Who is this guy called the Pope and is he a big deal here? Being late and nightshooting in Rome!!

What a night after the long nap!! So after today’s torrential rain and blistering sunshine interspersed with moments of sheet terror by cars and Italian traffic, we decided that we would head out to the Societe Lutece to meet the couchsurfers who I had promised I would come. By the time, the three of us were ready, it was about 7.45pm. We were supposed to meet the CS-ers at 7.30pm mind you! Anyway while heading out, the front door man, told us about that we should take a taxi from Roma Termini since the Pope was coming to give mass at Santa Maria Maggiore. Like what?!?? The Pope?? The big guy in the pointy hat, who George W. said give an “Awesome speech”, you mean that guy?

Of course, I was more concerned with the drinking and the food I was going to eat with the CS-ers. However, it was decided amongst the girls that we should really check out the Papal Mass, since there were a couple of rational reasons

Reasons for seeing the Papal Mass :

  • They are both Christian
  • Seeing the Pope give mass in person if you are not from Rome is a big thing… as if, I want to see Kanye West
  • The Pope doesn’t give mass at Santa Maria unless it is a special occasion
  • We happened to be 45 seconds away from Santa Maria Maggiore and it was super convienient
    · And I mean personally, how cool it is to say…”Oye vey, you call this mass, you’re a Christian and you haven’t gone to mass in Roma or the Vatican? Seriously, you call yourself Christian??? I went to Roma and I saw the German Pope do mass and I saw the whole Papal procession as well as the whole Pope mobile spiel!”

Now a couple things to consider from a heretic pagan like me. This mass is long, so if you don’t like standing around a bunch of sweaty people waiting for the Pope to show up, this ain’t the thing for you. Watching a Papal mass is like a rock concert, there are people clapping, people chanting, some people smoking up and lots of PDA’s and of course there are the supporting acts like the hymns and priests leading the prayers etc.

The Papal mass itself was moving and powerful even for a heathen like me. I would like to write more about the whole thing but it is now 1pm on Friday afternoon, we slept like 11 hours. I went to bed 2 hours after the girls, so I am more than pissed about being so careless and sleeping so much. Anyway back about the blog!!

After the Papal mass, we headed back to the hotel to upload the pics and videos to the computer, and of course while I would have like to leave my microdrive at the hotel station so it would be loading the pics to the website, you can really trust these people and I find them quite brusque and rude in many ways! I guess the thing is that if you are a tourist, they generally don’t like you, from last night I found that many Italians really don’t care for the “Turistas” that much, in spite of all the revenue we bring. That being said, when you have all these loud American kids running around the place getting drunk and screaming at you “Hey guys are you Italian…. No the big brown guy is probably from the Pacific Islands or something” that can get annoying!

Anyway after the mass, we headed to that Societe Lutece to meet the CS-ers, and of course we got completely lost during the way in trying to find the place, so instead of trying to take the bus there, we decided to go get a cab to the place. This was an adventure in itself, since trying to find a cab there was almost impossible, since there were cabs with lights on, but there were no drivers in the cabs?!!!? Like wtf?!? Anyway so we arrive at the front on Roma Termini and every cab passes us straight and we are in the middle of the streets like lunatics trying to catch the cabs, when we realize that there is a line up for the cabs and we are trying to scam one in the middle of the street! Small faux pas, but we rectified this, but then this one Italian guy appeared to come help us, by asking where we were going etc and trying to figure it out with a bunch of other cab drivers but then as soon as they figured it out, they just let us be, as if our fare wasn’t good enough for them.

Eventually, we got a cab and we headed on our way to Societe Lutece. Finding this place was something else, since we had the exact address but all the side streets look like small alleyways!

Cultural note here about why I could not live in Rome :  When you are having dinner at a small intimate restaurant and then a small taxi blisters past your table with about 6 inches to spare and this is considered normal, then you have a disconnect between reality and a traffic accident. We were in our cab and he is turning in between these small tiny streets as though they were 10 lane highways, I sweaer if he could have taken a road between two or three people eating dinner, it would have been done! The driving here is insane and aggressive. I think everyone here learned to drive in Grand Theft Auto 4, with the running over people and what not!

Anyway we find the place and of course, since it was 10pm or so at night, there was no one there who looked like a CS-er, so we instead decided to go have dinner. We were starving after not having eaten all day except for a couple gelatos and a sandwich for me.

Another cultural note about why I could live in Rome : The women are gorgeous and more importantly, the food is just amazing and spectacular. I don’t like Ice Cream of any sort, but the van bought gelato by St Peter’s Basilica today was amazingly tasty and so rich. Our dinner which consisted of Tomato Salad with tons of fresh basil and mint was divine. Three pizzas with crusts so thin and tasty – I had a pizza with Artichokes, Ham, Tomatoes, and Mushrooms and it was amazing! Like make me Italian amazing! I drenched everything in extra virgin olive oil and chili pepper. To say I was happy was an understatement! Topped with friendly Albanian waiters who loved my iPhone and had some raspberry vodka with us, from my camping winespout! We were off for Night shooting Rome after dinner!

Night shooting Rome was just simply amazing! The pictures as usual don’t do justice to whole place and last night at 1am on a Friday morning, I felt like I had all of the Coliseum to myself and the girls and we just took some amazing pictures. Night shooting itself makes you appreciative of a very good camera with the lenses and the tripod.  Below are some of the better shots I took last night… well once I upload them to the website. Since the upload speeds are so slow here… I am going to find a café and get to uploading the pics, if they will allow me to hot plug into the computers.

Now about night shooting in Rome.. well here are some pictures of the Coliseum at night

Nice time lapse photo!!

 Nice Picture of Amanda here with the moon against the Coliseum


Straight clear shot of the Coliseum at night

A nice shot of the Side of the Roman Forum!!

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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