Trawl La Spezia’s Friday clothing markets – malls of stalls heaving fluorescent jewelry, bikinis, Nonna house coats in 70 shades of blue, Nonno singlets in 50 shades of white, enough cork platforms to stopper Europe’s entire wine harvest, cheap perfume and rhinestone ‘I heart Italy’ tee-shirts (curse at wasted fare, console with large glass of wine)


Admire deftness with which Nigerian hawkers foist their cachet of designer knock off bags into sheets and turn to shadow within the whiff of a cop (and the styles were all so last year)

Puzzle over chappy cycling by with a plastic shopping bag knotted on four corners over his head (alfalfa sprouts cheaper than hair plugs?)

Laugh at supermarket lady going sparko over exploded coke bottle (whole shop sprayed a pleasant golden brown, matches her tan)

Cringe when same screams ‘Peach you NOT squeeze!’ ‘Get OFF the banana!’ as a hapless Swede attempts to buy a fruit snack (mass exodus of terrified tourists)

Perfect mantra while puffing up countless steps to cemetery for super photo moment (‘buns of steel, burn pasta carb, buns of steel, burn…’)

20130813-183458.jpgSip ‘Aperol Spritz’ (Prosecco, Aperol, soda water), appears de rigueur, tastes like Campari (gak!) and settle in to admire sunset (and hoover complementary chips and focacia cubes, cheap nosh)

Marvel at the volume of cats under the restaurant chairs (good thing they’re not rockers) waiting for the chips to fall (haa haa)

Hear a beat, explore, get swallowed by a thumping, smoke shrouded, strobe splattered dance party squeezed between the rocky outcrops of the harbor forecourt (say what?)

Gasp at volume of black eye patches (a load of lost eyeballs for such a small village?) learn it’s a Pirate theme (someone forgot to send the memo)



20130813-183626.jpgStare (discreetly) at skinny brown women usually found standing in doorways smoking, tittering and yapping Chow! Chow! into their mobile phones (until tourists waving money lure them back to their shops), now teetering on tall cork platforms, sporting black on black body cons, blond bouffants and enormous fluorescent chandelier earrings (Er? Fashion police, we have a ‘situation’)

Observe Nonna’s on the benches eating ice cream, old chaps throwing back Nastros and Peronis (not one of ’em pinch my bum, what is that?) and kids trying to set fire to a boat (candles lining the street prove irresistible)

20130813-183518.jpgPonder the fire twirler’s choice of music…a song about Monday when it’s Friday (who cares?) Brain explosion.


Hear the beat ratchet up a notch, hear Romeo calling ‘Where for art thou Jane? Thou hath warmed the bed for thee!’ (yeah right). It’s 3am and I have 4 hours to cram a sleep before the 7am bells start clamoring again. Twice! Right outside my window (bloody Village alarm clock)

Just another day…


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