I’ve been watching “Borgia” on Netflix. It’s not the Showtime version, but a foreign production that Barry Levinson helped produce. It’s quite good, very graphic and interesting to imagine being here, in Rome, during those days.
The Romans, during the time of Pope Alexander VI were quite rough, to say the least. They loped off people’s heads without a second thought. Family members were plotted against, given to the enemy as hostages, even murdered. Your hands could be hacked off in the piazza in front of everyone, or you could be strung naked upside down and sawed in half, as punishment for some crime. (They actually did this on the show!) They knew their torture, that’s for sure.
Since I’m not working while we are living in Roma, I’ve been under a self-imposed freeze on all of my “luxury” activities. Things like manicures and pedicures and massages and bodywork…things I do regularly at home. I justify them at home in part because I work and therefore can afford them. But a girl can only do her own fingers and toes for so long, before it’s time to give in and pay to have it done professionally.
I went to Non Solo Capelli, a local salon on Via Gallia yesterday for a pedicure. I didn’t think I had been doing that bad of a job at it myself for the past few months. Little did I know! A Roman pedicure, at least at this shop, is not what Chee gives me at J’adore Salon on Greenway and Carefree Highway at home.
No kind words (okay we don’t speak the same language, but still!), no massaging throne chair, no soft touch. Martina the Toe Torturer, pointed at the plastic bin lined with plastic and filled with a little warm water, where my feet were to go. She didn’t bend down to attend to my toes; they were placed on a stool in front of her at a height comfortable to her, not me. She moved a light in front of my foot while she worked on it, so I could not witness the cutting and digging going on. I swear she used a dental instrument on my toes! My grimaces, winces and jerking movements didn’t slow her down for a second. There was no cleaning up of misplaced nail polish after it was applied. Swish, swish. She was done.
I payed my 26 euro and walked out onto the street. I kept looking at my toes, as I was sure they were going to be bleeding. They weren’t. Amazing! They did look better than before, but at what price to my mental state? I practically had to hypnotize myself to just stay seated in the chair.
Maybe I should cancel the appointment I’ve made to have a pedicure at J’adore when we return home for a visit. Or maybe not. It’s likely by then my toes will be ready for some pampering. It’s sure to be better than my experience of Roman toe torture.