Dear Travel-esque diary,
The travel log thus far goes like this: Rome, Florence, Venice, Bolzano & now Innsbruck. Which I think is in Austria – I think. I made the mistake of calling it Germany which received frowns and pursed lips ( I really should have paid more attention in year 11 & 12 Geography class rather than enrolling because of the 2 night trip to the beach)…
The language in this part of the world is harder to pick up than the handful of words and phrases I learn’t in Italy. But on the bright side, German is easier to understand when it comes to restaurant menu’s and train schedules ect. Which is a a relief. After this experience I have a newfound appreciation/respect for foreigners travelling to my country.
It’s exhausting. And seriously frustrating at times. Nothing is simple. You can’t just walk outside and pop in to the closest cafe and order a salad. Easy you’d think. Wrong – trust me, I tried. I ordered what I thought was a “salad with fish”, as that’s how the lady who spoke minimal english described it and that’s how the words translated using my handy google app. But I realised there was a slight miscommunication when I was served, literally, a fish salad. A whole bowl of dead sea creatures. Not a lettuce leaf in sight. So that was fun.
So far I’ve been really slack with the writing and blogging. But my days are so jam packed that it’s hard to find the time.
Since I said goodbye or “Arrivederci” ( yep that sounded as wankerish in words as it did in my head), to Italy this morning I wanted to share a few tips and “observations” about this beautiful place .
– yes I went and saw all the standard tourist destinations and world wonders (examples below):
But some here are some things no one tells you – or at least told me:
1. Italians aren’t exactly friendly – they aren’t out right rude but no one smiles. Seriously, no one.
2. The water tastes weird – in Europe there is something about the water. It just doesn’t taste right.
3. No one is making friends with Salad – salad doesn’t exist on the menu. The menu 99% pizza and pasta. A lot of meat and carbs. I tried a vegetarian pizza with Eggplant and Zucchini. The pizza may look lacking in flavour but it soooo isn’t. It tastes 100% different to any pizza you get in Australia. I don’t even like pizza but the thin crusts are beautiful.
4. The ‘Spirit’ racism. Italians don’t drink spirits aka vodka. They look at your weird when you ask for a vodka. I ordered a vodka and orange juice and got the same facial expression as if I’d ordered a plate of their poo.
5. It’s on par with the facial features you receive when you try to order a skim capuchino for that matter. Skim milk is an no. Full cream only (in majority of places)
6. Do not try to try to drive in Europe if you are used to driving in Australia – at least not if it’s a relaxing holiday you are after. (To us) Europeans are some crazy drivers. I honestly don’t know how they don’t crash several times a day. I guess it’s a crazy, seemingly unorganised system which they all seem to know.
7. On the canals of Venice you can now take motorised gondolas.
8. DON’T USE A SELFIE STICK – while the cobblestone streets of Italy are gorgeous to walk down, your phone screen won’t appreciate falling out of a selfie stick and onto them….
9. Another food observation – pasta tastes nothing like you’re used to. Nothing. Italians don’t cook their pasta as tender as we do, so it’ll be a little harder and probably feel undercooked. It’s not. So don’t worry you aren’t getting a crappy meal, it’s just the way Italian’s do it.
10. When it comes to being money-savvy beware that the majority of the time there is a 10% (or more) surcharge wherever you eat . The reason behind the surcharge is because of the “table service” you are receiving.
11. Don’t try to get artsy with photos – you’ll fail.