totally have to be one of your super cool friends who meets up with you in Europe. What the heck am I doing sitting in Vallejo reading your blog when I could freakin be eating gelato, dancing in fountains and actually being in your blog. I'm getting my passport renewed right now.

  3. I love the idea of no soil holding you. That means the possibilities are endless. Unless of course one man's arms are stronger than the soil....

  4. hopefully it is Canadian soil

  5. My comments fell off today's post due to some maintenance errors with Blogger. Too bad. They were funny. Oh well, now you know, in case you were wondering.

  6. AnonymousMay 16, 2011

    Good work, Janice! The way you write and the contents are the result of talent and sensitivity. Congratulations!!!
    Continue on this road and at the end you will be rich in experiences and emotions ... and you have written an excellent book.
    I hope you can get everything you deserve out of life!!! Marco

  7. No soil can hold you. You can imagine how much I love this.


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