Since it’s Christmas time, i think it would be appropriate to write about it. I knew that Romans were Catholics, and i thought that Christmas here would be beautiful and full of “offertas” (special offer, buy it right now or you’ll miss your chance to get something you don’t need), and I was right. They started decorating the city in November, that’s nothing new, cause everybody does that (well, in Cyprus they start in October, but that’s an exception:) ), and I was amazed how beautiful it is here. Some streets have red carpets, and I mean, REAL red carpets, lights are lit all over the city, so you can’t see the wires, and they don’t save on electricity, everything shines! Christmas trees are everywhere, my Conservatorio has one on each floor and a couple more in some unexpected corners, every shop has one, streets are full of them, even the guys that sell roasted chestnuts have decorated their little selling spits with cute pine branches. Haven’t seen any decorations on my train station, but I’m leaving Rome for Christmas, probably I’ll miss their decorations, even though they are a bit late with that, comparing to other spots.
There is more that has nothing to do with the streets. My landlord here is a very old schoolish lady, catholic in all her mysterious ways, goes to church almost every day, prepares speeches for some events there, regularly attends some catholic retreats in some clusters in the middle of nowhere (no sarcasm, nothing like that, respect to her and merry Christmas), so she started her preparations as Cypriots do – in October. She changed a tablecloth to a Christmassy one, hang little bells all around the apartment and made a base for Christmas treats (dolce per natale) – like 5 kilos of minced cookies, blah blah blah. Most importantly, she changed the set of her shelf with 15 family pictures to one more appropriate for the event – left only a few pictures but made a whole setup of some very interesting items. These items are christmas attributes of course. She has a statue kept under a glass top that is actually 200 years old – it belonged to her grand grand grand mum. And around that one she has some other little statuettes bought in different countries. But the grandest masterpiece of art in this collection is a holographic luminous picture of Virgin Mary. At first, when there’s not enough light, it looks like a peace of paper, but suddenly when the light shines – Virgin Mary appears there as a ghost (a print that is). Even though I’m jewish and have nothing to do with Christmas, I like it, I find it very cheerful and a bit inspiring. This is the time when you get together with your friends and loved ones, doesn’t matter why, you just do, you find the time, that is very important. So Merry Christmas everybody, let your hearts be light!
(Actually i like Christmas because it’s a legitimate reason to sing all this beautiful jazz standards, that are not “in time” when it’s not winter :) )