I wrote this on Monday, 2/22:
Saw Marco today!
We met in front of the Spanish steps at 3 pm to spend the afternoon together. I arrived about 40 minutes early with Vanessa and Elly in tow and we were absolutely exhausted from walking around the Colosseum and Palatino all day. We just sat on the steps to rest and I laid down like a homeless person to take a nap while I waited. I was drifting off to sleep when all of a sudden, WHACK! something very very hard hit me in the head. I looked up and found this:
It’s a stupid toy vendors try to sell to tourists and some punk kid had thrown one at me from the top to the steps. I was very dazed and confused for a minute, but some Italian woman next to me stood up, shook her hand at the kid yelling at him in Italian and threatened to call the police. Once he was gone Vanessa, Elly and I laughed about it and Elly said, “Why does this shit always happen to you?”. There had to be 100 people on the steps that day and I was lucky enough to get hit in the face. Man, oh man it hurt too! It’s just filled with flour according to Marco, but it feels like its full of sand. I guess I’m lucky the flour didn’t explode all over me. Would have been great to reunite with Marco after 4 years looking like a coke addict.
Around 2:55 I walked to the bottom of the steps to wait for him, but after 15 more minutes I became very impatient and went back up to where Vanessa and Elly were sitting to talk to them and search from their viewpoint.
Waiting for a friend you haven’t seen in 4 years is not easy and when I finally spotted him looking up from the bottom I was ecstatic. I ran down the Spanish Steps and gave him a huge hug! It is crazy to meet up with an old friend in the middle of Europe and seeing him felt unreal. Marco was one of my best friends at ECHS along with Eleanor who was an exchange student from Uzbekistan. Entering a small private high school junior year makes it hard to find friends, because everyone else had been going to school together since the elementary level and the clicks were well established. I immediately bonded with Ella and Marco since we were new kids who had the same classes and I missed them terribly senior year after they returned home. For those of you who went to ECHS and know Marco, I assure you he is still the same! Definitely more mature (he has always been very mature for his age though) and you can tell the stress of med school has worn him down a bit, but otherwise he looks the same and still has that unique condescending sense of humor! We had some good laughs as he reminded me of how horrible my French was in high school and poked fun at the fact that I completely fail at blending in to any foreign culture. Hanging out with him was just like the old days…. except in the middle of Europe….
Marco was rather disappointed to learn we had already seen all the major tourist sites, but he took us down a street with good shops and then to his favorite gelatataria. They must have had 50 flavors and choosing was not easy. As I approached the counter to place my order, Marco told me,
“Katie you need to get fat in Europe!! I gained 15 pounds when I was in the states.”
“I remember you and Eleanor complaining about that, but I really couldn’t tell”
“Oh no, I got huge and lost it all the summer I came back. I also had this Finnish exchange student in Italy who lived with me for a year and by the end of it she was fat all around her face and asked me if I thought she had gotten bigger and I was just like, ‘no, no, you’re fine, keep eating’…..but she was really huge, she ate gelato everyday!”
Poor girl! Shame on you Marco! I will admit that after trying out that ice cream shop I can see why the girl ate gelato every day, it was sooo yummy!
Afterwards, we walked around a bit more, went across a cute island in the middle of the river and into the Jewish district (also the wealthiest area of Rome). Parted ways with him at 8 pm, because he had to take a train back to the city he has his internship in. Marco is insanely busy with med school and his internship, so I’m thankful he was able to make time to visit.
He’s going to try to make it back to Rome tomorrow night to go out for dinner or drinks at 8 pm, I really hope he does!
Update: He didn’t make it back the next day =( He said he would FB me, but I still hadn’t heard from him by 7 pm. Searched out a payphone and when I reached him he said he was just about to send me an FB message telling me there were no trains that night. Our conversation was cut short within a minute though and sadly I didn’t get to properly thank him or say goodbye.
Marco, if you happen to read this thank you so much! Next time we’ll have to somehow reunite with Ella too! Good luck with your internship and exams. Keep in touch, miss you!