Pubs, churches, and sandwich shoppes

I think the English are coming.

Yesterday I ate at Oil Sandwich Shoppe (delicious — you can get some kind of cocoa oil drizzle and truffle spread!), then had dinner for 5 euro at St. James Episcopal Church with some of the students (more on that later), and ended the night in Angie’s Pub getting a free drink from the bartender with spiky hair and an orange tie. Bizarre land. Not bizarre so much as not very Italian.

Some of the students asked me to go last week to dinner with them at the church. It is very cheap and great food, so they convinced me to go this week (I took a faculty member w/me for propriety’s sake). They call themselves the orphans, and after eating there I understand why. We sat at huge tables and if you come late, you just have to find a spot. Everyone gets a place setting and they call the tables up one by one. Bottles of wine are passed out, salad eventually served, anyway, it was a strange experience and had a hint of orphanage about it. I ended up sitting with a guy from Norway, 3 guys from Italy, a girl from Seattle, so the discussion took on global proportions. Not having been to church very often in my life, the communal vibe was a tad overwhelming. Is it like that at all church gatherings?

Two of my assistants sat at the end of my table and now I can relate to all of my former bosses who were confronted with social situations with those who work for you. You don’t want to seem uptight, but you don’t want to let your guard down too much because you know the next day they will be at work and you have to still be in charge. A new feeling for me. I hope I found a balance.

Walking back I had another one of those moments, I looked up and there was the Santa Maria Novella which I had not seen yet and slipping into wonder  by rounding a corner is . . . well, I’ll let you fill in the blank. But the word should feel like beauty, adventure, and awe.

So, tomorrow I head to Rome. I’ll spend my birthday (my 5th 7-year cycle!) Saturday at the Sistine Chapel. Tonight I finally am going to the chocolate festival. So, to Claudia and Jessica — HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I’ll send you both Italian vibes.

9 responses to “Pubs, churches, and sandwich shoppes

  1. I am so happy that you are getting to experience all that is Italy not just a brief glimpse. Although we all miss you, we know what a wonderful opportunity this is for you. Your blogs are so descriptive we can almost see through your eyes.

    You will be a great boss. To me, being boss is no more than helping others to maxi mize their own potential while in pursuit of a shared goal. That’s why I enjoy it so much. Always trust your gut instincts.

    Happy Birthday and Enjoy Rome!!!!

  2. Yes, thank you for this fabulous blog. You make it all come alive for us. Have a wonderful birthday in Rome, Pearl! So, you reserved the Sistine Chapel for your party-fantastico!

  3. What can I say Cheryl, I have some serious connections over here : ). And thanks Shane, I try to share everything I can on the blog and will listen to your advice when it comes being boss; especially considering you are reputed to be a very good one and you are married to THE BOSS (kidding Miche).

  4. I decided “Sandra” is a better sign in than “Sandra Padgett”. the former ‘sign in’ sounds formal and old. You are a wonderful “Boss”; Dad said that you have been his boss since you were three. Enjoy Rome! We are enjoying the travelog! Happy Birthday in the Sistine! I could have never pulled that off. Does this make up for the fact that I never hired a pony or clown for your birthday?

  5. Oh my! I was just reading about Santa Maria Novella and the priest that condemed Gaileo in _Gaileo’s Daughter_. We are so in sync! Rome…oh my…You will love it! Happy Birthday Babe!

  6. Have a great time in Rome! Also, hum a few bars of the Magic Flute today if you think about it, because today is Mozart’s 250th birthday!

    Have a great birthday! 🙂

  7. How wonderful to share your adventures in Italy. I am right there in Florence again. Thank you for including me! Your writing is beautiful, Julia …not to sound surprised, I’ve just never read anything you’ve written before! I can hardly wait for more!

    Have a great Birthday, Sweetie! The Sistine Chapel will never be the same.

  8. The Chocolate, what about the chocolate? I hope you find a beautiful Italian boy to massage your neck after you spend all day gazing up at those incredible ceilings! Much Love and Happy Birthday!

  9. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes everyone!
    I’ll post something tomorrow. (and no, I had no beautiful Italian boy massage my neck.)

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