As I have mentioned before, Rome is a city to observe. Yes, it is a place that is unique. Where many live in their own existence. With Rome driving, everyone is going somewhere and they will plow you down, using their horns to let you know. Honestly, it makes me laugh. Crossing the street can prove to be a bit of a hazard. When crossing, walk quickly as you keep your eye on the little green man at the light and run when he is yellow. We will call the undertaker when he is red, because you will never make it. So I think I have painted the picture that Rome is about survival. Someone else may be trying to survive until their next espresso or cigarette as their getting serious shakes or maybe their struggle to survive is something different.
Like any major city, people are trying to get by. The country of Italy is suffering a “crisi” or Financial Crisis. The unemployment statistics are abysmal, especially for their youth. So quite often you see many people finding creative ways to make a Euro. You have what I call the lame unimaginative types, the pure “handouts” or “acts”. There is a young man who begs at the traffic light near my son’s school who, while on his “beg”, utilizes a cane and adopts a desperate palsy. When he is off his “shift” I have seen him, without his cane and on his merry way. Then there is the “talented”. Granted, these people are not going to be on X-Factor, but, they DO something for their Euro. These individuals may play a violin, clarinet, trumpet or an accordion. Those people have me searching for my change. There are also the “overdone” dress ups. These are the ones dressed as the Statue of Liberty, Cleopatra or The Balancing act. The Balancing Act is a guy sitting on a hidden chair and a man below holding it, which is supposed to look like a Buddhist deep meditation. But the really inventive are the truly “great ones”. There are a handful of people around Rome that, during red lights, will come out in the road and juggle bowling pins. That is talent, worth a good Euro. Then, the best, is an old man who bounces a soccer ball on his head. Bravo, Bravo! Why do I like it? Because this is Italy and he is the real deal.
While on another of my “walkabouts”, I came across a burattinaio (puppeteer). She was drawing some interest and her little guy on strings. Everyone has something to offer for a Euro….