Roman Summer Joys


Summer’s here and you know that means? Sure, Italians have worked hard all year and are preparing to pass the month of August at the beach or traveling or what not,  but that’s not the direction in which this post is headed.  The hot and busy season completely unmasks the not-so-glamorous truths of summer in the Eternal City. Here are some joys, thoughts and reflections on Roman summer life…

1)    The smell of urine infiltrates the streets, sometimes to the point where I gag.  I have since learned to walk strategically, avoiding narrow sidewalks. On the not-so-busy streets–particularly, the shady, tree-lined ones–I stay as far away from the wall as possible and sometimes just walk right smack in the middle of the street. (I move out-of-the-way for cars, bicycles, scooters, motorbikes, etc. of course.)

2)    Tiny food moths have invaded the kitchen cabinets so just about everything that they can get into is stored in the fridge, even if it’s something that doesn’t require refrigeration such as pasta. There are anti-tarme (photo above) in the food cabinets to catch them. There are probably about 10-15 per day at least that stick to the traps and this is apparently a normal part of summer here. I was considering posting a photo of one of the dead-moth-filled traps instead of the packaging, but decided to spare you from witnessing the grim truth first hand.  You’re welcome. 😉

3)    I’m covered in mosquito bites.  But as ubiquitous as the mosquitoes are here, there are even more in Milan. I didn’t think that was possible until I experienced it myself.

4)    The lack of air conditioning isn’t as bad as you would think. At least not yet. The building I’m in stays cool at night, thankfully, but I’m still planning to get a fan because the brutality of August is just around the corner.

5)    Celsius still means nothing to me but I know that 30 degrees is effin hot.  I know this is gross, but I sweat here more than I have ever sweated in my life, and I have run two marathons. My hair is in a permanent bun…I can’t even think of having it touch any part of my skin, face or neck.

6) I have completely stopped caring about things to which I would normally pay close attention. I have stopped layering clothing and I don’t care if anyone can through what I’m wearing. If I later notice that I missed a tiny patch of hair when shaving my legs, I don’t care.. It’s just too hot to give a damn about these things.

7)  I’m trying to avoid public transportation at all costs unless it’s absolutely  necessary. On the rare occasion that I do take the metro, tram or bus,  I refuse to sit for fear of leaving behind a sweat puddle in the seat.

8)    The tourists. There are just too, too many, and the sidewalks can be difficult to navigate. I have to give myself extra time to get anywhere with the expectation of sidewalk traffic putting me at least ten minutes behind.

9) I grow increasingly more misanthropic with each passing day. See number 8.


22 replies on “Roman Summer Joys”
  1. says: Nick

    You are too funny, Jackie! So, you are a sweaty, mosquito bitten, urine-smell avoiding Roman. Take a photo and post please.

  2. says: Patricia

    Too bad I didn’t send a can of OFF to you. It really works.

    Also, too bad they don’t believe in screens in Europe. Just don’t get it.

    The urine smell reminds me of grand central station before the Giuliana days. Brutal!

    Use alcohol on the mosquito bites. It helps sooth the itching.

    Miss ‘ya!

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