Since I have no classes today and the sun was shining and the sky was blue, I set out this morning on a quest to return with another supply of Dr Pepper from the only shop in Rome that sells it, the location of which I keep a closely guarded secret.
In addition to providing my favorite source of caffeine - I cannot tolerate the taste of coffee, to the great wonder of the Italians - the nearly 10-mile round trip journey to the shop, which I try to do once each week, provides a good bit of exercise. This week it seems I'll have to make the trip twice; they were out of Dr Pepper and will receive more in the morning.
This really shouldn't have surprised me. Yesterday I attempted the journey but had to yield to the forces of nature. I had walked maybe fifty feet from the Casa about 12:30 p.m. when a heavy and sudden rain poured down upon us. I quickly pulled out my umbrella from the side pocket of my backpack and as soon as I opened it above my head the rain stopped. The rest is something like a cartoon.
I moved the umbrella a bit to the side and looked up at the sky, turning about 360 degrees as I did so. The clouds were heavy but didn't seem to threaten with more rain.
Putting the umbrella away I walked about five more feet when a flash of lightening lit up up the sky (even in the daylight). I looked up again and nothing had changed and since nothing had changed I walked another five feet when a crash of thunder menacingly sounded. Still the sky had not changed and so I continued walking.
I turned the corner and made it about halfway down the block when a deluge was suddenly unleashed over the streets of Rome. I took cover under and an awning and thinking the rain would pass quickly and waited. When it began to worsen I gave up, pulled out my umbrella again, and made my way back to the Casa.
When I returned to my room and was surprised to see a blue sky from my window. With renewed hope I went back downstairs and as soon as I stepped outside the front door the deluge returned. It was at that moment that I admitted defeat and gave up the plan.
Still, today's journey was not a total waste. On the way I passed a sidewalk vender who sold a variety of kitchen implements, mostly strainers and utensils of various designs and sizes. I've walked past his table several times before without much thought and almost did so again this morning when something caught my eye, something that every kitchen should have:
I'd been looking for one since I arrived in Italy but without any success, so you can imagine my excitement. For those who do not know, it is a pineapple corer. In and of itself, it was worth a 10-mile walk.