Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Came to Rome

30 Jun

Dear readers! I need your precious assistance with a project I’m developing.

Here’s how you can help, whether you’ve been to Rome before or not, I need input from everyone.

If you’ve been to Rome before:

What things do you wish you’d have known before coming here for the first time? What do you still wish you knew or what do you still not understand about anything that happened during your trip or in the local culture here?

If you’ve never been to Rome:

Imagine that you’re planning a trip to Rome: what are the sorts of things you think you’d need to know before you came, to make your trip successful? What kinds of questions do you have about “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to visiting Rome?

I look forward to your comments and I will update you very soon on this exciting project.



41 Responses to “Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Came to Rome”

  1. Gina June 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Hi Shel! Rome-specific things, right? Not general Italy truisms?

  2. Gina June 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    One thing I can think of off the bat is about lesser-known attractions, and how downright amazing they can be. Villa Farnesina, Palazzo Barberini, Galleria Spada for example, and that behind some simple facades you can find absolute jewels, like the churches of Santa Pressede and Santa Pudenziana. I wish I understood the importance of knowing how to speak to taxi dispatchers in Italian, and know your exact location before you call, because they don’t always speak English, and how you should never, ever, not be there to take a taxi when one arrives. I wish I’d known that you don’t have to leave the taxi driver a tip (as we New Yorkers MUST). I wish I fully understood that no matter what the posted hours are (if they are posted) or what the (flash-laden) website says, the store you so carefully researched and took a tram and three buses to, because you really, really needed, say, a replacement lens cap for your specific camera, the store will be locked up tight for reasons you will never learn. And that quite often ticket validation machines on the buses do not work and what to do to avoid getting hauled off by the GdiF.

    Sorry if this is not what you are looking for. I woke up early and punchy today. :/

  3. Dani June 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    What i wish a knew before the 1st time: that it is very tough town to get around in so prepare yourself for more un excepted and at times uphill walking than maybe you’ve ever done before. I’m from NYC & no stranger to walking for miles every day. But rome’s centro is a beast. The monuments and ruins are scattered randomly around Rome. So yes, when you see something that looks like a landmark-it usually is 🙂 there is such a thing as crappy gelato. Please make an effort to not give bad gelaterias your business so they can’t keep hogging a lot of the prime real estate and bette shops can replace their gypsy rackets

  4. Robyn June 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I wish I had known how much my smattering of Italian would be appreciated and how patient the Italian people were with me trying to converse with them in Italian. “Per favore” and “grazie” go such a long way!

  5. Peter Hristoff June 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Good to know: list of all historic sites/museums where tickets can be booked in advance; helpful hints/tricks on navigating streets the old fashioned way (minus hand-helds) would be greatly appreciated; a good “listings” guide for Contemporary Art Galleries in Roma; a complete list of passes, ticket combos, public transport info, etc; time schedule for public transport; explanation of transport hubs — which station to go to for which destinations; list of all markets (Farmer, Flea, Organic etc.) in Rome; list of major US, foreign and international banks and their locations in Rome; Emergency numbers in Rome: police, fire, major hospitals (and their field of expertise), poison control, etc.; list of best apps about Rome.
    That is all I can think of off the top of my head — I know that all of this information can be found on-line but it is always great to have prior to needing it.

  6. Rick June 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    If at all possible, avoid ever driving a car. It’s not that the drivers are all murderous psychopaths–which of course they are, but the problem is that eventually you become one of them. I drove a car in Rome during my first 6 months in town and then I opted to preserve what little was left of my sanity over the marginal “convenience” of owning a vehicle. (On the plus side, my vocabulary of Roman expletives improved dramatically during that period. In the beginning, they were all directed AT me, but once I got the hang of it I quickly made up for the imbalance. I never would have thought myself capable of shifting gears, talking on my cell phone, and making obscene gestures at the same time.)

    But even if, by some miracle of divine intervention, you successfully run the gauntlet and arrive home safely, you’ll spend another 30-40 minutes looking for a place to park before just giving up and leaving your car on the sidewalk like everybody else. ‘Sti cazzi!

