Now that I have successfully published a blog entry I'm entitled to call myself a professional writer. When I introduce myself to new people I say.
"Buongiorno, my name is Benini, I'm a writer."
"Oh yeah, what do you write?"
"Blogs ay? How do you get payed for that?"
"Soooo how long you been travelling for?"
La Spazio (3 week hump)
It's actually called La Spezia pronounced Lee spee cee a, but I call it La Spazio cause its way more funny.
The best thing about the Italian language in my opinion anyway is that, if you sound the word out it more often than not sounds the way it should be. I'm looking at you France. Problem is, you run the risk of looking like a 25 year old man that didn't finish year 2 English in primary.
(Add a stutter for comical effect if you like)
It can also work the opposite way, if you want to speak English but sound Italian you just put a vowel on the end of every word. Like in the case of our tour guide through the colosseum in Rome.
"And herea isa ta placea wherea the fire burna downa the buildings"
Oh well fun times, I did however learn, that they used to flood to lower section of the arena to hold naval battles.
"NAVAL BATTLES!" how f-ing cool is that.
Mark looks at me a says
"The colosseum's arena is not very big?............. Maybe they fought out dinghies."
"Maybe" I shrug my shoulders
So anyway you're all probs thinking what is this 3 week hump?
"Has Ben NOT got his rocks off for 3 weeks" I hear you all snicker
"Maybe they are having a baby?"
"Maybe he really did leave gem at the Santo Stefano di Magna train station with the gypsies"
No, Noooo and I wish
The 3 week hump is what I like to refer to in the terms of travelling. Travelling (I'll get to that word later.) The way I see it is, the longer you are travelling for the older you are.
"So, how long you guys been travelling?"
"This is our first week in" we blush
"Ooooohh you are just little babies, so cute" they reply in that googa gagga voice.
Now that we are three weeks old, we have just moved from sniffling, s*** in your pants and cry to mummy babies. To toddlers that can now walk around on their own two feet but unfortunately still s*** in their pants. The difference in 3 weeks is that, a normal vacation from work eg "holiday" would prob last maximum 3 weeks. In that after three weeks you would return home to your work, rent/bills and normal bowel movements.
When your "travelling" (moves fingers above head to simulate inverted commas), you don't have to work. When you don't have to work it's called holidays right? Excluding pensioners, disability and dole bludgers. So why does everyone over here call it travelling then? Is it cause you can venture to many different locations? You could do that on a holiday? Maybe cause it seems real pretentious and indulgent when you say
"We're on a 6 month holiday"
"Oooooh lar dee dar."
Maybe the only justification is to call it "travelling"
So when you're "travelling" past the 3 week hump you have an epiphany and realise that for;
1. you're not actually going home
2 .that you don't have to go to work anymore and sadly
3. you still don't have normal bowel movements
The last one always creeps up on you when you're in the worst possible situation.
"Mister tour bus leader guy, where's the toilettes?"
"We just have a 5 minute walk to the Funicular (Train/Cable car), then a photo opportunity at the top, a stroll through a 12th century village and up to a beautiful old Basilica (church), where I will orientate everyone."
"[email protected]*k it..... I'm running!"
So three weeks in we are now in La Spazio, we're toddlers, we feel good, we've made friends, we have a sense of new discovery and we haven't been stabbed by gypsies….. yet.
Weeeeeell maybe gemma thought so, when we almost reached our accommodation in Santa Stefano.
The bed and breakfast we are staying at as I write this was basically our only option. Affordable but not very central, oh well it's doable, plus there are no major attractions apart from the views which can be seen at your own pace. Basically, two days and two nights of chilling out and catching up on sleep.
We arrive at the train station drop of/pick up point. Ben and Gem get off, Mark and Liss get on. We exchange pleasantries
"How was the accom?" enquires Gem
"We never made it, we cancelled, its way to far out of town, we overpaid to stay in town, good luck"
Mwah mwah Ciao Bella
Gem and I look at each other
It's a 15 minute train ride out to Santa Stefano. The carriages are eerily quiet and deserted. The platform holds a singular gypsy and I imaginable a tumble weed blow past.
The directions indicate 100m forward 500m to the right, then left 200m till a bridge then its no. 23.
We pass a closed down petrol station, and half-finished apartment block and bum in front of the Italian equivalent of Bunning's.
We walk over the bridge, perspiration now heavily dripping from my forehead and the day pack on my chest causing sweat to pool in my belly button.
"Man wish I had an outty belly button" I ponder as gemma leads the way
An elderly Italian lady approaches us on her scooter, we stop, she stops and she breaks out in Italiano and hand gestures.
"Mamma Mia, this isa spicy meatballs" which was about as close as anything she was trying to say.
She rambles on in Italian and gestures some more. She moves her hands to her head like she is making the sleep signal. Gemma looks extremely worried and confused. I tell gemma to tell her the name of the B&B. The lady then continues with the jibber jabber and lures us to the bridge. She points out a house and makes the house signal with her hands on her head. She continues speaking non-stop Italian and gemma looks even more worried. Then lady then leans in real close. Gemma clutches the iPad tightly to her chest hoping maybe apple mac maybe somehow had an anti-s*** your pants app.
I turn around and see two girls walking up the road.
"Do you speak English?" gem enquires
"Yawh we do"
"Do you know where the Elicrim B&B is?"
Yawh we are staying thar"
I don't think we've ever been so pleased to see Americans, the may have just redeemed themselves.