Σάββατο, 29 Αυγούστου 2009

Americans in Rome

After waving Dane Goodbye, me and Babak returned to the room. Our new roomie, a religious American sporting a backpack with a Canadian flag (one of those Americans pretending to be a Canadian). He is on his way to the filming location of “The Passion of Christ”. Seems to be of the Bush fans, but I cannot be that sure about that. The rest of his gang, when we get a glimpse of them at the bar, seems to be like a bunch of conservative and maybe naïve choirboys and choirgirls moving out in the world. At least this will go on until they set foot on the first bar, or the guys take a walk into the red light district. Until then they will be the sons and daughters of respectable god-fearing American families. We have a whole evening in front of us to get wasted and keep up the party with the girls. Yup we are officially on our way to a pub crawl and a nightly visit to some of the city’s most famous areas. These include the Piazza de Spagna, a token of French diplomacy in the 18th and 19th century, where the French government would build a square in front of the embassies of countries with whom they wanted to make peace, or some sort of amends, Piazza Barberini, built for the Barberini Family under the supervision of Bernini (the Vatican protigee), and the Fontana di Trevi. All the walk is being acompanied by our tour guide, who gave us a more –fun-and-simplified tour. The humourus way of dishing out all this information, turned our guide into a very popular figure in our group.

Though there are a lot of people from around the world in the group the vast majority of the participants, at least in this crawl IS of American origin. And this is a group that is really worth watching.

There is a huge division between Americans, and this is clearly evident in our case. This group is actually split three-ways. There are all those that want the war to end and the troops to get out of Iraq, those that probably are for the war, but are too ashamed to say it, and your usual run-of-the-mill Republicans. Actually the only representatives of the third group are a bunch of American Air Force Pilots, headed by a bomber pilot who (according to himself) gets his kicks by bombarding Baghdad. This, of course, does not go down with anybody else in the group, and this gang actually becomes instantly isolated from the rest. This takes Babak on a trip down memory lane. He remembers the times when he was participating in a demonstration in front of his Univercity, and the demo was being pelted with vegetables coming thrown by their classmates who supported the war. But now none needs a weatherman in order to understand that the wind has changed directions again. A thing that the airmen do not seem to understand.

“Let’s stay away from the babykillers” Babak actually whispers to me when they come within earshot. The girls have a similar reaction when those guys come too close to them, but their prime concern is the one of partying. By the time we have reached the Fontana di Trevi, they are well out of reach and hearing distance, so we can go about our business. Upon arrival at the fountain, I turn around and throw a coin in it, while explaining to the Americans that, there is a custom, according to wich, anyone who has a wish of the “amourous” type, throws a coin in the fountain. A custom that does not seem to be older than the times when Ingrid Bergman was splish-splashing there while shooting “La Dolce Vita”.

So we end up at some Roman tourist pub,that offers us free drinks for the next hour or two. Beers are pouring out from here and there, and there are loads of alcohol being given out and about. I feel that I am stuck in some kind of a Reptile-Zoo scenario. I’m definitely going to need some golf shoes at some point in this crawl, since it’s going to be impossible to be able to walk in the ensuing muck….No footing at all. However it seems that the booze in this part of the crawl is not enough. We have to move to the next bar, where the booze is not free, BUT we get one free drink and all the others at a very good price. By now a great part of our group have turned into some sort of wild beasts that a running full-speed toward the new outlet in search of more alcohol and probably some debauchery. Thank god we are able to maintain the pace even though it seems frenzied. We definitely NEED the BOOZE to keep us GOING until the sun rises again, and I have reasonable doubts if I will be able to withstand the trip to Bologna the following morning.
Leaving the next bar, and against my calculations we have not turned into wild animals yet, probably because there are still some good vibes among the group, a thing wich can be translated into the pilot’s gang being isolated from the rest of the group. They have been going out ofn control and probably a thing wich derives from an alcohol-driven frenzy. But their impact on the ambient atmosphere is minimal. Frenzied or not frenzied, though, we seem to be running full bore toward the final club that awaits us. Upon reaching the club, about half of us get halted at the door by the bouncer, who keeps saying that the club is full (though that does not seem to be the case, from what I get to see through the glass door.) I do not get to see what goes on inside the club aerea, but in the end the California girls emerge, and the redhead seems to be absolutely wasted, and at one point does pass out. I share turns with a Mexican guy in carrying her to their dorm at the Yellow. Then me and Babak move towards our dorm, in order to prepare for the trip to Bologna

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