Saturday, June 10, 2006

Back from Venice

I have been in Venice all week, or what I now think of as George Romero's Land of the Dead. Venice is very beautiful but because of this it attracts too many tourists, a high proportion being very old people (the wealthy "Grey Perspectives" from the Mosaic Social Categorisation scheme) who have trouble walking. There are a lot of very narrow streets, filled with tourist shops (fans, masks and glassware seem to be the key bits of tat that you can buy in Venice. As a result, the simple act of walking from one place to the next takes three times as long as it normally does because you are forced into a never-ending queue of zombiefied pensioners who like to browse and often get confused about where they are supposed to be and simply stop dead in their tracks. There are no cars and few trees in Venice. We were staying in a hotel which overlooked St Marks Square - the ultimate tourist locus - full of men selling roses, expensive cafes (20 Euros for a pot of tea), each with its own live outdoor mini-orchestra, playing a selection of cheesy tunes (Moon River is a favourite), pigeons, people selling pigeon food and tourists feeding pigeons and then shrieking in fear/delight as the pigeons crawl all over them. Venice also has mosquitos. Our hotel room had white walls, which on further inspection were covered in little dark red stains. We didn't realise why at first, until after the first night when we woke up to realise our room was some sort of HQ for mosquitos. I don't get bitten very much and my body doesn't react when I am bitten, but my poor fella must have no resistance at all (Irish stock) so each bite swells huge, red and angry, like he's been hit with a hammer in a Tom and Jerry film. So he spent every night running round, swatting mosquitos with a towel, and contributing to many more dark red stains on the walls. Our bedroom became a war zone.

Although we were only away for four nights, I have really missed the UK, especially tv. I don't really trust or believe people who say they never watch tv. However, because of the lack of tv in the rooom (there was one but I couldn't get it to work), I read three books instead. Auggesten Burroughs' "Magical Thinking" (he's always a safe option), "Blink" (a very "airport" book about how we make snap decisions) and "Londonstani", which is about this gang of Asian lads and is written in gangsta/semi-mobile phone speak with lots of "innits". By the end of the book I was actually thinking in the same way that the book was written, "I is tired now"... etc. It has a twist at the end which is probably very obvious to everyone but I never get twists so am always delightfully surprised (I am an author's dream reader). I now wish I was in one of those middle-class book clubs so that I could talk to some other people about how much I enjoyed the book.


DazPaz said...
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DazPaz said...

I too believe that people who don't own televisions are somewhat suspect - what exactly are they doing with their time whilst the rest of us are watching NIkki on BB live streaming?