Coming to Grips with the New Lifestyle (Week 5 Recap - Oct 29, 2018)
Updated: Nov 28, 2018
I will admit that I turned off my New York Times notifications on my phone. Part of our impetus for leaving the US was to leave the 24h news cycle of the US as well. And while I do believe in theory in being informed, too many of the headlines were just the latest insane thing Trump had said or done.
It’s been nice to be disconnected, but I’m also not one who normally embraces escapism. So even though it means re-engaging with the American political scene, it’s been weirdly refreshing to be digging into the civic tech landscape as part of my new gig with New Media Ventures (NMV) that is ramping up currently. I was torn as to whether to work while we traveled this year, but a conversation with another couple that had done something similar changed my mind. They said that ~10h/wk of work was nourishing. And the NMV role really did feel too perfect to pass up.
But of course that’s only a fraction of my time. This week Mike and I traded off WP watching responsibilities and I used a day to shop for some clothes I needed and to eat Chinese food. I love Italian food but I do miss Asian flavors. I can’t even properly judge the meal I had at Green T because I was just happy to eat fried rice and chicken and even to drink jasmine tea. It was expensive, but necessary. And I found some good stuff at Niña Loca and a couple of chain stores to round out my very sparse packing.
Another splurge meal this week was Roscioli restaurant. It had been on our list since we became obsessed with the bakery down the street. In very un-Roman fashion they have two hour reservation windows, so we booked 7-9pm and sat at the counter. While I had heard that the carbonara was amazing we decided to taste the special, which was a fatta in casa fettuccine with asparagus and pigeon (I always tell myself there must be some other varietal of pigeon than the one I walked by on my way into the restaurant, but to be honest I’m not sure). Pigeon aside (it was cooked too rare for my taste) the dish was light and flavorful - much more delicate than most of the traditional Roman-style pasta dishes we typically get here. Then we had polpette and some sides and a double portion of their incredible focaccia. It still wasn’t terribly expensive by San Francisco nice-meal-out standards but the quality was really excellent.
The next day though I had to face the reality that while there are many things to taste and try here, I am getting sick of eating most meals out. I miss my own cooking. Not because it’s particularly good, but just because it’s simple and a bit more fresh tasting and vegetable heavy than the meals we typically are eating out. And while WP is a champion among babies for all her many, many meals out in restaurants, it’s more relaxing to eat at home. So we’re trying to figure out how to balance the real desire to be out of the house, engaging in food culture which is SO important here, and trying all the things we want to try, with the fact that eating in restaurants has started to lose it’s shine.
One meal we’ve been good about doing at home is breakfast. We bought a little moka our first week and recently found a ground version of one of our favorite Italian espressos, Palombini, in the market. Since Italians usually consider caffe and a pastry breakfast and I prefer yogurt or cereal or eggs, it’s not a hard meal to skip going out for. That said, I finally ate a maritozzo this week when a friend was in town and we met for breakfast and I’m so glad I tried one so I could eat 10 more before I leave. We went to Linari in Testaccio which is full of locals and has a great bustling atmosphere. It’s right by our favorite playground, but it’s been rainy all week so we haven’t been using it. Instead WP crawled around the floor in Linari making friends. If you have to go out for a meal, not a bad way to spend it.