March 3rd - March 10th 2010
Swinging through Madrid on my way to Venice I met with Ariyana, a Peruvian-American screenwriter to discuss some ideas for scripts that she was working on, to see if any could stand up on the stage. We wound up talking until the bar threw us out, and continued talking in her house. She was kind enough to let me crash on her couch which was nice, this time I took her up on it.
Learning to say yes. Yes.
There was a bit of awkwardness (that’s a word? Really? English is so weird) because none of her friends knew that I was staying the night, I mean it just sort of happened.
I tried to creep out early in the morning, but… you see a common thing in Spain is that doors lock from both sides.
Fortunately Ariyana woke up before most anyone else did, and let me out without any crazy incidents like you’d expect to see Rowan Atkinson involved with.
After my smooth escape I decided to finally get my damn pictures.
I did. They are awesome. See below.
And! I wasn’t even close to mugged.
So that’s a good story.
These are 14 statues in the big park where the Fountain of the fallen angel is, and the videogamer inside me wonders why there are about 11 scrolls (1 hidden in a shield), 6 stands with wreaths, and a missing statue...
How many times have I been in Madrid now, 4? 5?
I’m bad at trains.
Flipped through Pisa and bought my train ticket, I had to make a transition so it gave me two tickets. I was looking for my departure time and found it to be 11:00. It was 8:00.
Cool I’ve got time to go eat some pasta.
After pasta and goofing about, around 9:40 or so I realize that my ticket is not departing from Pisa at 11:00pm, it departs from the other station then. I bust pants to get the next train, and wound up buying another ticket in Florence.
Another night in Florence! Whooo. But it was Friday before carnival so it must have been awesome and alive right?
Italians do not party like Spaniards. Ever. It seems.
9 hours behind schedule my train pulls into Venice.
It’s breath taking.
Like I walked in, and a man at a toll desk, stopped me, reached into my throat, and pulled out all my breath.
I think this is the first time in my life I have not been let down at all by arriving to one of those ‘magical cities.’
Venice was everything I was hoping for and more.
I could gush for hours, but let’s skip that, I’ll post like a bajillion photos and share some stories.
I didn’t check out many of the Venetian isles, but Murano was pretty tight.
See they have a glass factory or something there, check Wikipedia if you want a history lesson, I’m here for the travel experiences. Some of the glass things here were amazing!
Gondola, the First.
Second day out and about, or so, I heard there was a 50 cent Gondella ride.
They take you from one side of the Grand Canal to the other, 50 cents.
But! I wasn’t too wealthy in the travel companion department and didn’t want to split an 80 euro gondola ride between me, myself, and Tourette syndrome. So I opted for the 50 cent-ride.
A whole 5 minutes in the crappiest gondola ever, and the gondolier didn’t even wear the silly hat.
Venice, the Show.
So there was a play, with some fantastic advertising, that I decided to go to.
This was an amazing show.
I haven’t seen theatre this good since I left the states.
This was amazing. They had liquid scenery that worked!
They made liquid scenery work!
That is projected move-stuff over theatre stuff!
Do you have any idea how hard it is to please me with that sort of gimmicky shit?
There were so many seamless transitions!
It was a brief history lesson, while remaining very entertaining, and keeping all of the characters very real!
It was also very dell'arte based!
Oh it was fantastic!
It’s a living.
So my outfit wasn’t meant to be Rorschach I just thought dressing up nice with a handkerchief over my face would make for a tight outfit. Still people seemed to like it, and I got a lot of photos snapped of me. Friday night was the big crazy party, not Tuesday like you’d think. But I was sitting in a little window of an old-timey building looking out at the public getting flashes every few seconds.
Feed my ego!
Anyhow I got lost a bunch of times wandering around Venice, so I’d pause, and open my map.
I soon noticed people would be very entertained to see me standing still trying to read my map.
So I went about playing as a Living Statue as I tried to find my way.
Little did many of those people know that I was actually trying to read the damn thing.
Still, it was fun to be a part of the entertainment.
Wandering about (moving) I felt someone grab at my feather (pheasant feather in a fedora I was wearing), I touched it at the brim, and it was still there.
No pasa nada.
Then I felt it again.
Again still there.
Again, this time gone.
I turned around with some idea that there’d be some jerk laughing or something.
A baby had stolen my feather!
The baby’s mother was very entertained, and I have to admit, so was I.
I did take the feather back, gently of course, because what is a baby going to do with a long gross old feather? Put it in its mouth, no doubt. Babies shouldn’t put feathers in their mouths!
I also wanted my feather back.
But I wasn’t mean about it!
Besides, she probably didn’t even have object permanence yet.
