I got to go to Italia again, and that place never gets old…er…
Some impressions this time:
- The team was a joy, for a lot of reasons, but one of the most important was that I didn’t have to worry about group-building responsibilities. What few issues there were taken care of by team members themselves, they remained engaged even on tiring days, they were genuinely happy to be there, they were eager and enthusiastic and got out a bunch, they took care of each other, and hell, they were even fit.
- Insert your standard Rome-is-hot take here. Where we stayed, though, had air conditioning, and as long as we took care of ourselves the heat wasn’t a problem.
- women’s basketball in Rome felt like watching Euros from the 90s play in the NBA – clever and innovative with the ball, capable of scoring in creative ways, uninterested in defense once their man got past them, and not nearly as fit, athletic, or physical as Americans.
- had an interesting exchange with a drunk street guy after the game, and it made me realize how different I am in protector mode. I was pissed at him and wanted to hit him, when usually I’m pretty good with crazy street people who are essentially harmless.
- I also wondered about that famous Italian non-tolerance for public drunkenness. He’s still one of the few folks I’ve seen in Italy stumbling around, and that followed our time at the Irish festival last week in which we saw several drunk americans stumbling around. Do we think of this as a police matter and ignore it? Is the reaction I’m seeing a city-vs.-suburbs thing?
- Is the non-tolerance due to a recognition of what the responsibilities are when folks live very closely together? Maybe there’s some sort of personal conservatism at work, in a Canadian sense – Italian men at least do not dress in ways that I would consider flashy, for the most part. Maybe the impetus comes from a need to remain in urban camouflage…and maybe it just means I haven’t been in cities enough lately…and Cleveland doesn’t count (although Cavs gear seems to be the camouflage du jour).
- Finally, I got a view of my own reliance on specific narratives in my own head – the usual suspects, power, ritual, sacred, the divine, primal origins – and I hope to keep working on expanding those neurocognitive lines as I try to keep my brain active…