7 Oct 2017 | Rome> sorta last minute our patron Cal decided to meet his bedder-½ in Rome since he hadn't seen her for a few weeks, hardly sees her anymore + it was her birthday + on the plane he started to read Zone by Mathias Énard, from the p.o.v. of sum dude taking a train from Milan to Rome so seemed appropriate enough, replacing train w/ plane + Milan w/ D.C... not really about the train ride but what went thru his noggin during the 6 hr trip + except for a few spots in chapter 2 or 3, so far it's all 1 run-on sentence, broken up in 24 chapters + Cal's plane ride was 8 hrs so he was hoping to finish the book in 1 sitting but only got ½-way thru (it's 500+ pgs) + overnight flight, hard to get absorbed into it at first since it rambles, literally all over the map, lots of place-name dropping, in eastern Europe, the middle east, north Africa—all the Mediteranean states, garnished w/ historical anecdotes back to WWII, WWI, further back to Roman times, after a while u zone out + let your mind go + not try to comprehend, just let your eyes float cross the words, maybe why the title is Zone... next morning just so happened Cal arrived an hour after his bedder-½ (coming from Nepal), so she waited, reunited, it's been a year or so since last they were in Rome, but before even leaving the airport they were shocked by the hordes of tourists, what was once a chaotic podunk immigration procedure, now reorg'd to handle the influx, mostly big Chinese tour groups + then the cab told them the price was 58 euros so they had to get into a heated argument (in Italian) how the price is 50 euros (48 actually), cabbie tries to give them the runaround how it's an extra 8 for whatever bullshit + Cal said they didn't give a shit about the 8 euros, it's more the principal, aint just man + at the end of the ride when they handed him 58, he handed them the 8 euros back + shook their hands... unfortunately the only way to earn a Roman's respect is to engage in such frivolous arguments, they thrive off that shit + then they hit the streets walked along the river + back thru Ostiense + Testacco, revisiting old haunts, marking the change, had lunch in the Jewish ghetto, walked around sum more, took a nap, apperetivos on the roof overlooking the river + boca de veritas then walked to near the Pantheon, met J for dinner, everything that bothered them about Rome coming back, seemingly magnified, more tourists than ever before, hardly liveable to the rest, more aggressive cars + motorini, waiters grumpier than ever, every restaurant packed w/ tourists, part of the experience to eat at an «authentic» Roman trattoria, but nothing can no longer be authentic when catering to values of tourists, not locals, what is it that Joyce said, how Rome reminded him of a man who lives by exhibiting to travellers his grandmother's corpse, how to live w/ yourself after centuries of such self-disrespect, more than ever Rome becoming a paradoxical theme park of herself ....
arks along the Tiber
crepi il lupo
without fame it dissolves
slaughterhouse turned museum
old gate to the city (San Sebastiano)
ristorante seen better days
abandoned paper mill out on Appian Way
... our photos fucked cuz we got retinal display on this new Macbook + photoshop aint acting accordingly, cant tell if its just us, outside of internet everything looks half-size when viewed at 100%, 200% is now the new 100%, maybe our photos have been fucked all along + only now we notice it, who knows, hopefully by next post we'll figure out how to function under this ever-changing paradigm... or not.