  7. Lisa Rosenberg June 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Survey says Rome is the best city in all of Italy. I visited a number of times and want to keep coming back for another little morso (bite). I speak Italian so it helps and can find my way around pretty well by now except through the maze of streets from the Pantheon to the Piazza Navona. However back to my second trip while walking by the Tiber we were accosted by a guy driving a little Beetle asking for directions. He was very friendly and believable. But boy, we were conned. We turned over a bunch of euros to help him pay for gas, probably to hit on his next innocent victim, while offering us a “beautiful, carefully concealed in paper wrapping, an authentic leather Versace jacket, just the right size for my husband. Finally he handed over the wrapped jacket and on opening it up, turned it could have been from Kmart! Wow, this identical story was ripped out of Rick Steve’s travel guide. Live and learn!

  8. april dunleavy June 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Learn that “sciopero” means strike, which can interrupt transportation and other plans. There is a website that lists sciopero affecting public transportation (trains, buses, planes). But strikes and protests and demonstrations by non-transportation unions and employees and other groups can paralyze traffic in Rome and I don’t know how you find out about them ahead of time. Please know that the protests might last only a couple of hours, so there are workarounds.

    On our last trip to Italy, we just happened to see a table in Spoleto where people could sign up for a bus ride to a protest at the Piazza della Republicca, not far from Stazione Termini, on the day we were taking the train to Rome. The protest stopped traffic for blocks, including around the station. The taxi drivers wouldn’t take passengers anywhere, saying that we’d just get stuck. To get to our hotel, we jumped on the Metro to the Colosseo, where we discovered there was a taxi stand (can’t hail a cab in Rome like you can in NYC). Gave us something to discuss with the taxi driver that took us to the Campo dei Fiore. It was an adventure.

    While we were there for 5 days, we came across 3 other protests. I guess this is a fact of life, more frequently than in the US, that didn’t seem to perturb the Romans like it did the tourists like us. The wildcat strike at Fiumcino affecting baggage handling the day we left was over by lunch time (maybe because it was lunch time?). Gave us a couple of hours to shop the duty-free.

  9. Marc June 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Rome is the worst place where to leave.
    About tourism in Italy i think first place is Florence then Venice, then Mantova, then Bologna, and maybe then Rome.

  10. Olivia (@livlivinglife) June 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    they haaate giving change! i have more i’m sure, i’ll come back.

  11. mbrovelli June 30, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    1. To exit an apartment building, you need to press a button to unlock the door that leads onto the street. One time I was totally panicked because I didn’t know how to get out. DUH! And you can’t expect that that precious button will be logically located next to door. You may have to hunt for it.

    2. How easy the trams are to use to get you here and there in a hurry.

    3. Several churches have underground sites that are way more interesting than the street level part. Seek them out.

  12. Gil June 30, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Not just Rome, but other major cities – Don’t rent a car until you are ready to move on. The biggest mistake that I made on my first trip was to rent a car before I even got to my hotel. I then paid a fortune to rent a place in a parking garage to store the car until I headed out of the city to tour the coast on my way to Sicily.

  13. Tabitha Langley June 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    I studied abroad in Rome last summer and I wish I would have taken more time to learn the public transportation schedules, particularly the night bus. One night, I was stuck on the other side of the city at 2am and did not feel safe walking home alone. I got lucky and there happened to be a night bus line that stopped near my apartment, but that’s not always the case.

    My advice to anyone visiting Rome is to always have a back-up plan for transportation, because you never know if there will be a strike, or if a particular line is simply not running that day.

  14. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    This is EXACTLY the stuff I’m looking for. Thanks!!!

  15. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Awesome. Thanks. Yes, I think a bit of schooling about what makes good gelato and what makes bad gelato is an awesome tip to provide. And yes, there are ways to know before tasting. This is the kind of information I want to provide. Thanks for the ideas!

  16. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    Absolutely!!! Grazie a te! I appreciate this, it is definitely worthwhile to know a few key words.

