Tuesday, 22 June 2010

It’s said that all roads lead to Rome… [Se zice că toate drumurile duc la Roma…]

…and so do mine these days. I’m in the Eternal City for an exchange programme about migration within the EU, coordinated by ECAS, a Brussels based NGO.

All is great, but for an ‘internet-holic’ like me, coping with scarce access to the blessings of Information Technology (that we often take for granted) is a bit difficult.

I’m living in a typical Roman condominium built in 1885, with an archaic lift for two persons, with no TV (I couldn’t care less), a mobile telephony (Orange in particular) signal only vaguely reaching my room, and no free wi-fi :-(

Instead of these, there’s a symphony of old ladies chatting all day long in the building, of children playing long after what would be ‘bedtime’ in other countries, of slammed doors, and footsteps on stairs…

On top of these, every now and then, I can hear airplanes and church bells, breathe in the smell of various dishes being cooked, while seeing everything from underwear to bed sheets drying in the sun.

What’s more typically Italian than that? Or more unlike what I experienced in the UK? Where most British houses appear to be perfectly quiet, perfectly ordered, and underwear remain something so categorically ‘private’.

Let none of the above be understood as a ‘complaint’; it’s truly enjoyable to experience Rome this way! The only little regret is that I can’t blog in real time about it!

[For all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]


Anonymous said...

you have described a very picturesque view, though probably not quite so scenic in reality. or ...
anyway is good to know that you arrived safely in the Eternal City ... :-)

Mihai said...

I have been told that in Italy and Spain people are not so crazy about the Internet, as it happens in other european countries.

Is not that everyone has to be fascinated or addicted to the "wonders" of the modern world but in nowadays I think the Internet has become more of a necessity rather than just a luxury.

Anyway, if they found a way of living a nice and quiet life (though the environment you described seemed neither nice nor quiet) without the WWW then all the best to them.

MunteanUK said...

@ C.L. & Mihai

My dear (constant) readers,

I am surviving even with limited acces to the internet, that is like an addict without his habitual dose :-(

The beauties of Rome surely make up for its lack of wi-fi. As long as the building are so old, and tall (some 6-8 floors), I assume that they also have very thick walls which serve ar an obstacle, preventing me stop from 'sneaking' into a free wireless network.


On the other had, I had done my homework in advance, and googled about free internet hotspots in Rome, and I knew I wouldn't find any. One a few big stores (probably in the suburbs) have them.

There are some net cafes in the area where I am lodged, but they are open only from 8 to 21. I haven't seen any 'non stop' one so far. Would that be a proof that people here are not so crazy about the net?!


I am one of those for whom the internet has become a 'necessity', as I'd gladly give up thousands of other things before giving up the internet.

It's very likely that Italians are not so crazy about going online like other nations; however, it's too early to make an 'assessment' about that.


Other than that, the 'Italian way of life' which I put in a nutshell is 'bearable' for a short stay like mine. God willing, I should be back to Bucharest in a week.

But you have to be 'born & bred Italian' to like it. It's funny that so many Romanians got accustomed to it.