Italia in 40: Day 35…A Monsoon and a $48 Adventure!

Holy crap! I had no clue that it could storm so hard in Rome.

I didn’t go to bed until 6 this morning, but around 8:30 I was woken up by a crazy intense storm. It was windy, raining, thundering, and lightening so heavily.

I went back to bed and woke up around noon and got ready. It had stopped raining, or so I thought, so I decided to go out and find some food since it was Sunday at 2 and I knew I would be SOL if I waited any later.

I left my building and walked up the main street to see if I saw a grocery store, but I didn’t have any luck. I saw a billboard for a grocery store about a block and a half away and decided to see if it was open. About the time I turned around to head for the store, it started pouring. It was so windy that my umbrella turned inside out and then it started hailing! The stones were small, but it was still crazy. They don’t service the storm drains in Rome either, so all of the street are like rivers. It’s gross to have to walk through all of the dirty water, but I think it’s somewhat good that the streets are cleaned since it smells like pee so much here.

I was wearing leather shoes and they got SOAKED. So much so that they created suction around my feet and kept almost being pulled off when I would step in the torrents of water.

I braved the rain and made it to the store, only to see that it was closed. I went back towards my place and ducked into my building for a minute to get out of the rain. It let up a bit, so I just started walking around until I happened upon a Punto Simply, about 5 minutes from my place. I went in and started shopping. I got breakfast foods, stuff to make two lunches, wine, water, UHT milk (I don’t have an oven or microwave, only a toaster and mini fridge), alone with some snacks. I did really well planning out some meals for the week and buying stuff on sale, so in the end I got two bags of groceries for 48 Euros. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s a hell of a lot better than paying >12 Euros a meal, 3 meals a day, for the next 4 days.

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I’ve been to several grocery stores here and there are a few things you should know: you pay to rent a shopping cart, you pay for each bag you need for your items and cashiers don’t bag your purchases. Food and drink is very expensive compared to the U.S., but you can definitely find deals if you shop around and I HIGHLY recommend buying your own groceries, especially if you are staying in a location where you can cook!

I was soaking wet and freezing, so once I got back to my place I made some hot tea, had a yogurt, and watched the rain from my balcony. Around 7 the storm picked up again, so I decided to repack my suitcase (that way I can enjoy my trip down to the last minute, without worrying about having to pack and get ready to leave).

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After repacking, I ate some tuna and crackers for dinner and took a shower. Tomorrow I need to buy a metro pass and then I am just going to wander around. I might go explore one of the big universities here, or go to a movie, or the zoo or something!