Mississippi Moments

Sunday, April 18, 2010

3 Boys at the Fountain
In Roma, actually from what I am learning, in all of Italia's cities and towns, the evening stroll is a centuries old ritual all about seen and being seen...and gelato. There is a rhythm to it. There is a progression of activity. There is a call and response. There is an order. There is a dress code. There is a lively passion. That being said when you throw dumb tourists into the mix, that just spices it up. So, around 11 pm., we are with the goup at the Trevi Fountain in Roma, on a Friday night, with 20 million other tourists and tons of Romans, too. It is hopping. It is unbelievably beautiful. It is warm out. The air sparkles with good wishes. I'm standing off to the side of this amazing fountain with our tour guide (an expat named Karin who came to Italy for school and has never left). Three skinny teenaged boys come running up to me and start asking questions in French. When I answered them in French, they explained that they were having a contest with their schoolmates and were supposed to get the Italian word for breakfast. So, I turned to Karin, asked her in English, she answered in Italian, I checked in with the boys in French and they took off running back to their teacher and their group. Seconds later, we heard this huge groan from the rest of the group, we see "our" 3 teens whooping it up and jumping up and down, and their teacher just laughing. Then they came running back over to tell us they won and to say thank you (in French). They also said it wasn't cheating just because they happened to ask someone who spoke French who was standing next to someone who spoke English and Italian. Talk about cultural bridges--they picked an American who speaks French who happened to be standing next to another American who speaks Italian and we both speak American at the Trevi Fountain. Maybe it wasn't who was seen, but rather who was heard? I'll take the "three boys at the fountain" instead of three coins in the fountain.


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