So (and I will be misspelling this, possibly on purpose as it is still kinda early in Italialandia)...the Borghesie Incident.
Our first full day by ourselves in Rome, MJ and I trekked up to the B-Gardens to waste time until our room was ready. Once there, aside from sitting in the shade hoping for some relief from the sun and the heat...it is rather hot and humid in Rome, especially when you have gotten much too used to Seattle weather (my farmer's tan is doing excellently, thanks).
Across the path from us was this "bicycle" rental place. As I snoozed MJ was planning...And once she saw the three groups of people come in and rent these "car-bikes" (four wheeled, pedal powered, electric motor helped vehicles) her mind was set that we too should join the masses and ride one.
The teacher in me saw all the problems right off the bat--no seat belts, hand powered brake that only kinda worked, a half-stroke of the peddle shot people forward about 5 feet...hoo baby, what fun! Not.
But it was her dime, so I said I would come along, as a passenger. I would not be responsible for crashing the thing...I did not say this out loud, but maybe I should have. Either way I was jinxed and I knew it.
All went well as we zoomed around the park and went places I am 99 % sure we should not have been, but this is Italy, we were no less maniacal drivers than all the people in real cars out on the street! Crazy! Then came the phallic symbols. They are everywhere. I joked during our tour of Pompeii and again at the National Museum in Naples that "I came to Italy and all I saw was penises!" They really are everywhere and are "jinx breakers" and good luck charms, I'm told. Maybe it was me making fun of these things that aided in the bad juju? Quien sabe.
Anyhow, MJ was maneuvering around one of these things when she cut it a bit too close...and my side of the bike slammed into the 3 foot penis-thing in the path (probably there to keep these bike-cars out, I would think...but everyone else was doing it, so MJ insisted we could go there too...whatever). All I knew was that all of a sudden my foot REALLY hurt.
Instinctively I'd pulled in my knee...the busted one of course, but there wasn't the time, energy or instinct to pull in my foot, apparently. We surveyed the damage to the bike and saw that the peddle was mangled...that meant...right. My foot was already starting to strain against my Keen Mary Jane strap.
Of course the very first thing we (I) did was slam on the peddle (with my other foot) until it looked sorta okay again...it still worked, it's good, right? (so going to hell) And we got the bike going again. Only half helping we got the bike back and the guy actually did a look over and nothing seemed amiss and MJ got her passport back (cuz you had to leave a "document" with them) and SLOWLY we got ourselves away...(so going to hell). Limping back all the way to the hotel was an experience I don't feel like repeating any time soon. We picked up ice and I sat and iced and not iced and iced most of the night.
It's not that bad. I was already swollen from too much salt and carbs, so a little bruising was not going to kill me...we just had to make sure my foot wasn't, you know, broken...my Mary Janes are not fitting too well...the strap is cutting into my right foot...so instead of a trip to the emergency room....we went shoe shopping.
That has to be another story in itself...(I'm good with these cliff-hanger-type endings eh?) Suffice to say I am now the proud owner of a pair of real Italian blue suede shoes...ka-pow, I feel so very cool...especially as they look an awful lot like bowling shoes.