The Reason I Love Americans

This story starts in Rome. I know, I know, why the dickens is he writing a blog about Americans if he’s in Italy? Have patience, answers come.

Just around the corner from the bed and breakfast where I was staying is a small restaurant called ‘Cacio e Pepe’. Cacio being a type of aromatic Tuscan cheese, and pepe being pepper. And it’s their signture dish. A plate of steaming hot, home-made spagetti laced with cacio and pepe. It lands on your table about thirty seconds after you order it, and should take you no more than that to devour. It’s delicious.

But that’s not the story.

It’s after two plates of cacio and pepe, roast beef, stuffed peppers, and half a bottle of red wine that I have to go to the toilet. And it’s on the way back that I notice a framed newspaper article hanging on the wall. It’s in English, so it easily catches my eye.

It’s an article from the Los Angeles Times. One of these weekend, lifestyle type of things. And, lo and behold, it’s about little, out of the way restaurants in Rome – family affairs – with local specialities and a mamma’s kitchen feel. Cacio e Pepe was one of half a dozen places reviewed.

But that, too, is not exactly the story.

The kicker starts now. In keeping with these weekend, lifestyle type of articles, it gave directions on how to get to the places it reviewed. In spite of them being in another country. So it went something like this: first, you get yourself to LAX, OK, and from there what you do is catch a flight to Rome (Italy). Fine so far. OK, so once you’re in Rome, see, what you do is hail a taxi, and then when you’re in the actual taxi, see, what you have to follow up with is just kinda asking the driver where to go. Give him the name of the restaurant you want from this article – which you should take with you, just to be sure.

I kid you not. This is 100% real.

Either it’s subtle to the point of being sublime, or blissfully un-self-aware. And either way is just dandy with me.

If this is not a reason to love Americans, nothing is. Personally, it’s not the only reason I have to adore these fine people across the big water, but it’s on my Top 10 list. You should put it on yours as well.

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