While eating our lunch, a guy approached me. He started speaking in a foreign language that I was unfamiliar with. The confused look on my face and speaking in English caused him to begin conversing in English. He asked where I was from. I told him Chicago. He said, “No. Where are you originally from?” I said, “South Side of Chicago.” He asked my family’s origins. I told him Arkansas and Mississippi. He told me I looked Eritrean or Ethiopian. He thought I was from his country because of my skin tone, hair and eyes. We chatted for a few. I told him of the incidents of racism we had faced while in Rome. He wasn’t surprised and stated he also dealt with it. A few days before, a Cuban gentleman discussed it with us too. Anyway, he was a pleasant young man and I wished him peace.
We headed to our train and Papa Smurf followed. Shortly after seating, Renae noticed everyone running. We didn’t ask questions and started running too. Run first, ask questions later. After we got off the train, we were told the train was not leaving the station and we had to hurry and catch the train that was just about to leave. The idiot conductor made the announcement on only one train and everyone ran when they saw a crowd running. This is where we lost Papa Smurf.
We had to catch a taxi to the mall and luckily we shared a ride with a black Italian woman and her mother. The driver didn’t understand us and we didn’t understand him. She was the perfect translator because he had attempted to cheat all of us and was unaware that she spoke Italian. The outlet was decent but the heat was ridiculous. This time, the heat-o-meter was on HELL. I walked around with an umbrella to block the sun. Renae was totally comfortable in the heat. She found a few items. We headed back to Rome.
We enjoyed the view on the speed train. The countryside looked beautiful! The trip was worth it! We found the softest leather that we had ever felt. Most stores had two shops, an inside store and stall outside. Most of the outside stalls carried the same items, belts, wallets, scarves, jackets, etc. as other stalls. I was able to pick up several souvenirs from the outside stalls. However, I found the best-looking deals inside the shops.
Many of the owners/sales people were pushy, too pushy! One ignorant fellow became upset because I didn’t purchase from him. I loved one of his jackets but it wasn’t my size. It was a little too tight. He tried his best to get me to buy it. He said that it was the Italian way to wear it tight. I told him that it wasn’t the American way. He continued to pull out jackets and insist that I try them on. I did not like them and finally headed out of his store. He said something that I could tell from his tone and mannerism was an insult. With that attitude, I left his store.
Renae and I both enjoyed our experience at the flea market. I was able to purchase two jackets and a purse to go with my other souvenirs. We were happy!