For the past few weeks, I’ve had that sinking Gretel feeling– you know, the one where I cleverly put down  crumbs to find my way back home, only to discover all that the crumbs have been eaten?  It’s not a new feeling, and  I probably go through this at least once every few months but my inner Gretel definitely becomes over-exaggerated during the early spring when I find myself lost in the crowds and rapidly morphing from super mom to bad mom to writer to researcher and back without any logic.  In other words, I can’t find my way.

Freelancing is not always fun and games, especially when chasing projects or invoices, and being super bad mom is not as effortless is I make it look.  I stress out more than once a day, I lose my cool and sometimes my kids, so I need something to help me slip from one personality to the next.  My meditation? An early morning walk  from Piazza di Spagna back to my house, with a coffee break at Ciampini.

Walking through the side streets turns me into an overgrown Harriet the Spy, watching everyone ~  street cleaners, bankers, lawyers, shop girls and guys, dog walkers, flower vendors, bicycling parents, moms who brunch, waiters, buskers and the fabulously dressed Fendi staff ~ trickling in and out of alleys.  I clear my head wondering where they are everyone coming from, what they are doing and what they are talking about. At 8:30 am, Rome is all about what makes the city that you think you know and love tick.

While Holy Week does mean its harder to walk aimlessly walk as everyone is vying for a little bit of concrete even before the shops open, the streets themselves let my mind wander too.

Moncler, on the corner of via dei Condotti and Piazza di Spagna, may have my favorite window display and I’ve had a lot of fun interpreting and re-intrepreting it.  My latest thought: Amelia Earhart breaking out of a bomb shelter.

Buskers usually give me the hives. I don’t “get” the Sphinx or Statue of Liberty wall-flowering around Rome’s piazzas but I do think this season’s must have nonsensical busker may change my mind: the lonely Storm Trooper with blue (?!) light saber and carry-on luggage.  Frankly, I always thought they would only travel with Samsonite white.

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