  17. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    Peter! Thank you! Yes this is perfect!!! No in fact my “top secret project” is something that has to do with making it easier for visitors to access all of this golden and essential information in a very convenient and accessible way, to avoid having to hunt all over the Internet and comb through a million different guide books. More on this very soon! I’m excited and these are excellent ideas.

  18. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Nice use of ‘stica… like that, you’ve gone native, Rick! Yep God bless, I just managed to junk my car officially last week, have the certificate and all. Was that ever a monkey off my back. I have no qualms about driving here, it’s actually safer and easier in my book than some experiences I’ve had in Michigan, for example, one of the scariest places I ever had to drive (all the Detroit suburb freeways, people drive so fast and weave in and out of lanes, it’s nuts!) but yes, not for the faint-hearted, driving in Rome. No need to rent a car once you’re in the center. Better for driving on those rolling Tuscan hills.

  19. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Thank you for this. There are quite a few very clever and well-run scam operations. My ex-husband, an Italian lawyer of all things, was nearly conned into a popular one that has you suddenly pegged as having broke the side mirror of a car (they throw a rock at your car so it seems like somehow you broke it, or something) … the list goes on. Good tip.

  20. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Fantastic … sciopero is essential Italian vocab, I agree! Yes on the taxi, very true about not hailing a cab. Yes the manifestazioni (this is a word for the demonstrations) are relentless. There was one that blocked the area around my office downtown last week. Super annoying.

  21. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Ha! I know. This is another essential word: “spicci”

  22. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    FANTASTIC about the button. You know sometimes I STILL have trouble finding it, I was in a building just the other day and some of the building residents were walking out, looking at me like I was insane because I kept pushing this red button on the door expecting it to open, and yet the actual button was to the left of the door. HA!

  23. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Excellent tip. Cars are great for exploring the little hill towns. But in the historic centers of most of the bigger cities you won’t need one and esp. in the big cities like Rome, parking is SUCH a nightmare.

  24. Un'americana a Roma July 1, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    YES! I think public transport is a huge thing that tourists could use more information about. It’s not as easy or intuitive as it should be, especially as compared to other large European cities.

  25. Marc July 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    “spicci” stands for “spiccioli”

  26. Marc July 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    In Bologna that button is called “TIRO” (pull) i dont know why, but if you press it open the door.

  27. Marc July 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    yes in Rome not really in the rest of the italian biggest city (maybe Genova).

    That’s why i said Rome is the worst place where to leave

  28. Marc July 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Ok Guys and Gals, let me tell you one thing.
    I am an american Citizen leaving in italy since 50 yrs (next feb. i will move back to US).
    Don’t go to Rome to leave, yes for tourism (but as fast as you can)
    Then move to other cities, like Florence, Venice, Verona, Trieste, Bologna.
    And i don’t know why nobody goes to visit Mantova, one of the beautiest little town in Italy.
    Arounded by 3 lakes this medioeval town has an Amazing historical downtown.
    In 15th century Mantova was the most important town in Europe, and the main family was the Gonzaga’ s Family.
    I meet so few American people here and i am Always happy to help him, showing em the town.

  29. Mdtravel July 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Simple advice: walk into every single church you see. There are some amazing works for art and experiences to be had. Bernini’s, Caravaggios, Michelangelos, etc. Walking into a small church at night and hearing a choir practice or pipe organ practice are things to do not show up in a guide book.

