The thought of writing about my parents staying with us from day 1 to the last day is giving me anxieties. But I don’t want to keep procrastinating, so I’ll break them into multiple parts. And here are the first 3 days :
The evening before, I saw a status update by my brother.
He was nervous, the poor thing. And it was his first time flying. I felt his nervousness, but I was feeling more excited to meet them the next morning.
On the day itself, I was a little worried as their flight is supposed to land at 7am! Cart is NOT a morning person. But by some miracle, I managed to wake Cart up and we rushed off to the airport. While on our way there, I saw a rainbow. A good sign, I think.
As we reached the arrival hall, I went to look for them while Cart was searching for a place to park. Looking around, there were so many people. People coming out with their families waiting for them. I was amused at a large group of people carrying signs with names on them. It was like a convention!
At length, I finally I saw my mum and dad and my brother. And joy just kept flashing inside me (sounds corny I know) it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen them! And I gave each one of them a hug. The odd thing was when my brother hugged me, he said “You lost weight” Hah!
I kept asking them, how they were, how was the flight and their adventures during their connecting stop.
We went out of the hall where Cart was waiting for us in the parking area and we drove off. I was still feeling amazed having my family in the car with us as we chatted away. It feels so unreal! As it was morning, we went to a bar near our home and had a cappuccino and some breakfast pastries! Their first coffee in Italy!
And then we headed back home to get their luggage all settled down and I gave them a grand tour of our humble house and they did like what all parents do … which is to examine the cleanliness house. Hahaha!
My mum said that she was just happy that I was living in a proper house. Err … as opposed to what?
And then I got gifts! Haha! I was almost delirious at the amount of food that they gave me. Loads of keropok! (Cart is going to hate me, as he hates the smell of fish keropok) and loads of maggi mee! Loads of pandan and lemongrass! Kaya! And so many other goodies (not seen in the picture below!)
I think that’s enough to last me for a year!
And then I let them rest for a while as I knew that the journey would have been tiring for them. They slept for several hours. Must be really fatigued. Poor things.
When my mum woke up in the afternoon, I took her for a walk around the neighbourhood. Since my dad was awake, he came along too. My brother Nazry was completely out of it and couldn’t be roused.
Where we live, there’s a park with a cinema at the corner and a small lake in the middle. The funny bit was, mum was commenting that from the window, the place looked rather dinky. But up close, it seemed rather grand.
For example, my parents were amazed at the amount of pomegranates that was growing wild there. There were so many! They kept saying, “In Singapore, there would be no fruits at all from people plucking them” But here, every few steps we took, there would be a pomegranate tree all filled with half ripe fruits. The funny thing is, I’ve never actually noticed them before.
We then walked outside the park, for a quick ice cream. And from that part onwards, I saw some shops that I haven’t even noticed before. There’s a drycleaner here? After finding out that the drycleaner near us went out of business, I didn’t know that there was another one in the area! Well, we learn something new each day.
And then they went back home and slept again! Even Cart! Oh gosh. I took this chance to scoot to the shops to buy a toothbrush for Nazry. And after waiting for a while, woke them all up. They shouldn’t be sleeping at this time! They’d risk waking up wide awake at 3am this way!
In the evening we decided to go to have pizza! And we went to one of my favourite pizzeria – Il Secchio e L’olivaro! (I should write a proper post about this place) It’s not really easily acessible, and you’d have to pass through a really scary passage, but it is worth it! The pizza here is wonderful!
Instead of a personal round pizza, we can get to choose half a pizza or a huge round pizza that’s large enough to be shared by four people. With that, you could choose 4 different toppings.
I don’t quite remember what we had that evening. Clockwise from top is Napolitana, Spicy Marinara with anchovy paste, Provola cheese, and Mushroom if I’m not wrong. But I’m amazed that none of them liked the toppings with anchovies. They said it was too salty and instead ate up the few pieces that Cart could eat (he’s a vegetarian)
The next day, I took my parents out for a quick walk in the neighbourhood. Here where we live, there are quite a number of stalls selling fresh vegetables. They were quite intrigued and then went crazy buying some fruits. My dad especially. I think he bought like 3kg worth of grapes *headache*
Walking back home, I’m really amused to see my mum taking a picture of the rubbish bins. Whatever for?!
