Summer has left

It isn’t officially Autumn yet. But you know that summer is starting to leave us – the temperature is starting to get cooler and it’s been raining non stop these past few days. Toons Raining

This week itself has also been rather eventful for me. I depend on my scooter a lot when I commute around Rome so when it rains, chaos ensues. I tend to be a little apprehensive because of the incidents that tend to happen then.

On Monday, I was on my way home when it started to drizzle heavily. I went to seek shelter under a bridge. There were already at least 5 other motorcyclists there. We waited here waited for at least half an hour and when the rain dissipated ever so lightly, tired of staring at the water dripping down the walls, I plucked the courage and finally went home.

On Thursday, there was a talk that I really wanted to attend. It was about food photography which is something that I’m enthusiastic about as you’d probably see from my Instagram account.  It’ll be nice to meet other foodies too. Unfortunately the clouds were dark grey the entire morning  and then it rained very heavily so reluctantly, I had to give that a miss.

(I probably could have taken public transportation, but I had to rush off for a job in 30 minutes, so that wasn’t practical)

It broke my heart to think of what I missed. I’ve been looking forward to attend that the whole week.

And just yesterday, I was at the fuel station filling up my scooter but when I tried to leave, the scooter refused to start. Apparently, the battery is exhausted and needs to be replaced. Yikes. I think my scooter is still relatively new, so I’m surprised. Fortunately where I was stranded, was not far away from where I live and Cart was able to help me out.  Unfortunately the mechanic is really far away from where we live and Cart isn’t a morning person to help me in time.

Oh well. Things happen. I just hope for the best.

Germany, here I come!

Cart and I are going to Cologne, Germany in about two weeks time for the Via Lux anomaly and we’re slowly getting ready for it – the plane tickets bought, our Airbnb apartment booked and I’m even thinking of making some stickers to give out. Ordering Moo Stickers

Aren’t these cute? They are kind of expensive though at 46 euro for 156 pieces considering that they are quite small at 3.8 cm each. But if they turn out well, I might make more.

I’m looking forward to this trip. There are plenty of things to be seen – museums and architectures and I’ve read that there is even a chocolate museum there.

But you know what I’d really want to see? A trip to their supermarkets. Yes, it sounds a little anticlimactic but I’ve always been curious ever since I’ve watched a video documenting how the goods there are cheaper compared to the ones in Italy. So that’ll be something interesting to compare.

Plus I’d like to visit at least one vegan joint there. I was looking through happycow the other day, and there is this vegan burger place which (I think) isn’t too far away from our accomodation. Ingress Anomaly Obsidian Vienna

I don’t speak German, this will be interesting experience

If I had more time, I’d love to see things at a slower pace. But after my experiences, I have to be pragmatic. That’s the biggest issue with doing an anomaly – you’re so busy trying to orient yourself in a new country, then you move all around the city by foot, your eyes are on the scanner for most of the day and you get so exhausted you just want to faint but when the next day comes, you’d have to rush to do the mission banner and then it’s time to fly back home. Toon!

Something better than nothing! Maybe I can take this experience as a recce? And maybe one day I’ll even try to travel alone.

A trip to Ostia Antica

If you were ever in Rome, I’d recommend you to visit Ostia Antica. This heritage site used to be the remains of an ancient Roman harbour city. So it’s nice to roam around and imagine what life was like back then.

You’d probably seen Ostia Antica in postcards, with these distinctive stone footpath. Careful though, after many years and steps, these stones are now rather smooth and slippery.

A group of friends and I went to Ostia Antica last Sunday, and here is a video blog!

Taking moving footage on Nexus 6P is quite challenging as it tends to turn out shaky. Luckily Youtube has a stabilising function … my neck did really strange things towards the end of the video though!

Living in Rome changed the way I speak

I’ve been watching quite a fair amount of videos by Mark Weins, a vlogger that I enjoy watching. He travels a lot to Asia, and I like seeing him experiencing places that I’ve been to. In a way, I can rekindle my memories somewhat.

Like when he went to Langkawi, PenangKuala Lumpur, Singapore … all of them places that I’ve been to, and I’ve even already blogged about. I find Mark amusing when he tastes food that he likes by closing his eyes, and tilting his head and saying, “mmm…”

Anyway, out of curiosity I decided to watch one of his older videos.

7 years, ago his voice was deeper, he spoke slower and his accent was distinctly American. Two years later, living in South East Asia, his voice started to change.

In a way, it doesn’t really surprise me. Voices and accents change depending on where you live. Sometimes you don’t even need to live overseas for a long time for your accent to change. I’m sure you find yourself talking differently when you’re talking to different people.

For example, if you were to meet a person of a different nationality – let’s say a French person, you find yourself talking differently to make yourself understood more easily.

Living in Rome, I have to force myself to speak a little louder and enunciate to make myself understood by the locals here. I guess I’m influenced by the environment here because when I go back to Singapore, my friends and family sometimes comment, “Marina! You have an Italian accent now!

Without realising it, I now tend to intonate certain words like their Italian counterpart when I speak in English like “Really?” (Davvero?)  and sometimes I find myself doing direct translations when having to switch from English to Italian and vice versa. Something like, “How many years does he have?” Then I realised what I said and correct myself.

I wouldn’t say that I’m great at speaking Italian, I still have a long way to go to being fluent. Nevertheless, I find the changes interesting.

Looking through my facebook feed, many of my friends have now emigrated (or going to) to different parts of the world. It’ll be interesting to hear them talk again in person!