Photo Journal: Ancient Roman Holiday
I don’t know what it is but I have this assiduous habit of saying completely inappropriate things about people’s families and their age. Not only that, but after the initial comment, I’ll keep going, digging myself deeper and deeper with even worse follow-up comments. A few examples.
“Your grandchildren are so adorable!” I cooed at the framed photo of three toddlers on the head portfolio manager of fixed income’s desk (whom I thought was in his late-sixties).
“Those are my children,” he said with narrowed eyes as the traders on the floor choked on their laughter.
Time out. At this point any normal human being would have zipped it. Nope, not me. Instead, I tried to fix it by responding with:
“Was that taken a looong time ago?” I asked while realizing that he looked exactly the same in the photo: a snow haired man with, shall we say, a very seasoned look of age.
“NO.” he said flatly as his stone-cold expression turned to face his four trading screens, a clear indication that it was my time to leave. And leave I did.
Fast forward one year (during which I struggled to win over his good graces):
“Lisa, I’ll be out tomorrow. I’m driving my daughter to her first day of school.”
“Oh, that’s exciting! Which university is she going to?” I asked absentmindedly.
“She’s starting kindergarten…”
“Your children are so beautiful! Your daughter should be off to college soon?” I asked the senior MD in our Sydney office two weeks ago.
“That’s my wife.” He said…
“Wow, is she just really young??” my lips blurted out despite all attempts to lobotomize the mind of its own…
You get the uncomfortable gist of my conversational skills. But I assure you, it is always well-intentioned. You believe me, don’t you?
So anyway, what does any of this have anything to do with Ancient Rome?
To my delight — Italians love talking about age. Age of people, age of wine and cheese and, in particular, age of their world-famous relics. With some of these sites dating back to the 7th century BC, the amazing resilience, relevance and longevity of these landmarks are things to marvel at. And marvel at their age I did, while feeling right at home.
Below are some young photos of some really old structures:
– Roman Forum
– Palatine Hill