Saturday, September 21, 2013

Goodbye, Rome!

After one month spent in Rome doing as the Romans do, it's time to move on. Tomorrow I will make my final exit (for now), and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I feel as if I've done a city right: I didn't overstay my welcome in Rome, nor am I'm leaving too soon.

I've been based here for one month and two days (with time off to visit Florence, Pompei, Siena and Chianti), which has been just long enough to leave me completely sated with my Roman experience. I'm ready to go, and I will do so with all of my admiration and adoration intact. If I were leaving today, it might be too soon. If I were leaving on Monday, I might be overstaying my welcome. Sunday afternoon feels just about right.

Next stop: Tel Aviv! I enter into this living arrangement with no small amount of fear since, unlike Berlin and Rome before my recent stints in both, Tel Aviv is a place I've never been. I feel like I'm going on a blind date that will last anywhere from two weeks to one month, with a guy about whom I've heard nothing but amazing things. I've seen pictures, too, and he's ruggedly handsome in a way that I can appreciate, even if it's not exactly my type. But will the chemistry be there?

Will there be an immediate reaction like that instant attraction between Melbourne and me three years ago? Will the connection take a week to develop, as was the case with Buenos Aires in 2005? Will it hit me suddenly and unexpectedly just as I'm about to leave, prompting me to stay for three months more? That's exactly what went down with Bangkok in 2011.

Will Tel Aviv welcome me with open arms, put me immediately at ease, charm my pants off me, and make me wish our blind date would never end? Stay tuned.
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