  30. Giuliana July 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    My list of things to know:
    – High heels of any kind (chunky heel, wedges, stilettos, platforms) +cobblestones = IMPOSSIBLE! I truly believe I messed up my feet during my study abroad. Bring super comfy shoes to tour the city.
    – Be sure to know the dress codes before visiting churches or you risk being denied entry, or worse, being ridiculed and schooled by a monk in the middle of Pza.S. Pietro! I get to check this off my bucket list.
    – Be sure to look where you’re walking/stepping to avoid stepping into dog poop. NO ONE picks up after their dog. Truly disgusting.
    – Be patient when using any kind of public transportation as traffic can be haulted due to impromptu parades at any given moment. Also, scioperi can seriously extend your travel times.
    – If you’ll be staying for any extended period of time, be sure to pack your favorite American foods (peanut butter, pancake mix, etc) because while you can find these products, they’ll cost you a fortune.
    – In general, Italians suck at giving directions! So be prepared to have to ask a few different people.
    – Roma is an excellent city for a study abroad program!!!!!
    – I speak Italian and had no problem communicating, but I’d recommend learning basic Italian if you don’t know it already.

  31. Tina Giamotti July 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I love love love all these comments. I’ve been going to Rome every year for the past 8yrs. It started out as a trip to see Pope John Paul II but he died 2 days before I landed in Rome. I was there for the funeral though. Amazing time and introduction to the city. I kept returning. I blame the coins I tossed in the Trevi. What I find the most interesting is how things change in a span of months! Last Fall (Oct. ’12) I took bus 40 to Largo Argentina (I visit the cats and go to La Feltrinelli each trip) and everything looked the same; tram number 8,etc…fast forward to this past April and the tram was gone and what was left was a lot of concrete. Also, why on earth is bus number 40 always so packed now. It used to be sort of secret, to take that bus from Termini instead of the classic ‘pick pocket express’ number 64. I had to resort to taking another bus, number 85 I think to get to Via Cavour instead of taking 40 to Termini and then getting Metro B. Now, regarding the Metro. It used to be simple. Now they’re doing so much work that Metro A and B are blending…..I still have to look at the signs to figure out which side of the platform I need depending on which direction I’m going. And those people who hang out at the ticket machines…oh geesh, they bother the heck out of me. When I made my first trip to Rome, I did everything as a local and I still do. No guided tours whatsoever except I did take the 110 Open bus when I took a friend with me to Rome instead of traveling alone 2yrs ago. That was a horrible introduction to the city for a first timer as the headsets didn’t work and the bus drove by the main sites too fast for anyone to get a good view! . My first few trips to Rome I felt was like ‘Shirley Valentine’ meets ‘Roman Holiday’ when I was whipping through the streets of the city on the back of a motorino of the Italian guy I was dating.. That was a few years back but it firmly established my personal connecting with the city. It’s like my second home, I still am in awe of various changes each year. I look forward to reading all the comments on this blog. Great blog. I can never get enough info about Rome.

