My family in Rome! Part 4

Alright! Compy seems to be working fine at the moment *crosses fingers* So lets get this blogging started and continue from where we left off 🙂

Thursday :

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We took it easy today (since our openbus tickets are already expired, there was no sense in rushing as we’ve seen all the important monuments in Rome)

Thus, we had a slow and relaxing morning. I made a quick lunch and then went out for a bit of a walk. And for today, I thought that I’d take them to Quartiere Portico. This place is famous as there is a large Jewish community here.

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Thus, after lunch, we drove and parked near the nearest tram stop where my parents saw a veg and fruit shop, so we stopped for a while and again, bought like 10 kg of fruits -_-” Luckily, the car wasn’t too far, so we put them at the back at the car, and then we took the number 8 all the way to the Jewish quarters.

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Initially, Cart was extremely worried, especially with my mother wearing a headscarf, now with how the reactions are with the anti-religion movie. But nothing happened, thank goodness. I’m glad to see that the people are here much more open minded.

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One of the first thing that caught our eye was a bakery shop. It was open!

This was what caught our eye. This beautiful looking cake.

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The friendly shopkeeper explained to us that this is a typical sweet that is eaten during Jewish celebrations like the Jewish new year.

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Initially my mum wanted to get five of them. But we were adviced not to get that many as we found out, that each cake was enough for 8 people to eat! We got two instead and each one is very heavy by the way. I don’t think we could carry 5!

By the way, a small piece is extremely filling as it has almonds and dried fruits. I couldn’t eat too much of this. It was extremely sweet and more than a slice will be a little too cloying for me.

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We then took a stroll past the shops, and towards the restaurants. There are plentiful of famous restaurants here. And if you’re here during March – May, it would be artichoke season, and the best time to eat Carciofi alla giudia – one of the food which is famous here.

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As a sidenote, there seems to be a discrepancy about Anthony Bourdain shooting a show here, in the Jewish quarters. There was a scene where the host was eating in a restaurant in the Jewish quarters when we watched it here in Italy, but it seems in the American screening, the scene was taken out completely.

It’s been said that Bourdain used the set of one restaurant, but the food served was made in another restaurant. So as to not confuse viewers, the scene was taken out completely.

Personally, I find this episode corny as heck. Nevertheless, it’s always a small thrill to be able to spot out the places that I recognize.

Anyway, at the end of the Jewish restaurants, we reached Porto D’Ottavia. I like to call this the fake colosseo as it has a round shape, much like the colosseo and you always spot this out when taking the tour bus. See the right hand side?

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My parents were very fascinated by the scenery. As well as the marble and the ruins that was still standing. They kept asking questions like, “What do the people do during those times?” “Is this like a coffee shop where people meet up?

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Hmm … I think so! This used to be a market in ancient times, if I’m not wrong. So this was where people meet up and buy groceries!

Anyhow, we turned back and crossed the main road to go to Campo Dei Fiori. It was then that the sky got darker and it started to drizzle …

But it didn’t dampen our spirits! By the way, Campo dei fiori is easily recognizable by this statue. I call it, “Thief, the dark project” (Not really. He was actually a poor friar that was burned to death 🙁

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This is a nice place to go in the mornings as there is an open market here. So you could see and buy seasonal fruit and vegetables as well as seeing beautiful handmade items and flowers. Something that’s quite interesting to see in my opinion.

But we reached here after two, plus it was raining, so the only remnants of a market life was the garbage-men cleaning up the area. So it was a little depressing.

But it happened to be that as soon as we started to walk away, there were some football group and cheerleaders in the area and they did a quick display in the square. My mum quickly snapped a picture :

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Anyway my dad needed to go to the toilet, so we stopped by a bar which was nearby on the pretex of having coffee. But in the end, it turned out that we ended up using the loo one by one myself included!

When I came back, I felt something strange going on. The barista looked shy, while my mum was grinning widely. It was then my brother was telling me that Mum flirted with the barista and fired a lot of questions.

Well, here he is! By the way, my mum snapped this picture, not me 😛

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My mum has good taste, huh? A little too young for her maybe? And as soon as we left the bar, Nazry and I started teasing her.

Naz and me : “You’re such a flirt, aren’t you!

Mum : “Oh yes!

And then she realised what she said, and quickly corrected herself.

Mum : “No! That’s not right! I’m just being friendly!

But by this time, we were both sniggering.

Then we went to Lush nearby. This place is lovely and smells wonderful. And while they specialise in handmade soap, everything looks so good to eat.

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I warned my parents not to get anything here, as it tends to be on the pricey side. Just look! Don’t buy!

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But they didn’t listen to me. And they got quite a bit of soaps and creams and whatnots. Oh well, if it makes them happy. They got quite a lot of freebies in the end! 🙂

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It was past 5 pm and we headed towards a place that specialised in Filetti di baccala. This is codfish, dipped in batter and deep fried. Sort of like fish and chips (but without the chips)

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It was probably too early to have dinner (I think we were the only customers there at the time) But what other chance do we have to visit this place again? Moreoever the filetti here is yummy! Plus this place brings memories to Cart. As he has memories of his teacher bringing him and his classmates here for a meal together at the end of the school term.

