There is a spattering of orange trees that speckle the edges of the roads that line all of Rome. They’re kinda cute, really, and the oranges dangle just within arm’s reach.
This isn’t normal where I come from. This isn’t normal where Matt and Helen come from either. It is no surprise that we were a little more than excited to come face-to-face with a couple of trees rather than simply viewing them through the glass of some kind of moving vehicle.
Picking oranges on what appears to be a public tree somehow felt wrong, and as we peered in and out of the various business on the corner that the trees grew on, no one seemed to care that we were very obviously about to pick the oranges.
I reached up. Plucked one off. Looked around. Nobody cared.
Matt reached up. Plucked one off. Looked around. Nobody cared. He reached up and picked one for Helen, too. The long, green leaves shook with the release of each piece of fruit.
I dug my thumb into the eye of the orange and pushed back the peal into a few falling chunks. The others did the same. The yellow juice ran down the length of my arm and it felt particularly sticky.
Low and behold the golden sphere. We pealed off a slice and put the entire things in our mouth.
Don’t ever do that.
These oranges are like lemons soaking in baking soda, extremely sour and strangely bitter at the same time. No wonder no body cared if the meddling Americans ate the free oranges that lined the edges of the street.
But let’s be honest, it was totally worth it.