An ode to Italy, two years later...

Saturday, May 26, 2018

I have the habit of writing about things after the fact, or never at all - because sometimes never is better than after, right?


Well in this case, I'm a year late and this is about Italy.  Italy is a place where people speak Italian and only eat pizza and pasta, and they eat pizza and pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  When I was there I asked them why they only eat pizza and pasta, and they all just STARED at me and said "pizza pasta pizza pasta pizza pasta" like they were some sort of robots or something.  They wouldn't say anything else at all, it was incredibly disturbing and I felt so out of place.  Anyway, when I was returned to my charging station later I thought about it some more and realised that maybe they were just sending me a sign - one that I need to figure out still.

^ this is a short story I'm working on, where the main character does not know she's a robot and travels around the world short-circuiting or something.  That was the entire story right up there.

Moving January of 2016 I was discussing some things with my international pals (we met via our love for a band, but our love for eachother is eternal)[<--that was deep] and they mentioned how they were going to Italy for a week in March to see the sights and go to a concert.  I was all like "omg pls can I come too guys omg" and they were like "omg yes pls come 2 lol!!"

I feel like when you're an unmarried, unchildrened(?) adult  then the thing you should do is fly to Europe for the first time in your life and meet a bunch of girls you've never seen in person, because WHY NOT.

thanks, Hilary!!!

In the wise words of the Great Hilary Duff:

In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room
In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room
All the birds sing words and the flowers croon
In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room

Think about THAT next time you cross the street without looking both ways.  Just saying.

Here's what went down.

I flew into Milan and was really quite surprised by the fact that I walked off the plane, a man in a booth glanced at me briefly before waving me on, and all of a sudden I was in a parking lot outside.  I've never experienced such a quick-release from an airport before.  It was like when you look down and there's a spider sitting on your hand and your arm shoots out so fast that the spider is like "holy shit bro" while it flies through the air onto your pillow, and you wind up knocking over your wine glass.  That's never happened to me, but I imagine it has happened to thousands of others - probably daily.

On that first day, I was due to meet one of the International Pals...let's call her Hat.  Hat was flying in from Greece and she arrived holding a tray of souvlaki!!  It was amazing.  I lied about the souvlaki.  We did however embrace in the lobby of our hotel, while hotel staff looked on and I felt awkward as I usually do in a hugging-type situation, but it's all good.  Hat and I gathered ourselves and hopped on the streetcar to head into downtown Milan.

If you've never been to downtown Milan (no idea if you're supposed to refer to it as 'downtown Milan', but YOLO), then you should go there because then you can say you've been to downtown Milan.  It's really nice and there's a large cathedral thinger with a big square, and....


That's right folks, Hat and I were hungry and decided that we need to find food stat...that's when we looked up and saw the golden arches of heaven.  That's right again folks, our first meal in Italy was at McDonald's.  And it was grand.

Much exploring was done that day.  I don't even remember where we ate dinner...Hat, if you're reading this - please advise?

Here is a photograph of a lovely thing we saw aka a cathedral or something:

Is this some sort of joke -  who left this beautiful building here?  Remove it at once!

The next morning, we were joined by two more International Pals: Let's call them Hessie from Sweden and Bat from England.  Later on that evening we were joined by Farrah from Italy.   And Palvina from Sweden.  We were so international that someone ran up to us and asked to write an Encyclopedia quoting only stuff from our lives.  My chapter is all about puppies and has alot of drawings of people with thick eyebrows and essays about robots.

Day #3 was a write-off in terms of being tourists and exploring Milan...for this was concert day.  I feel like the best course of action is to just place this here and leave well enough alone, and leave it a mystery as to what went down that day.

Just know that we waited in line, ran past security guards to get to the barrier, threw things at the stage (by 'things' I mean gently handing a rolled up bristol board to someone) and generally acted like imbeciles.  Maybe it's best to just share photos and not explain anything.  Remember: life's mysteries are like years gone by - they have nothing to do with eachother.

This person is known as Olly Alexander, sent from heaven above wearing pants from I don't know where but look, pants!

Traveled to Italy and all I came back with was this signed setlist from half the band.  Also lots of chocolate and magnets. 

I will tell you though, there's something to be said about seeing a band you love while in a foreign country for the first time, while it's also that band's first time there.  I was gazing up at the stage with a look of wonder in my eyes - mostly because I saw a real ghost lurking behind a curtain, but apart from that it was because I was thinking "wow, I'm in Italy how did I get here.  What moments in my life led to THIS moment?  Is this the defining moment of my life?  Is it all downhill from here? How do I go home back to my regular life, now?"
(Or maybe I was just thinking I was pretty hungry).

For some reason there was a man in our hotel lobby sitting quietly by himself and wearing a giant bunny head.  I just felt the need to mention that here.

On Day #4, we were on the move - to Perugia.  Never heard of Perugia?  YES YOU HAVE.  It's where those chocolates come from...the ones with the excellently translated love notes inside.  Stuff like:

"her heart was in my hands and left a mess"
"my love for you lasts a lifetime like a warranty"

I'm talking about Baci chocolates, guys!!  After staying at Farrah's home overnight (where she had many cute animals for us to play with), we went into town the next day and to the Perugina store and bought some chocolate. Don't be TOO jealous, for you can achieve the same chocolate right here - in Canada!  It's true ;)

Where the magic happens - and by magic I mean you can buy chocolate here at tourist prices while a man stands outside and gazes fondly at whatever
Probably the best photo I took in Italy, possibly the best photo anyone has taken ever.  Fight me.

Anyway, we did some staring at things, left Farrah at a train station, and made our way to Rome.


Whoa!  Rome!  I still can't believe I was in Rome.  I feel like I never go anywhere.  Except for those times I went places, I really don't go anywhere.  Not like some people who go places all the time.  What's it like going places all the time?  I'll never know.

I'll try not to bore you to tears more than I already have, so I'll compress our Rome extravaganza into a small series of photos.  Basically, we did sight-seeing and saw the things you're supposed to see in Rome.

Coliseum - check
Pantheon - check
Roman Forum - check
Palatine Hill - check
Vatican - check
Trevi Fountain - check
St. Peter's Basilica - check
Sistine Chapel - check
Spanish Steps under construction - check

It's very easy to see all these things, so I won't even bother rating them because a)nobody reads this blog and b)just see for yourself?  Geez.

Blah blah blah.  Look, it was really cool staring at stuff that was like, four billion years old but I can look at old stuff by going to the Loblaws on Queens Quay.  That was an expiry-date burn.  Because all their food is expired.  Loblaws burn.  LOBLAWS I BURNED YOU, PAY ATTENTION TO ME.

A highlight of my time in Rome was when Bat and I went into various museums and face-swapped with statues and paintings.  If you're mature like us, I highly recommend doing this and attempting not to pee yourself laughing while also maintaining utter silence as to not get scolded by the nearest employee.

Also, eating gelato and drinking cappuccino at every possible moment like a true tourist was a wonderful, delicious highlight.

Anyway, that was my incredibly in-depth review of Italy.  I saw the entire country in less than a week!  Can you imagine?  I had to travel through several wormholes and pretend 90% of the country doesn't exist in order to make that statement, but it was worth it.

I can't believe it only took me two years to post this!  What a complete and utter failure.  Can't wait to post my blog-post from my November 2017 trip to London in 2025.


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