Thursday, September 6, 2012

Singin' in the Rain

There is simply too much to blog about. I have decided that for now I will just give you some snippets of life here instead of a detailed inventory of the events of my life.

So the weather in Rome is not what I expected. Who am I kidding? Nothing in Rome is what I expected. It has exceeded all of my expectations.

The first week the weather was incredibly hot and more humid than anything I have ever experienced. It was the kind of weather where I literally needed to take a shower after about five minutes. Pair that with at least 5 hours outside, walking in the heat and you have one sticky Katie. It's ok. I didn't smell nearly as bad as some of the Italians... I am pretty sure deodorant hasn't been discovered here. 

So after that weather the rainy streak of the last few days was a welcome change. It started on Sunday right after church. A fine mist began to descend from the sky. By Tuesday it was pouring. For me, a Washingtonian, it seemed normal and manageable, even fun. I love the rain!

Normally I am extremely opposed to the use of umbrellas. In Washington we just never use them. However, life in the USA is a lot different than life in Italy and rain introduces a whole new set of challenges here.

Challenge 1: Getting on and off the metro. You have to avoid being picket pocketed while attempting to open your umbrella in time to save you from getting drenched. I am here to tell you that it is an art form. In one hurried attempt my professor’s wife opened her umbrella a little to quickly and sprayed her husband with rainwater. Hilarious.

Challenge 2: Waiting for the sometimes unreliable public transportation. Italians like to take life at a more laid back pace. Meetings start late. Meals are long. And sometimes the bus comes an hour late. This is fine in clear weather, but after exploring some freezing catacombs with 24 girls who have already been out in the rain for 5 hours you kind of want the bus to come on time. We ended up as a line of umbrellas along the Appian Way. It was pouring and most of our umbrellas/rain jackets had reached capacity. Add the fact that cars kept driving by and splashing us and you have some very wet BYU students. We stood there for an hour. In which time we sang songs from every known musical, giggled, and watched someone very important (probably the pope) drive by in a very nice maserati with a huge police escort and a helicopter overhead. Luckily, our bus came eventually and we made it safely back to our dry hotel.

Challenge 3: Dressing appropriately. In Rome the name of the game is layers. You never know "weather" (haha punny...) it will be hot or cold. So I end up with a v-neck, a sweater, and a scarf. Most of the time I wear just the V-neck. This causes a problem. Where do I put the sweater and scarf? If I bring a backpack I am constantly worried about it being behind me. I can’t keep my stuff safe back there. If I bring only my purse I have to tie my scarf and sweater to it and I look ridiculous. I’ll let you know if I figure out the solution.

Challenge 4: The Pantheon. For those of you who don’t know the Pantheon is a Catholic church that was originally a pagan temple. It has one very large cement dome. The thing is that in order to be structurally sound the dome has a giant skylight in the center. This leaves a hole that is open to the elements. What happens when it rains? Well locals told us that the rain never touches the ground. Seem true? We didn’t think so. So when it rained we booked it to the Pantheon to find out. I am here to tell you that the rain does touch the floor. There is a drain in the center of the floor to catch it. Myth busted.

Making the most of the rain.

Life continues to be great! Rest assured that I am loving Rome!

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