After a quick lunch, we went out to San Pietro! I was nervous about the parking situation as it was extremely difficult to find parking here. Luckily we were able to find one.
As soon as we reached the piazza, everyone practically gasped at the sheer enormity. Of course, my mum started taking pictures. Not sure if if’ve mentioned this before, but there are spots in the piazza where you could see the columns appear as one.
After going through the security and attire checks, we finally entered San Pietro. Nazry confidently said, “Lets meet each other 30 minutes from now!” And from that point onwards, my brother was running around here and there trying to see everything and busted his time limit.
My parents however got a little bored (I guess there were too many things to see that it got overwhelming) and wanted to leave even though my brother still wanted to look around some more. And that was when she saw the Vatican Post Office and on a whim decided to send postcards … but she took so long (we have a lot of relatives. My mum alone has 10 siblings and my dad 12) that it we spent more time in here than in San Pietro! -_-”
In any case, as it was getting late, we headed to Termini for an early dinner. As always, it was a nightmare trying to find parking there (especially in a dense area like Termini) so Cart dropped us near the metro to find parking while I took my family to have a quick look at the train station.
And then we headed to the Halal Indian Restaurant in the area. And as always, my family really scare me by the amount of food that they ordered. I mean, normally I’d be full with just one order but they got almost two plates of food each.
But I shouldn’t feel too stunned … because somehow, they managed to polish everything!
As it was Friday, we decided to go to the mosque today. The Grande Moschea di Roma is the largest mosque in Italy and possibly even in Europe. And thus because of that, I wore my baju kurong.
I think that it was a very different experience for them as almost everything was done in Arabic even the speech. Nevertheless, my mum is a very sociable person and she managed to even make friends with some of the ladies in the prayer room.
There was a bazaar outside, so we took the chance and had our lunch there at the same time. We each had a middle eastern dish like couscous, falafel and mint tea. There was also something which was wrapped in grape leaf. I don’t remember the name though.
I don’t think that it’s such a touristy place to go to, but it could be interesting to come here on a Friday.
After our lunch, we headed to Ponte Milvio to see the bridge of locks. Do you remember my post about this some while back? You write your name and your lover’s name on a lock. Hang it on a post and throw the key away in the river below.
While there were plenty of bridges with locks around the world. Cart is adamant that this was the original one which the Italian poet wrote about.
After looking at the locks (Naz was trying to find the oldest lock possible) we headed to have a grattacheca near the bridge. A grattacheca is basically shaved ice with the choice of syrup that you like. Mum was already comparing it with Air Batu Campur that she had as a kid.
As we had a bit of daylight left, Cart decided to drive us to the colosseo!
While my family marvelled at this massive build, it felt so wierd for me! Me in my baju kurong! GOSH! So many staring eyes! But I made it work anyway! Haha!
The good thing about wearing a baju kurong while at the Colosseo is that now I have a picture I could use as Hari Raya 2013 postcards :p
The only bit which was a pity was I was completely barefaced. No mekap at all. Urr! I feel so …
In any case, my brother decided on a whim to visit a tabaccheria, and this is when my mum and my dad decided to walk towards a touristy stall.
And while waiting, without consulting me, they went ahead and went crazy touching here and there the souvenirs. My mum alone spent about 40 euro worth of magnets. And they didn’t stop there. After the damage, they went to ANOTHER stall.
I …. I don’t understand why you are buying these! I had such a headache trying to comprehend the incomprehensible situation -_-
The good thing is that my mum really knows how to bargain. She managed to get the price down from (a rip off price of) 2 euro a magnet to about 1 euro each.
In any case, after our adventures at the colosseo, we headed to the mall to get some groceries as well as show my family the daily items that was sold in Rome. I hope that they found it interesting.
And we stopped by the petshop where we were all amused by the hamsters. I was waiting for them to run around like this :
Hahaha! And I’ll stop this post here for now.
Check out my next blogpost where you’ll see more about how I spend my daily life in Rome 🙂