Dudes with Handbags

My first impressions of Italy? Obviously if your watch costs less than 1000 Euro you really shouldn’t wear it in public. Also, it doesn’t matter that it is winter, perpetually cloudy & usually night time. Sunglasses (often Gucci ones or the like) are to be worn on the head at all times! Oh, and the YSL shoulder bags. Don’t ever think they are just for women!
Venice is a very fashion concious place. Every hair is in place, the make up is immaculately done shoes are only made out of leather & fur never went out of fashion! It was into this image obsessed little world that I arrived late on the evening of December 1st. I had been wearing my clothes for 24 hours straight, there was not a straight crease amongst all of them & there were even more creases under my tired eyes.
I surprised myself by making it to my hostel with only one small wrong turn. THis would in fact be the only time during my stay in Venice that I managed to walk anywhere without wrong turns. Twisty streets are confusing enough, but the real killer in this city is that you can be going in the right direction & still end up with a rio (little river) blocking your way, or as was the case on several occasions, the grand canal!
Most of the time I just walked around the city, passed 1000 glass stores, 5000 sunglass stores & 10,000 somalians selling knock-off handbags in the streets. I did see some of the sights though. In particular, I enjoyed the Peggy Guggenheim museum of modern art. I have worked out that I understand Picasso, quite enjoy Kandinsky and hate Pollock with a passion! I also got to see inside San Marco Basilica & walk around a thousand fascinating objects.
During my stay in the hostel, I met a South African guy called Matt. We got on straight away, spending 4 hours talking about Metal music, Literature, Star Wars (Phil, he has a Bobba Fett Tattoo!) and his returning to his Mormon faith. We hung out a fair bit, toured the city at night, which usually involved playing the left-right game (you have to walk straight until on person says either left of right. You then walk straight down that street until the other person says left or right. This continues till you hit a dead end then you start again!). One night we went out for a beer. One stein of Lager & one pint of (flat) coke cost 17 Euro!!! Basically we got ripped off & I was too shocked/buzzed/nice to complain.
FInally yesterday we took a rour of Murano, Burano & some other island whose name escapes me. Murano is the home of the worlds most famous (and expensive )glass makers. I watched an Australian girl inquire about a vase that she liked, worrying that it would probably like 500 Euro & out of her league. Instead it was 2790 Euro!!!! To make matters worse, they wouldn’t let us take pictures of any of the awesome glassworks.
Burano was a fascinating little island full of lace makers & strangely coloured buildings. Rest assured, you will see pictures of this when I get back to my computer!
After hanging out at the hostel & cooking up an impressive pasta feast, Matt walked me to the Vaparetto & I caught a boat up to the train station where I caught an overnight train to Nice! I have surprised everyone including myself by adding a trip to France to my itinerary. It should also include Lyon and Dijion if I get the chance.
Well that is the basics of my story. It is 11:29 in the am & I have only just arrived here in Nice, so it is time to see some of the city before I crash from sleep Deprivation…


3 thoughts on “Dudes with Handbags

  1. Tim, it all sounds fun! I have never been to Venice, you don’t really mention if you found it beautiful? It is supposed to be one of the worlds most beautiful cities. Keep us up-to-date with your travels… miss you heaps.

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