Tag Archives: Venice

Keepin it, uh, real… like I do

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Just thought that people should know the combination of lyrical geniuses that are currently invading my psyche. I promise the juxtaposition is at least odd if not funny. I credit two rather distinctive friends for confusing my listening habits.

Oh and another thing.

I still need ten more pounds for Oxfam to reach my goal. And that half marathon is one week from tomorrow. So click here and support an excellent cause. K great thanks.

For your trouble, here’s a picture of me running up a bridge in Venice: (I promise that I don’t generally flail my arms out quite so much)

RUNNING!

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And then Venice to Milan

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In Venice, I found something fitting for my sister and Mom and Dad, but I’m not telling what because they read this, too. I also found myself shawls and something fun for New Year’s celebrations. Mom, I’m totally supporting the Italian economy.

Before leaving Venice, Justiss and i were doing some of the final shopping and eating and photo-taking rounds, and as we walked down the street by one of the canals, we came across Tom and Catherine, which seems unlikely because they were probably the only other people we would know in Venice. We drank wine with them while they had a sumptuous waterside lunch (gnocchi and squid and polenta) and we laughed about the errors in cross-cultural language usage. I learned, for example, that spunk means jizz in British English (good to know). Fanny to Brits is like pussy to Americans (also important information).

When it was time to go, we speed walked from our hostel to the train station and then meandered over the massive beautiful bridge near it to get licorice for Justiss – a rope of licorice, to be precise – and then we entered the train station half an hour early. At this point we wanted to know whether we needed anything other than our Internet confirmation of having bought tickets, and so we tried to wait in various lines before someone finally muddle through to my mixed up English and Spanish that, no, of course we didn’t need anything else. Aha.

So we got on our train. And no one checked our tickets, which is apparently standard for Italy, as you’ll soon see.

We realized we were arriving later than we’d thought, and the station was huge and gorgeous – like Grand Central but with more floors and weird ramp-like escalators between mini-floors. We tried to find out where to get bus tickets, but information was scarce and despite the fact that it was only around 9 pm, everything was closed or closing.

So we wandered aimlessly, tried to ask a couple official-looking folks what the deal was, but then a tobacco woman yelled at us and I started to become somewhat panicked. This, for me, means becoming desperate enough to start asking random people if they speak Spanish or English and can help the rather pathetic American girls. Fortunately, I chose well and asked an older business man with rather slow but well-pronounced English what we should do. He recognized the seriousness of our plight immediately and marched around the first floor of the train station looking for possible ticketing locations before asking a police officer to help (we hadn’t found any police officers, so already we knew he was our lucky catch). In the meantime, we had now spent half an hour there in the train station and were becoming slightly concerned because the police officer did not recognize our hostel’s street and we had only one hour until we had to check in or… Else.

The sweet older man considered what the police officer was saying, shook his head, then nodded it and told us politely to come with him. I tried to say something else about the bus, but he held up one finger and said ‘shh.’

He took a taxi with us, insisted on paying and did not even tell us his name. He told us that his wife speaks four languages because she is an interpreter, and he apologized for his English (like we weren’t the ones in a foreign country).

When we came safely to our hostel, the redheaded Italian man at the front desk informed us that if you can’t find the tickets, it’s ‘their’ fault and we should have just got on the bus.

“You took a taxi?” he said, and shook his head. I tried to explain then that we had been fortunate and actually didn’t end up paying anyway. He snorted.

“You are women.”

Taking Venice by Food

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Good morning coffee and cereal and cheese

Pizza with green olives

Creamy canoli

Latte macchiatto

More canoli and something flaky and a tiny cookie for coffee

And pasta, with garlic

Yum

Goodnight Venezia

Also, I bought two rings and we took 300 pictures, like actually. Tomorrow morning we will see the plaza of San Marco and it will be awesome.

Trip from London to Venice

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Or, the Trip from Central London to Stansted Airport:

Justice and I began our respective trips to the Baker Street Tube station at around 6:45 am under the assumption that the EasyBus stop that was supposed to be near Baker Street would indeed be readily apparent. I should mention here that we had bought but had yet to print the tickets for the bus scheduled to depart at 8 am from said stop, which was, of course, not actually readily apparent. Therefore we ran around the area frantically, asking people for any guidance at all. Londoners are not known necessarily for being the friendliest, but I’ll have you know, two out of the ten people we asked for help did know what they were talking about and were willing to share that information with us.

Unfortunately, our panic required us to find two knowledgeable people, instead of only one, because we were so panicked that we were incapable of listening well to the first set of good directions.

Maybe I should reiterate that we still hadn’t printed the tickets when we finally found the EasyBus stop at precisely 8 am. Also, I had yet to print my boarding pass, and it was a priority because apparently Ryan Air charges 40 quid to print boarding passes at the airport. So when we discovered the bus stop, we were thrilled but we did not have time to celebrate our victory.

Immediately, I ran across the street to a posh-looking apartment complex where a friendly concierge informed me that their printer and fax were not working. However, he added, there was an Internet cafe around the corner with printing facilities. I was willing to kiss him but I didn’t have time, so I just said thank you instead and raced back across the street to deposit my roller bag with Justiss. I told her that if the bus came she should get on it, which elicited a look of terror. She said that she would call me if the situation came to that.

I then made a sprint for the Internet cafe, where I found myself facing a truly nonplussed man who informed me that it would be one pound for half an hour and 20 p for each copy. I nodded profusely even though I hadn’t really understood what he said and sat down at a computer to sweat my way into gmail, print, pay and race back. I found I understood what he’d been saying when it came time to pay – oh the wonders of the brain.

On the way back, I discovered that my shoes have little to no traction and are nearly useless on wet cement as it induces them to slide about in a disturbing and unpredictable way.

By the time I returned to Justiss, it had become clear that we had missed the 8 am EasyBus. We knew that another was scheduled for 8:20, though, and so we waited nervously in hopes that we would not be charged a second time or discover that the bus was full.

We were, in fact, allowed onto the second bus, where we were both so bamboozled by the experience that we mostly giggled to each other and then crossed our fingers that the giggling wouldn’t jinx us.

We also talked about food because neither of us had managed to eat.

I finished this blog post on the Tarmac in Venice, where Justiss and I agreed that getting to Stansted isn’t so bad. We really don’t see why so many people complain.