  32. Daniela July 1, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    I was born and raised in Rome, Italy, and since I moved to the States years ago i have given plenty advice to friends planning trips to Italy, and even gone to Italy together with some friends and family.
    My main tips are:
    -BEWARE of pickpoketers and gipsies. Most people think this danger is overrated, but there is nothing that ruins a vacation more than losing wallet with cash, credit cards and IDs and having to replace all that! No fun!! And there people are trained to spot a tourist from a mile away and with their eyes closed.
    -Be aware that food places have set hours, for lunch and for dinner, something like noon to 2 and 7 to 10 or so. The food places are not open 24 hours like in most large cities of the States. On two trips all too often we ended having to scrounge some dried up pieces of pizza or some oldy sandwiches at 4 or 5 pm because the people we were traveling with didn’t feel like eating when it was eating time (namely when restaurants served food) and went looking for food when everything was closed… Not all restaurants are run by “nonna Adelina” that will whip up a wonderful and fast meal in off hours, just because you are a hungry tourist. That’s movies’ stuff.
    -And speaking of closing time, be aware that stores close at lunch (1 to 4 or so) and reopen in the late afternoon, but not all…. and not every day.
    The subway closes at night (10? 10:30?) and the inter-regional trains too. Buses go to night schedule which is almost as bad as closing.
    And churches also close for lunch and reopen later in the afternoon. But try to stay out of the church when they are having their Mass service. It’s rude to go around snapping pics while people are trying to have Mass.
    -Some cities, Rome for sure, have day tickets for public transportation, with unlimited rides on a combo of bus and subway. You buy it at large stations and punch it on the first ride and it lasts till midnight of that day. Most of the time if you plan to take more than 4 rides, it’s worth the cost.
    -Some bus stops and stations have subway and bus maps, they help get an idea of where you are and how to go where you plan to go. But subway construction work and bus rerouting can completely mess up those plans, so be prepared to walk a lot. Last year my mom and I went around Largo di Torre Argentina and Piazza Venezia 2 times and for almost an hour, trying to get to a bus that was rerouted and moved and whose stops around that area had disappeared.
    -if you have any food limitations (allergies, dietary needs, vegan vegetarian diet etc) learn the italian words of the things you don’t eat and be pressing and specific with the waiters. Don’t take for granted that if you say you don’t eat dairy they understand that to mean you also don’t eat butter or Parmesan cheese, or that if you don’t eat meat you also don’t eat chicken ect.
    -Restaurants that have waiters outside trying to get tourists in to eat usually are not very good. They are mostly tourists traps and the food is not that special. For real italian food, go to the small places on side streets that are filled with locals and un-snazzy waiters that might not speak english, but can get you a pretty good meal, as long as you tell him what it is that you want. Again, few italian sentences are important here.
    -Gelato: that principle applies to gelato too. If there is a sign that says Produzione artigianale but the ice cream sits in neat plastic containers that were obviously packed in a factory, then the ice cream is hardly made there. The real produzione artigianale produces the gelato that comes out in mounds as tall as the alps with all sorts of toppings and interesting flavors like mirtilli and zuppa inglese, and some other exotic flavor. If you want the best ice cream in Rome, Giolitti is the place to go. For the best Vegan ice cream in Rome, Giolitti has some flavors (ask) and Gelateria Delle Palme near the Pantheon has the best soy ice cream! (BTW don’t ask for more than one taste of ice cream, Italians usually don’t do that and waiters tend to get snarly at tourists that sample their whole store and then buy one tiny cone…)

    I second all the other comments and suggestions: definitely comfy shoes, definitely don’t bother rent a car unless planning to travel between cities, and even still, at the destination parking might be impossible, as most city centers are closed to non resident traffic.
    I could add more, but I think I said enough. I wish you the best with your project! It’s needed and I’ll be using whatever you produce with the friends and family I mentioned above. It will save me a lot of work!!

  33. Olivia (@livlivinglife) July 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    i 100% agree…the boyfriend’s favorite attraction on his visit to rome was a random church we happened to wander into.

  34. Olivia (@livlivinglife) July 2, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    -you have to use the special gloves for produce, and weigh it yourself.
    -i found that the most rudimentary italian was appreciated
    -many restaurants charge for the bread that’s complimentary in the states
    -tipping etiquette
    -cab etiquette
    -food etiquette (no cheese on certain dishes, when to order cappuccino, etc)
    -the italian sense of time is so different from my new york punctuality. even the speed of walking on the sidewalk is slower. i volunteered at an elementary school and every single time i went there was an issue with timing.
    -how to deal with the street vendors that approach you
    -how to deal with catcallers/being hit on/dating when the culture is different
    -never wear non-wedge heels!

  35. Gil July 2, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Chances are that the bread was worth paying for and not the cheap mushy bread they serve in the USA!!!

  36. Benjamin July 2, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Vediamo se mi riesce di far capire com’e’ la situazione in italia al momento attuale.

    Si parla di crisi ed è vero la crisi, per ora lieve, c’è.
    Il grosso problema è che la crisi vera , quella per intenderci che porta l’inflazione al 50%, la disoccupazione al 60% e l’impossibilità di arrivare neanche a metà con lo stipendio ma al 10 di ogni mese, deve ancora arrivare ed arriverà di sicuro al 100%.
    Il motivo principale è che abbiamo una classe politica alla quale non frega assolutamente nulla delle condizioni del popolo italiano.
    Per loro l’importante è: fare chiacchiere, perdere tempo, incassare lo stipendio, arrivare a fine legislatura per prendersi una lauta pensione, e lasciare le cose assolutamente come stanno.
    In Italia al momento attuale abbiamo addirittura i notai che hanno messo i dipendenti in cassa integrazione, e sto parlando della classe dei primi contribuenti in Italia!

