An actual live blog post, as blog posts should be
September 10, 2007
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This was originally intended to be a witty and insightful (well, OK, no more than usual – so, not much then) post about the joys or otherwise of Italy and getting on the wrong bus in a strange town when you have no map (look, the bus had the right number on the side and I didn’t see the front, but god knows where it was really going) and ending up totally the wrong end of town and being harrassed by some vagrant with rotting front teeth; but I just checked my email to find a message from my parents saying they’ve flown back to Leeds because my uncle, who is in the middle of having major treatment for lymphoma, developed an infection and has been in intensive care… they say he’s "turned the corner" and they’ve only gone home to help out my aunt and cousin, but… my parents have history when it comes to attempting to ‘shield’ me from bad news… I’m probably just being paranoid. See, if they’d called me when my cat got sick so I could come home when he was put down instead of calling me the next day ("you wouldn’t have wanted to see him like that" – ‘YES I FUCKING WOULD, did I not tell you every day for the last fortnight that I would?’) I’d trust them a little more in situations like this…
And I just sent a postcard to my aunt which ends "hope Uncle John’s doing OK". Balls.
So, yes, anyway. I’m in Verona. Which makes the post below one of the shortest quizzes evah. Here are some things I’ve done or learnt, in bullet point form cos the clock is ticking in this internet cafe and I’m not sure I can get my head back together within the alloted time to post in proper prose:
- I remembered a surprising amount of French in Geneva. However, I know fuck all Italian and right now am feeling molto twattish. Especially as I keep slipping into Spanish, and I don’t even speak Spanish.
- Italian train stations have never heard of escalators. This is mighty inconvenient when carrying a suitcase containing half a library.
- Never climb an amphitheatre wearing a skirt. The world becomes your gynaecologist.
- My Lonely Planet declares ‘when walking around Verona, it becomes clear why Shakespeare set Romeo and Juliet here’. Well, yes; it’s beautiful but I really have to point out that’s co-incidental cos he never fucking came here. And all the Americans wandering around looking for ‘Juliet’s house’… it’s all I can do to not grab and each and every one of them and say "you do realise they never bloody existed, right, and that this balcony is actually only about 100 years old?". I refuse to go to any R&J related tourist spots, or eat/shop in any establishment with ‘Guiletta’ in the name. (It’s all about Juliet here. Romeo barely gets a look-in. Maybe it’s the thought of a 13-year old girl getting married then laid that gets them all excited.)
- Even though you sent your bank a message through their messaging system – the first time you ever thought to notify a bank you were going abroad – they will still manage to stop your bank card because they think it’s being used fraudulently. They will be very apologetic when you call them on your pay-as-you-go mobile.
- Geneva during a public holiday is not, I imagine, much different to Geneva any other day of the year. Except the Jet d’Eau isn’t on. This is Will’s photo – don’t know if I missed much.
- READ THIS BOOK.
- Mosaics are ace.
- 25 degrees is the highest temperature I can deal with before I start getting incredibly grumpy.
- I prefer my ice cream maker’s produce to Italy’s gelateria. And it’s not like I’m not giving them all a chance.
- After watching Back to the Future in Italian, I know I can supply all the dialogue in English in my head. Or even out loud, depending on whether there’s anyone else around and how annoying I want to be.
- I can suppress my Ferrari hatred when the situation calls, particularly when that situation is sitting in a bar in Bologna watching the Italian grand prix, surrounded by Italians, and Massa’s car has a spectacular failure and I didn’t laugh. Not out loud, anyway.
- I think my face is burning.
- I want cake.
- That is all for now.