When I “travel”… can it be defined “travel” even if I just visit my own region? Mmmmm: Yes, I think so. You know, you can also travel “col pensiero” (with your thoughts), thing that I often do, so I allow myself to use this expression. So, when I travel, even during a short trip to Venice, one of the things I like most is the “contorno”, the “side dish” of the experience. Or better the seasoning 😉
- The destination is the most important aspect, like the main course.
- The side dish/seasoning are all the quirk things that happen to you while you’re away: meeting someone who helps you finding the right address, seeing a bizarre animal or a bizarre person, joining a folkloristic feast.
- The dessert should be the emotions you feel: a superb view that melts your heart, being next to an important person while looking at it.
During my last trip to Venice many odd or nice things happened. And I’m glad. Cause they were the perfect seasoning for my trip.
Trip to Venice anecdotes:
At the Padova train station. I was buying the regional ticket at the automatic pay station when I noticed a young couple at the next pay station. They seemed so young and nice. I thought: Poor things, maybe they ignore they have to validate the tickets before taking the train. I’ll warn them. But then I thought: No, maybe they already know, I don’t want to make a bad impression. I’ll leave them alone. I validated my ticket and reached platform 3. When I entered the train I chose a seat… and they were right next to me.
The ticket inspector was a little farther, arguing with two other men. I couldn’t hear a thing but they were quite “overheat”. So I looked at the couple and said: “This normally doesn’t happen”. True. It was my second ticket inspector argue in years (the firs time was in Mantua. A lad had not purchased the bike ticket and it ended up with the lad running away with the bike). They laughed and so they took a chance to ask me where they could validate the ticket. Ecco, lo sapevo! That’s it, I knew it! So I explained to them they should have done it already.
The only chance was to call immediately the inspector to validate them. Then I told them: I’ll do it. So I did, even if the inspector was still “talking” with the two men. It was embarrassing, I didn’t want to interrupt, but I was afraid for the nice couple. I wouldn’t have liked them to be fined. Everything went well. The inspector validated the tickets and told me I did the right thing by talking to him immediately. He explained that he was fining the two men (he call them i miei compaesani, my fellow countrymen: they were all Sicilian) precisely because they had not validated the tickets and had not told him right away.
Beware: you must not wait for the inspector to come at your seat. You enter the train and you must look out for him immediately and tell him that you forgot to validate. Of course, the best thing is to validate it at the train station. You must insert the ticket (towards the left) in one of those strange oval green and grey things you can spot here and there (see the photo).
- I was sitting in the vaporetto when a couple sat beside me. I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. They were British judging from the accent. Since British accent is very difficult for me to understand, I haven’t grasp every word. But I understood that the girl had forgotten a bag somewhere. I don’t know if they could not go back to search for it or if they already did without finding anything. She was visibly upset, repeating “How could I be so stupid?” and the boyfriend started to tell her: “Don’t let this stress you out, OK? There was just a little money. It is not so important. And there was no documents. So it is not a big deal. Don’t let this stress you out” She remained silent. “Such a pity” continued him “for the olive oil bottles. All that delicious oil! But don’t let this stress you out”. I noticed her starting to stress out. “I mean, we’re here, it’s beautiful. That oil though! But don’t let this stress you out.” BASTAAAAAAAAA! STOOOOOOOOP IT! I swear, he was repeating this phrase on and on, but, instead of changing subject he was constantly hitting the nail on the head! I was thinking: “If he’s gonna say it another time I’ll tell him to stop because he is really not helping the poor girl plus I AM stressing out too because of him!”
When I returned to the Santa Lucia train station, I was hungry. It was merenda time. So I decided to treat me with a gelato (dark chocolate and raspberry, fyi). I was trying to put the wallet back in the purse when the ice-cream girl gave me the cone. I took it but then I wasn’t able to zip my purse. I sighed: “Aiuto, come faccio?” (Help, how can I manage?). A young girl next to me heard me and told me: “Ti aiuto io” (I help you) and she zipped my purse for me, smiling. I felt like a child being dressed. It was nice. It was not the first time for me though (as an adult). Since I have a bad relationship with zippers, I often get stuck into my jackets and sweatshirts. So my husband had to come to my rescue many times!
- On the train back home, when the ticket inspector (not the same of the outward voyage) arrived, he fined a foreign boy who had not validated the ticket. He fell from the sky because he had no idea. I was sorry cause I had not the chance to help this time. I couldn’t know. But this event made me more convinced to write something about the ticket validation on the blog in order to help who’s not aware of this rule. So: remember to validate your regional train tickets (not those bought online) before getting on the train.
- I got on the train with my gelato and a little girl (around 8) spotted me. Normally, when it happens (it happens a lot, I love gelato), kids stare at my ice cream with a terrible look and I feel super guilty. Sometimes they start complaining with their parents because they want gelato too. This girl simply uttered: “Che fortunata!” (How lucky she is!). A few minutes later her nonna (grandmother) called the girl’s mother on the mobile to tell her they were returning home (Bologna). She then put the niece on. And she: “Ciao mamma. Si, mi sono divertita. Abbiamo camminato un sacco. Abbiamo fatto tanti ponti con tantissimi gradini!” (Yes, I had fun. We walked so much! We walked up many bridges with many many steps!) All the passengers sitting nearby laughed, knowing exactly what she meant (Venice is full of bridges and you always end up walking a lot). “Mamma, put the aunt on. Ciao zia, how are you? Zia, we bought you a present, it is a…” (I didn’t hear) and the grandmother: “Sssst. Don’t say it!” And the girl: “Don’t worry, nonna! She told me she likes it!” Everybody was laughing again. How cute are little girls!
What about you? Do you have any funny or odd anecdotes to share about your trip to Venice or other travels?