The eternal city is infernally cold in January. It’s not just cold here in Rome, it’s damp cold. Everone is hunched down into sweaters and coats, sometimes both. To be honest, it’s not even freezing but the lack of heat in buildings means that there is no refuge from the cold and little chance to warm up. And, the sun has been out for but one day out of the last five. It’s hard to think warm, colorful thoughts when the sky hangs over the city like a grey pall.
Romans don’t seem to care about the cold, though. Last night, Sunday night, there were thousands of people strolling the Corso as if it were a nice warm day. Talking with each other seems to make them happy and oblivious to the weather.
“When in Rome, do what the Romans do.” So, I am going out in this cold to discover how the Romans do it. My theory is that they simply focus on something else, or someone else.
Well, I went out for a walk in the cold evening air. On the way, I passed a small chic store displaying several pairs of men’s shoes. A pair of shiny black shoes, very simple in design, for 450 Euros, (about $700 dollars) took my mind off the cold for a moment as I wondered who has that kind of money for shoes! Then, I watched college aged young people laughing and conversing with one another sauntering nowhere in particular, oblivious to the cold.
Then, today I watched three young women plop down in the dead leaves in the park on the hill above our house, studying I think. It’s probably forty degrees outside. Their jackets help, a little.
Then, I got it. There is so much more to think about than weather.