Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Xenophobia is Fun but I heart Roma

Just a couple of stories about other countries that I thought were funny. And a couple of stories about another country, that I love (the stories but especially the country)

  • A son in Sicily had his house keys taken away, his allowance suspended and was taken to the police station by his mom because he stayed out all night. The kicker is the son is 61! (and seems like una faccia di culo, complaining that his allowance wasn't big enough and his mom's food wasn't good). And then the mom calls him a blockhead (or a zuccone). Ah Italia, I've heard about the mammoni but this is incredible ridiculous. And how old is the mom. Good for her though that at her age she's still so spry and feisty. I wanna be an Italian mother when I'm old.
  • I don't know if the Japan obsession with anime and transgender images is a good thing or offensive but things like this are just sort of weird. I haven't taken Japanese for about 7 years now so I'm pretty useless in translation but try to imagine a transgendered Mushroom Kingdom and this is pretty much what you might come up with. And no I don't remember how I came upon it, though you probably wouldn't want to know anyway. [Update: I found it through here]

But enough negativity/weirdness, here's a beautiful story about love and Rome, though of course those are synonyms in my mind. The New York Times had a story about Ponte Milvio, Rome's oldest bridge, which a writer in 2006 used as a plot device:

Last year, the writer Federico Moccia created the second installment of a story of young Romans called “I Want You.” Like many affairs, his hero’s starts with a lie: he convinces a potential girlfriend of an invented legend in which lovers wrap a lock and a chain around the third lamppost on the bridge’s northern side, lock it and throw the key into the Tiber.

“And then?” the girl asks...
“We’ll never leave each other,” he says, with no shame...
Mr. Moccia, 44, said he dreamed up the ritual. “I liked the idea of tying locks to love because it is more solid, tangible,” he said. The book sold 1.1 million copies, then the movie came out and soon life began imitating art.

And now young lovers (because you're always young when you're in love) from all over are tying locks to the bridge and throwing the keys into the water. Sure its corny and touristy but it is still a lovely image and belief and if a couple really means it, for them at least they won't care how overdone it may be. I just wish these ritual had started a year before, when I was there, so I could have "aww"-ed over them as I did the love graffitti that is everywhere.

Finally I saw this yesterday on CNN about the incorporation of a "Gay Street" in Rome. I wasn't sure where exactly it was at first but then they interviewed a barkeep at Coming Out bar and I immediately recognized it as a place I went to a few times, once when I got a really strong Long Island and it was incredibly humid inside the bar, another time when it was closed, and finally during one of my favorite nights in Rome when it was closed but everyone was just sitting outside of it drinking and having a good time with the Colosseum across the street and our backs overlooking ancient gladiator quarters, where I talked with Fabiana and Vivian a lovely couple about me wanting a boyfriend and their love for The L-Word. Such good memories and so this story really makes me happy. Buona suerte miei amici.

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