I say almost because it wasn’t supposed to be a free day. I thought I was going to visit Mrs. Gx, but that fell through so I was left to wander Rome alone. Yes, boohoo me – stuck in Rome, ha! So I ditched my laptop and put on my (cute) walking shoes and started wandering in the opposite direction than I would normally go. I usually carry my map with me, although its limited to the tourist areas. I always think that the map will show me where I am, but most times I can never find my current location on it. So I just walk down appealing streets and have faith that eventually I will come across a landmark or street that looks familiar. Most times I don’t care, I figure I can ask someone if I get too lost. I wandered from my sketchy neighborhood to a much better one. That’s how I know it was better – condos! Still with graffiti all over the place, but I didn’t feel weird either, since there were barely any people out walking in that section. I walked and walked and walked, taking pictures, and avoiding lingering eye contact. I ignore people very well. I’m only doing it at the behest of Mr. Rick Steeves, since I am a single woman walking alone. That, plus my faux wedding ring, I think I’m good. However today, I stopped across the street from the Planetarium, or at least that’s what I think it was, and while standing there I gave the lingering eye contact to a guy walking by on his cellular – but not on purpose, it just happened. So he looked at me, and then he looked at my ‘wedding’ ring, and he said Bella, but then I think he was apologizing or attempting to not be disrespectful of me because of it. Or at least that was what I was inferring from the barrage of Italian he said. Grazie, I said, smiling. Immediately after, another older man walked by and said Bella too, to which I replied similarly. Oooh, is this ring causing men to just stare and not speak? Either way, I feel like I’m treated with more respect, so on it stays. Unless I see Mr. Right, then I’ll slyly remove it as he walks over to me!
Earlier at a local park, I was writing in my journal and I felt someone walk by. For some reason, my intuition kicked in and I felt like the person walking by just wanted to see what I was doing. I know that sounds random, but I really do pay attention to my intuition. And of course, I was right. He walked back by me, about a minute after and walked back over to his friends, who were about 100 ft from me. He never said anything, probably because of my ring. Maybe today I looked more foreign than usual. I even had a car stop, back up, and then the driver and his female companion ask me in English where I was from. They asked in English after I said parlo inglese solo. Probably because I was in the middle of the street along the barrier taking a pic of things along my walk. I guess I should have asked them where they thought I was from, because America was obviously not their guess. I wonder if the African women here get stared at as much as I have being here. From the white people, Italian people, African people, Indian people, not so much the Chinese/Korean/Japanese people. Ok, also, I know that most of these people have seen a Black woman before – there are so MANY Africans here. So who knows, my America must be showing.
Ciao a tutti!