Let me be honest. I did go shopping this morning, as I'd said I would. I got the coffeemaker I've been dreaming about constantly since I saw it a few days ago. I got something for my mom. I got something for my dad. I didn't get anything for my grandma, because I already got her something in the Vatican on Saturday. I didn't get anything for anybody else. Let me tell you why so your opinion of me doesn't get worse than it already is.
I don't believe in cheesy souvenirs. Unless that's what a person wants and they explicitly ask for it. The thing I don't enjoy doing is giving a gift purely for the sake of giving something. That's superficial and devoid of real meaning and I don't like it. I always have trouble giving presents for special occasions, for the same reason. I'd rather not give you anything for Christmas instead of getting you something random that's not from the heart just because I had to and was put under pressure by social conventions. I'm the person who meets you for a coffee and brings you a piece of cake or a book or a necklace or whatever, just because. No real reason. I saw it and thought of you and that's all. That's how I like giving things.
And that's why 99% of my friends and family won't get any gifts from Rome. I could get everyone a key chain or a mass produced plastic ashtray that says "I LOVE ROMA - MADE IN CHINA," but I wouldn't be able to forgive myself for that.
I would have to spend a day scouring the city, getting the perfect thing for every single person - and, believe me, I have a mental list with what exactly I would get everyone - but I'm not made of money. And I'd need a lot of that, because those people are special to me. And when I say everyone, well then I mean everyone. Ask me what anyone would get, of you're curious. But please do understand.
That said, yes, I did buy a few things. But definitely nowhere near enough to cause my baggage to double. And that's in visible bulk, in volume! If we were talking about weight, we'd be dealing with triple of not quadruple figures.
How?!, I wonder.
Witches and black magic!, I tell you.
Anyway, I managed to pack everything up and am now sitting in the nice but ridiculously overpriced Caffè Tre Scalini, enjoying a cappuccino doppio, a glass of water, the fan + finely sprayed water outdoor cooling system, and the view of locals and tourists and musicians and artists and street vendors and probably a few pickpockets around my favourite fountain. You know which one I'm talking about.
I'm going to go ahead and say it's been a good visit. I got everything I wanted to get, I ate everything I wanted to eat, I saw everything I wanted to see. Despite initial stumbles I had great accommodation, my feet could have been even worse than they currently are, and the weather was brilliantly beautiful the whole time, even though the forecast had predicted thunderstorm after thunderstorm. I even learned a few words in Italian.
Also, before I forget again, his name is Salvatore.
See you in Wien!