    Che cosa è la cassa integrazione:
    Quando un datore di lavoro non riesce a far fronte a tutte le spese che ha la sua attività, impossibilitato a licenziare i suoi dipendenti (in Italia funziona così: grazie ai sindacati, per licenziare qualcuno bisogna spararsi), dicevo quando un datore di lavoro non riesce a pagare i debiti, può mettere in cassa integrazione i suoi dipendenti, cioè loro stanno a casa, il datore non paga un euro, mentre lo stato italiano paga a quei dipendenti il 70% del loro stipendio.

    Ora moltiplicate quel 70% di stipendio per circa 4/5 milioni di cassa integrati, ma presto saranno mooolti di più, e capirete cosa intendo per vera crisi!

    Il prossimo inverno o al più tardi la prossima primavera, lo Stato Italiano sarà impossibilitato a pagare tutti quei soldi che dovrà per la cassa integrazione, ed a quel punto smetterà di pagare, con la conseguente rivolta di tutti quei lavoratori che non avranno più un euro per sostenere la propria famiglia.

    A questo punto ci sarà una guerra civile che sfocerà in una dittatura!

    Vi sembrerà uno scenario fantascientifico, ma fra circa un anno mi darete ragione.

    Perciò chi può se ne vada dall’Italia il più in fretta possibile, io grazie ad un passaporto americano che mi sono tenuto ben stretto a febbraio tornerò a vivere negli USA.

    Per coloro i quali resteranno mi spiace solo per loro e per le loro famiglie!

  37. nancy July 3, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    so many great tips!

    mine is: carry tissues–while you may find a bathroom you can use, it may not have toilet paper. and don’t be put off by the vast number of toilets which, for reasons i’ve yet to ascertain, are missing their seats…..

  38. Dom July 12, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Try a refreshing alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage from Il lemoncocco di Roma, piazza buenos aires, viale regina margherita. Enjoy it at dusk.

  39. april dunleavy July 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    On our last trip I finally bought a bus map and planned each trip around the city like a military campaign. We like to stay in the Campo dei Fiore/Piazza Navona area, so the Metro isn’t convenient, no stops nearby. We HAD to use the bus to get to the Borghese Museum, just too far to walk. It took me a while to figure out the bus map and bus schedule in the little book I book at the newsstand, but it was worth it.

    Be aware that you buy daily bus tickets at Tabac stores and newsstands, but if you want a longer pass, like a 7-day one, I was told you have to go to one of the big stations, like Termini.

    We love the little buses that can get down streets the big accordion buses can’t. You see the city and its people (the oft-mentioned “real Romans”) on buses and trams. Buses also taught us patience and how to strike up conversations with people standing on line or sitting next to us when traffic gets slow.You watch the little TVs hanging from the ceiling and might sit with a group of nuns on the way to the Vatican.

    A word about “lines.” When the bus pulls up, don’t necessarily expect everybody to stay in that formation and order entering the bus.

  40. april dunleavy July 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Olivia, thank you for reminding me about weighing the fruit and putting the sticker with the weight/price on the bag if you buy at a grocery store. I couldn’t figure it out and really annoyed the cashier. (Cashiers seem to sit down in grocery stores and supermarkets in Italy [not just Rome], unlike in the USA, where they seem to always be required to stand.)

    Corollary-bring your own bags for grocery shopping or you will be charged for a new plastic one.

    And always say buon giorno and arrevederci when entering and leaving a shop, even if the shopkeeper doesn’t respond. It’s the polite thing to do I’ve been told.

  41. Alessio October 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Hello, seats of wc are usually missing because men pee by standing in feet, so they get the seats dirty and wet. It’s not rare to see sign above wc with written “Please don’t get seats dirty for the sake of cleaning workers”.

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