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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Part 1 : The Arrogance Of Those Who Pray And The Prayers Of Arrogance

We spent this Raya holidays in Rome, Italy. A nice seven nights (and almost nine days) in the Eternal City. For over a week we went all over the city - walking, by the subway, tram and the buses. A very easy and efficient city to live and move around in. There was also a three hour train ride to Florence or Firenze.

Check out AirBnB folks. Murah betul. I foresee the end of the hotel industry. Unless they can match AirBnB. Imagine staying in a comfortable 3 bedroom apartment in Rome, with two bathrooms, living, two TV sets, fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, dishwasher and everything you need in an apartment for about RM120 per person per night. Unimaginable until AirBnB has come along. There was wifi too. The Italians have not blocked off any Blog. So I could read and do some updates when we were in the apartment.

If you go off season (October - November) or February - April, the airfares are also about 50% cheaper.

Anyway I saw plenty in Rome. We visited the Vatican. If you have not heard the voice of Pope Francis here is a video I recorded on the phone. We caught him at St Peter's Square on the Sunday that we were there.

As you can hear the Pope spoke in Italian. 



The only words I understood were 'Bon Giorno'.  Since there were many foreigners in the crowd (of thousands) many other people also did not understand the Pope nor the prayers that he read. The same situation takes place at Mecca where tens of thousands do not understand what is being recited in Arabic. 

But the lack of comprehension is made up for by the intensity of the religious fervour. Faith runs on fervour. 

Pope Francis appears twice a week to the public at St Peter's Square. On Wednesday's at 12 Noon the Pope is in the Square  itself (under a tent) to bless his congregation. On Sundays also at 12 noon the Pope appears at the window (in the video) at the Papal Palace which is part of St Peter's.

We could see him standing and speaking from the window (as in the video).

Here is me in St Peter's Square in The Vatican :



And here is a picture of us inside St Peter's Basilica. That is the Tomb of St Peter himself just behind us.



If you watched the movie Angels and Demons with Tom Hanks, quite a few of the scenes were set in these spots.

I have been in many mosques, temples, churches and so on around the world. They are all usually built of stone. The larger the structures, the more imposing and impressive they are.  Size does matter. 

I have a few more thoughts on this. 

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