Monday, August 3, 2009

When In Rome, _ _ _ _ as the Romans Do

I am always delighted when a package arrives on my Roman doorstep. Note that I have been here so long that I no longer say "a package from home", as for some time now, home is Rome.

A dear friend sent me a belated birthday gift. This is a friend who always knows exactly what I need (even why I myself don't know). The package included a book which from the title alone, I knew I would enjoy. So far, the pages of "Drink, Play, F@#k" by Andrew Gottlieb are quite entertaining.

"While purchasing condoms in a foreign country is much less embarrassing than doing so at home since you probably won't bump into your fifth grade English teacher in the checkout line, it is still an uncomfortable process. Especially if they're not on display and you don't speak Thai. You haven't really played charades until you've mimed what you need a condom for to a seventy year old druggist on the Phi Phi Islands."

All this talk about condoms got me thinking about how Italy measures up. While Rome and Italy in general for the most part rate poorly when it comes to overall organization and practicality, I must say that finding condoms is pretty easy, at any time of the day. Though there are no 24 hour mini marts, and pharmacies close for siesta every day, all day on Sundays, and basically for the entire month of August, still they do not leave frisky Romans in the lurch during their moment of need. Outside just about every pharmacy in the city there is a handy condom dispenser, with (count'em) seven different varieties of prophylactics.

Perhaps the abundance of condom machines all over the place could be the reason why Italy manages to keep it's population growth at zero for decades now (well, that and the fact that many Italians live with their parents until well into their 30's and 40's-who needs birth control when jealous Mamma is around)?


Shadows said...

See, this is what constitutes an interesting blog about Rome. I wondered about that. I guess another question would be, what if you have to 'go' when on tour? Do you just pop into your local Exxon? Thanks for this information.

regina di roma said...

My pleasure! What good are we if we can't help a horny traveler in need :)

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