Notes from Rome: beauty and kindness

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Fan. Fan. Fan is not a just a decorative item here. We started using fans. It is very hot in Rome. No trees. Lots of ruins. Lots of columns. Doric and Roman columns. Lots of cafes and restaurants. And it is very hot. Many places do not have A/C. Thus, we ended up getting those souvenir fans and using them. They work! And when our kids started quarrelling over one fan that we got for our daughter, a street vendor gave our son a similar one as a present, for free. Unexpected kindness is stronger than beauty. Or may be it is the essence beauty. And our son’s fan is a small reminder of this human beauty called kindness.

Streets are beautiful. Distances are huge, but the buildings are so beautiful, that it makes walking very attractive. Everybody walks on one side of the street, on the shady one. Thus, if you are fine with the hot Italian sun, you may walk freely on the sunny side of the streets.

Colors! The houses are all painted in terracotta, blue, yellow and orange color. It makes the city look yellowish. Yellowish with white or green or blue shutters and sharp shadows. This and the sun give Rome the dusty feel of an ancient beautiful city.

People. People. People. I am wondering if Rome is just for tourists. Tourists, like us seem to be everywhere. The city is full of souvenir shops and restaurants for tourists. However, tourists here look more elegant than in the rest of the places I have been. They dress better, they have nicer manners, and they are smiling and pleasant to look at. Ok, they just look darn elegant. Rome must have some magic; is this what magic dust is? The city makes us all dress nicer than we would otherwise. You look around and all you see are dresses, nice, colorful, beautiful dresses, straw hats, sunglasses, heels, suits, and shirts. Men address you as “bella signiora” and it sounds as a complement, even coming from a waiter or a bus driver. Italian sounds enchanting, as people who speak it. Even carabinieri looked impressive and I unwillingly straightened my back when eight of them walked by.  It feels good to be a part of this colorful and aesthetical city for a week. Maybe longer in the future.

When you enter a church or a cathedral you intuitively look up. And your eyes are magnetized by the mosaic or painting of the cupolas. Never before have I looked up for so long. The altar is invisible comparing to the quiet radiance of the scenes above your head. I am wondering if people were supposed to look right up when they enter a church… I hope they were. It makes you be part of this beauty and kindness.

Rome, July 5th 2012

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