Monday, May 29, 2006

The weekend and the Idiot

How an intense, but all around nice, week-end in which you met 50 or 60 people can be spoiled by a single idiot.

Chapter I - the Marathon

Friday was quite a day. A very urgent contract forced me out of my house at 7.30 at and at my office desk from 8 am until past 6 pm, when I had to run to my german class where I stayed until 9 pm something. From there, running downtown where I met, after weeks, 3 of the 5 people who, together with me, are the roman chapter (one of the only two ever created) of Nova Roma. It were two pleasing hours spent talking mostly of history and archeology, lunching anathemas over the head of our mayor for having devastated the historical centre with the construction of the new Ara Pacis "box" (on the left, by many labelled with ungracious names as "the gas station" or "the huge public toilet building") and general mourning for the sad, very sad situation the roman vestiges are dealing with, between lack of funds and predatory administrators.

At 11, not satisfied, I jumped again on my scooter and did run almost on the other side of the city to meet some of the VCN gang gathered at a mexican restaurant for a "fiesta". I saw some old faces, many news ones (it must be the summer thing) and witnessed what the effects of pure, non watered-down, margaritas can have (and they aren't pretty, I assure you). Honestly, as the gathering dissolved not much later than I had arrived, I would had continued going to a disco, but for the lack of company I gave up the option and retired home at around 1.30 am, having been out and running for more than 18 hours straight.

Chapter II - The reconstruction of a house

Saturday started with good news, as Telecom called us to give us our new number, promise of a line to come. Then, the day was spent in the never-ending unpacking, rearranging, screwing screws, nailing nails, polishing woods and stuff like that. The dish-machine, much to my mom's joy, was installed, even if I admit my first attempt at screwing the water tube ended up in half a flood and a high pressure water jet not unlike the one you see in movies when a submarine gets hit by depth-charges (and that I smartly tried to stop with my hands before realizing, half drown, that all I needed to do was turning the lever over it to stop the water...).

What actually made the day was, towards sunset, the re-arrangement of the living room so that we can finally claim to have indeed a living room again, with couches neatly, even if maybe not definitively, arranged, main tv working and all the rest, so much that eventually we (my father and I) could sit down and watch the episodes of LOST recorded over the last 2 weeks (and the show keeps being of a very very good level).

Chapter III - The picnic and the idiot

Sunday could had been a perfect day. It started with going to vote (again, but this time for the administrative elections, meaning the mayor) and then by heading to the first ever VCN picnic at Villa Doria-Pamphili, the largest ones of the public parks of Rome. I parked my scooter in front of of of the gates of the villa, which turned out to be the wrong one (in more than a way) and waling a bit around (with a 14 kgs thermo-bag on my shoulder, I shall add) I finally managed to locate the rest of teh group in front of the right gate. We waited a bit and then I led a vanguard to reach the place we were supposed to occupy, finding it without any problem (a pretty well hidden meadow on top of a hill, the secrecy needed because we were going to have a barbecue, which is forbidden in roman parks).

People kept coming all through the morning and afternoon and eventually more than 30 people attended, bringing their own national dishes and accents, the barbecue was lit and soon started to produce a fair amount of grilled vegetables and meat, a rice-ball was produced and a frisbee (which would had caused the only major incident of the day landing squarely on Liesbeth's mouth as we were talking laying down on the grass) and it was an all around pleasant and cheerful, even if in a sort of low-profile way, afternoon.

And then...

Basketball was planned from 6 at San Paolo's Basilica, so I offered Liesbeth a ride home, given I was going in the same direction. Unfortunately, as we reached my scooter and tried to open the helmets' box, I noticed something was wrong and a quick check revealed that someone had tried to force it open. Now, the valiant box and lock had resisted the intrusion, but the latter was rendered useless, so much that now *I* couldn't open it and eventually, by trying, the key broke. So there I was, stuck, because some idiot had thought of trying to steal whatever the content of a small box, forcing it in open daylight in front of one of the most busy entrances of the largest public park of Rome. Truth to be told, as I tried to force it open myself, not a single person investigated about what I was doing, but still. Another truth to be told, this scooter was born under a bad light about thieves as over the last two ears he has two helmets, the sign-light and the whole front section stolen.

Anyway, I had Liesbeth going home by herself and waited for my father to deliver me an emergency helmet (you cannot drive without one, as if any policeman saw you, they probably wouldn't stop you, in which case you could explain the situation, but would fine you from afar and point would be taken away from your driving licence). Just by principle and in the firm resolution of not having an accursed moron spoiling totally my day, I eventually made it to the basketball playground and enjoyed, as much as I could, a hour of game and enjoyed again the sensation of mixed people that, in my experience, is typical of only two places: basketball playgrounds and billiard bars. Where else, in fact, can you find that kind of mix, the evident criminal next to the lawyer, the survived to many of a violent brawl next to the pure sportsman, all playing together? Just there, I think.

Anyway, so was the day, and I returned home for dinner, tried again, and failed, together with my father to force open the helmet box and then just gave up. Later that night, but I was sleeping already, my brother had a blast using his new circular saw on my helmet-box, finally cracking it open and recovering my helmets. It was quite a sad sight this morning, tho, and even more sad as I dutch-taped it closed, waiting to buy a new one... same one, if possible.

Oh, btw... as of this morning, I have a telephone line again... who knows if internet came along with it?

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