Today is a day off midweek. Fact is, the Pope is a tough act to compete with. Tours are for tourists, not pilgrims. Wednesday is the day il Papa rolls up the steps of St. Pete’s in his white Jeep and drops a message on the attendant throngs of eager “big C” Catholics.
I went last week for my first time. I admit I got swept up in the excitement and couldn’t help adding my shout-outs of “POOOOOOPE!” to the polite applause when the Benny appeared before us. The experience was also coloured by witnessing it with a couple of friendly Catholic faces. One, a fellow tour guide, is a student at the private Opus Dei University here in Rome. His friend, Tara works at Vatican Radio. I asked her about the Pope’s iPod (yes he has one) and I got a little inside scoop (I blogged it about a month ago with a link to the article).
Anyway, it was neat, but religion tires me. And that, coupled with the fact that I couldn’t get a tour started last Wednesday meant I didn’t bother going to work today.

This gave me the day to get some things done, and check on the progress of my Italian: I visited the tailor, the bank, the hairdresser, the grocery store, and the watch repair shop.

Language Assessment: Communicable Italian, and marks for effort, but the result is a clumsy mangling of this beautiful lyrical language.

A sampling:
“I want to put here the money,” as I tried to deposit some cash into my bank account
“I like the hairs this long, but I want less,” describing my desired haircut to the stylist
“You make the ‘tailor’? Can you cut these?” To the tailor, asking him to hem my trousers.

However much I sounded like the caricature of “foreigner”, I got all my tasks done. So it’s a solid D+. maybe even a D++.