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By the way, one of the endearing habit that I found out that all of us had when the fish arrived was, all of us were hoping that there was a bottle of chili sauce. We tend to slather fried food with chili sauce. And it took me a long time to get used to it, but the fish tasted as good as it was (our itchy fingers poured some vinegar on top of it anyway)

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Of course, when we reached home we didn’t have dinner as we were still full. I don’t even remember what Cart ate. I’m such a bad wife.

Friday :

As it was Friday, my parents wanted to go to the mosque again.

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However, I’ve never driven out this far before (it’s more than 20km from home to get there) and I put my faith on the GPS.

Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day and rainy day, blocking the satellites. Thus my GPS wasn’t to locate where I was. And after a while, I couldn’t recognize any landmarks or roads. Everything looked unfamiliar It was so stressful.

With all the confusion, I took almost 2 hours to reach there instead of one.

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But when we reached there, we saw loads of police vans and soldiers as well as important looking men and cars. And there was a big crowd. What was going on? Was there a riot going on? Did an important person die?

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It was only later that we found out that the new prime minister of egypt was on a diplomatic tour here. Take a look at how popular he is. Everyone’s crowding to look at him!

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The only sad thing is, with all the security going on, the food bazaar wasn’t around(and I was so looking forward to eating some kebabs and we were all famished.

Anyway we stopped by castroni for a bit. This is a shop that sells international goods and also a great place to buy coffee and gourmet chocolates.

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And then we quickly drove home and quickly made some noodles. We were all so famished. After that, I quickly made some chicken noodle soup as this was to be brought to my in laws. And we waited for Cart to come back from home so we could all go together.

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Initially, it was supposed to be a small dinner together. But when we reached there, we saw the table nicely set up. And then my sister in law and her children arrived. It felt quite festive! I guess this is a sort of impromtu Hari Raya celebration?

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In the end, I think we shouldn’t have eaten the noodle and should have stayed hungry. Because my MIL made quite a lot of food! (I don’t understand, she was the one who said that she didn’t want to fuss and cook :P)

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But I am glad to see how well our families are interacting together. They seem to extremely friendly and get along with each other and that was lovely to see. I’d hate to be in a relationship where the parents and in laws don’t see eye to eye.

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Saturday :

Today’s rest day for my parents. Ok. My dad hasn’t been complaining but I see that he’s been having issues with his legs so I thought that it could be good for them to stay to rest for a bit.

But I still felt bad nevertheless when my dad saw me and Nazry ready to go out and asked, “Where are you going?” as if, we were abandoning them. So I told him that we were going back to San Pietro, the same place where we went to last week, so that Nazry could see it for longer.

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Anyway, initially Nazry wanted to go there on my scooter. But to be honest, I’m not very confident on bringing a pillion. Sam the scooter is small. For short distances is fine, but will be a pain when going to the city center (Moreoever my brother’s starting to be on the heavy side …)

So we drove to metro in the end and we had lunch at subway. I was still slightly peckish, so we had a bit of pizza at the bakery not too far away .

And then my evil tummy still wanted to be fed, so we stopped by a gelateria called, Millenium.

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I knew of this place when I had my eye checkup some years back. And I think that their ice cream is really good. A little on the pricey side, but still very very good.

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So good that, initially, Naz didn’t want an ice cream. But as soon as he tasted my creme caramel frappe, he rushed back in to get one of his own. Haha!

We then walked towards the Vatican museum. And in my heart, I was hoping that Naz didn’t want to visit. Because personally, I feel that it’s an expensive tourist trap, and just not worth visiting. Because the only big deal is the Creation of Adam in the Sistine chapel. But it’s not worth paying 15 euro being pushed around and screamed at …

When Naz saw the crowd and the price, he quickly changed his mind.

And then we walked to San Pietro. Oh boy, it was so crowded, that there were lines all the way towards the main road. It would take at least 30 minutes of queuing up for security! (Not including the check for clothing) So we changed our mind and decided to go to Piazza Navona to see if we could spot out the painting that Naz fancied.

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Unfortunately, after going around two rounds in Piazza Navona. He didn’t spot his red tango dancer. And we went back home quite disappointed.

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I felt so bad for Nazry. It wasn’t a fruitful day at all! So to cheer him up, I thought that we could all go to another museum. And it’s not too far away from home either.

The Museo nazionale delle arti e tradizioni popolari! Like how I’ve blogged before, I highly recommend this museum. There are so many interesting things to be seen here.

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Ranging from the outfits, to tools that Italians used from the early 19th century to the end of the 20th Century. It’s a real feast for the eyes and because it’s located outside of the city center, it’s less crowded and confusing here.

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As it was already nightfall when we were done at the museum (actually, we wanted to stay longer, but it was already close to closing time) So we decided to have dinner at il secchio. The same place where my family ate on their first day here.

Perhaps it wasn’t the best time to go there as it was a Saturday. I forgot that on Saturdays, all restaurants are crowded and thus we’d have to wait for a long time.

It was about 30 minutes of waiting till we finally had a table and eventually we had our bruschetta and pizza anyway.

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As we had our dinner, all of us marveled at how fast the time passed by, but I felt quite sad, as it will be another two more days with my family before they leave …

Watch out for the final installation in the next post 🙂

2 thoughts on “My family in Rome! Part 4”

  1. Ur mom is so friendly and sweet, I can imagine all the people being happy to chat with her and give her discounts and freebies! Haha.. including the cute Barista hahaha

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