Tuesday, June 3, 2008

An Afternoon Drink

Today at Piazza Navona, I sat and observed one particular restaurant at around 4:30, an odd time to eat especially in Rome. Now I cold only observe the outside portion of the restaurant, but this is where most people tend to sit when the temperature is pleasing. There was about 20 – 25 tables with light yellow tablecloths and big base square umbrellas blocking the not so shining sun on this particular day. I would say about half of these tables were filled, and of these tables with customers, half of them were couples. That leads to me a conclusion I have made about Roman society: many more Romans travel around in couples rather than groups, which is significantly and recognizably different than social patterns in the United States. Some of those sitting were tourists, some were not, and it seemed that the Romans seemed much more relaxed and knew how to enjoy themselves peacefully more than the others. This also is a common theme among Roman society.

I drew a conclusion from this scene and my experience so far with dining throughout Rome: Romans don’t use restaurants or piazzas the way we use restaurants or malls and outdoor shopping (the closest thing I could come to compare to Roman piazzas, because there really isn’t a good comparison). They use them to almost as we use a bar or coffee shop. But they do it better. To them, these restaurants are a nice place to stop by and grab a quick cup of coffee or a drink with a cigarette, and possibly a small bite to eat. But it seems their underlying reason for all of this is to be able to sit back and balance/enjoy life, even if it be on a shady overcastted Monday afternoon. Maybe people in the Unite States would have a happier start to their week with something like this, instead of just a dreaded day’s work only looking forward to dinner and bed that night.

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