I landed in Rome a day and a half ago and have been reacquainting myself with the city. Some things have changed. The Romans now obey the traffic signals, which is great. And some things haven’t. They still refuse to queue in an orderly fashion for anything.
One thing that’s changed about me; I’ve forgotten how to use cash. There’s no real contactless payment infrastructure here. Credit cards and eftpos, yes. But no PayPass as we’d recognise it.
Cash still rules. When I was last here it was Lire, which was awesome because you could feel like a millionaire for very little actual money. Now it’s the Euro, which is fine, because it makes everything seem cheap. (And of course somethings like pasta and wine are cheap). But I’ve found myself frequently standing with mouth agape and drool dropping slowly from my lower lip as I try to remember how the whole paper money thing works. Turns out it’s a minor life skill and it can quickly decay.
I’m very slow at counting notes. Even slower at recognising denominations. More than once I’ve just pushed a bunch of paper at the cashier with my apologies. The Romans, thankfully, are always happy to divest you of the appropriate amount.