So, blog update time.
I have so far failed to make a carrot cake with Bea, which is not entirely surprising, as I am too scared to even attempt it. I’m thinking about burnt fish fingers, porridge splattered on top of the microwave, and not knowing that I was supposed to put water in condensed soup. These are just some of my previous culinary triumphs, and suitably explain why I spent most of my evenings at Lancaster eating out.
So. There will be no carrot cake.
Instead, I’ve spent the last few days finishing the Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves book, reading about the history of Rome, making headway with my Italian (it’s still poor), and co-ordinating the Katha buddy scheme. I’ve also found a hotel room for the trip I’m taking to Florence at the beginning of December, when the Bellomos are going north to visit friends. HELLO, productivity.
On Saturday evening I experience my first ever Thanksgiving, which is hosted by Agape, an NGO that Ashley has links with. We are first required to make turkeys by drawing round our hands and then adding legs and sagging neck, before sticking them on a display of turkey hands on the wall. Amazing. The Thanksgiving meal itself is a lot like a traditional Christmas dinner, but the highlight of it is the pumpkin pie – just indescribable. Afterwards we head out to the Macro Museum –all the major museums in Rome are open for free, for one night only, with live music playing. We arrive at half past twelve, and find that The Macro has electro blasting out near the terrace. Have a quick look around the museum and go up to the roof before heading to the bar. It is so, so good to be out.
In other news, we have a new housekeeper. Anna, it transpires, is going back to Georgia to potentially get married, although details of whether she actually is or not remain hazy. The new housekeeper is Filipino, and she has her first day of work on Tuesday whilst I am out getting spectacularly rained on at lunch with Ashley. Thus, I don’t meet her until the evening.
In the car on the way to pick up B&B from school, I ask Alberto whether her first day has gone well. ‘I think,’ he says, ‘she may be too small.’
I feel that something has been lost in translation here. Considering that Lidia told me she was only twenty one, I ask, ‘What, she’s too young?’
‘Yes,’ Alberto says. ‘But also too small. She can’t reach the salt.’
Tuesday evening presents this week’s Stupid American in the form of a middle aged man who is finding the hotel unsuitable due to its lack of Wi-Fi.
Like every other person who just cannot possibly be separated from their email for more than two days, he asks me how I’m on the internet. I tell him that Wi-Fi is unavailable for guests because of Italian law and owner culpability and that I can only access it because I work here, before pointing out the Mac in the corner (which costs nothing to use, I might add).
This is not sufficient, clearly, because after listening thoughtfully he walks up to Miguel behind the desk and says, ‘I wouldn’t mind if there was no phone in the room – I wouldn’t even notice. But not having the internet is like not having a bathroom.’
‘It’s like saying, sorry, no bathroom this week,’ he says.
Well... no. It isn’t really, is it?
He isn’t finished, though. ‘I’m going to ring my travel agent and ask to move to a different hotel,’ he blathers. ‘They didn’t tell me that there wouldn’t be Wi-Fi.’
In the midst of this conversation, on the other side of reception, the people with the Wakefield accents start talking very loudly about penis piercings.