So to start the day of sin off (Carnivale means Goodbye Meat, btw) a bunch of us from the hostel decided pancakes were the way to do it.
It being a thing, according to the Aussie who was with us.
After about 15 minutes looking for pancakes we settled on crepes, which are like pancakes anyway.
I ordered the most ridiculous candy-nutella crepe, and gelato to go on top.
But, that wasn’t enough to get my sin on.
I needed an Irish Coffee.
So I asked for one.
The kindly woman behind the counter didn’t know what it was, so I made the mistake of explaining it using American terms.
“It’s coffee with a shot of whiskey.”
I don’t know if you know, but now I do know, that “coffee” in Italy is not like “coffee” in America. Obviously.
Neither is it like “coffee” in Spain.
It is a shot of espresso.
I was given half a shot of espresso and a shot of whiskey in an espresso cup.
What a way to start Carnivale!
After Crepes we decided to split a gondola. It was pretty cool.
Here are some shots of that!
I got very drunk, from a steady buzz I had been working all day.
I also managed to take my pants off and get lost several times.
There were two bottles of champagne, warm sangria, and a group of Italians who taught me the word in Italian for “blow job” telling me it was imperative to share this knowledge with the world. I have, of course, forgotten the word.
I also slept in the next morning, missed my train, then missed my plane by 1 minute, because I hopped a taxi to the wrong airport, and wound up a day later in my bed in Carmen’s house than I had suspected.
Of course, school the next day wasn’t important because I was auditing the only class that I had, and there was a test. What a trip!
So I met some crazy people.
Here are some things about them, and maybe a story or two.
D-Nasty (who I kept calling Dynasty) and Jenkins.
I don’t know their real names, and I’m sure they cannot mine either. Regardless they were quite fun to roll with my first night in town. D-nasty has a fantastic picture of my costume. I wonder if I should ever see it?
She wanted a picture of confetti. I shot a picture of the confetti on the ground.
Now I don’t know what to do with it.
3 Colombian Girls.
I don’t remember too much about them, but I do recall that I may have irritated them with my drunk-Spanish. Which was pretty bad on Tuesday night. Because I was very drunk on Tuesday night…
I don’t think as long as I live that I will ever forget about Rex.
For this reason I will also never feel safe flying in the U.S.A.
He is a pilot. And maybe you don’t need to learn a lot of cultural things, or non-piloty things to be a pilot. But his level of… shall we say… uhm… well to be polite, he wasn’t exactly keen on picking up hints (or women either, no matter how he tried). Yet still he was part of the gondola and crepe crew.
Kevin seemed pretty cool. Pretty laid back, he was part of the gondola and crepe crew. He managed to break his belt somehow when we were out wandering, and had to buy a new one. I got to keep the scrap leather they cut off of it to re-size it for him.
Zach is a very quite sort of loner type young Canadian seeing the world before University. It took some prying but we got, and by “we” I should say “Ellie” got him to roll with us on Tuesday night. I may have peer-pressured him into tasting a cappuccino even though he doesn’t like coffee, but, you can’t go to Italy and not have a cappuccino!
I have no idea how to spell her name, but she’s the Aussie who seemed to know what’s up, having traveled a lot before, and traveling again until the money runs dry. She wasn’t a fan of pink, nor doctors, but she did like pancakes, and talking with our group. She was pretty cool too. She rocked the crepes and gondolas with us as well.
Ah, my American Pee-Buddy. Ellie is a fantastic Smart-kid double major who, to avoid the hostel life, tried using couch-surfing to get a room for the night. It turns out the person who lent her a couch was a hostel owner who lived in his hostel. Late one night we went to the Jewish Ghetto with Rex and Kevin, I had packed some food that was left to me by some of the people from Saturday night, and we found it hilarious when Ellie (who is Jewish) was eating stale bread in the Jewish Quarter. There was also the baby sangria we shared, you see it was half mine and half hers, making it our baby. It was funnier and more clever when I was drunk. But you see, the thing was that before I really knew Ellie to well, we were dedicated pee-buddies. Sunday, or perhaps Monday night, we were at a club, I think, and there was an emergency, as there is want to be when alcohol is imbibed. We darted down an ally-way, and found a secure place. She took care of her business, and I set about to distracting passers-by by peeing in the Grand Canal.
Anyhow, here’s some pictures for all of ya’ll!
All in all it was a wild and fantastic trip.
Of course there were a bazillion more photos than posted here, so go check my facebook!
So, below you will find a giant photo-dump, some have captions, some no.
They are horribly out of order.
These are simply a few of 829 photos that I kept from the trip.
It was amazing!
50 euro cent gondola!
Of course, I couldn't take any photos after that obviously looks like a priest guy stabbed me and killed me.
Don't worry, I got better!