It was probably my first time spending National Day out of Singapore.
What I thought was going to be a solo camwhoring session with a homemade flag at Gianicolo, turned out to be a mini Singaporeans meet in Rome!
A few days ago, I received an email from a Singaporean lady. She said that she was going to spend some time in Rome with her girlfriend and she invited for us to meet. It was a very curious email. I hesitated for a while but in the end, what harm would it do?
I invited Lynn, the other Singaporean besides me to join us and we decided to take them around the interesting sights of Trastevere and settled for a pizza dinner at a place called Pizzeria Ai Marmi in Trastevere.
Although initially we were apprehensive, when we finally chatted with Rahimah and Eng Nai, any feelings of unease dissolved immediately. They were both so jovial and funny! They loved to joke around and we both relaxed immediately.
This is Eng Nai and Lynn. I quite like how Lynn looks like in this picture.
And this is me and Rahimah. The both of us even wear glasses! For some reason, she reminds me of my aunt, Mak Busu.
Don’t you think that its very coincidental that Rahimah and Eng Nai were Malay and Chinese? Suddenly they claim that Lynn and I were going to be their foster daughters. Personally for me, Rahimah looks too young for that role though
We found out that both Rahimah and Eng Nai have been living in Hamburg, Germany for many years. They were both married to Germans and have migrated there since then.
We chatted over a lot of different things – like how it was trying to integrate into the different culture, growing curry plants and lemongrass during the winter. Rahimah tells me that, unlike in Rome, there was a large network of Singaporeans in Hamburg and they would meet regularly for mahjong!
We also talked about smocked provola – knitted cheese
Rahimah also told me of this amusing story of how her German husband used to be so shy when he first donned the sarong, but is now so comfortable wearing it that he wears it practically all the time.
That is so cool!
It was fascinating to listen to their point of views about having a large support of friends. But it wasn’t like that when they were first in Germany some 15 – 30 years ago. Social networking is so much easier with the internet. Speaking to them though, makes me feel more motivated to try to explore more places. If two aunties could do it, so can I!
We had such a lovely time that the next day on National day itself, we decided to meet again. This time around, we met and showed them around beautiful Gianicolo – you could see heaps of monuments from up here.
Singaporean meet in Rome with my *ahem* homemade Singapore flag
We then headed to the city centre. There were plentiful of interesting sights to see along the way. Like buskers.
Since it was summer, there were a number of buskers around. And remind me to make an image stabilizer because night shots are pretty bad for me … I wish I had more stable hands
I’ve always been curious to know what was on top of the Spanish Steps. And I finally knew. It was the Trinità dei Monti. It was interesting to me as it had a sundial on the right hand side to tell the time. But since it was night time, a regular clock will have to do for now
For some reason, this reminds me of the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. People just glided by
Eventually we reached a little restaurant near Piazza Navona where we had a good conversation over dinner.
Gnocchi! One of my favourite things to eat!
Creme Caramel! I loves!
Suddenly I heard Francesco trying to teach Eng Nai on how to make pasta.
Turns out that Eng Nai was a cooking teacher. And she knows her stuff! And being Chinese gives her precedence since noodles are created in China. I was extremely amused by the entire conversation.
But one characteristics of Italians that I admire is how passionate they are and gracious they are at sharing their knowledge.
Unfortunately, the evening ended too soon and we had to say our good nights.
Regardless, I really enjoyed the company. I am really glad that we said yes to the meet! Thank you for the every lovely company ladies. I really enjoyed our time together and I hope that we will meet again, be it in Rome or in Hamburg