But even before I arrived in Venice, trying to find it by taking 3 different trains was like living in a parallel universe. The announcements are vague and in italian, and by the time I master the extreme learning curve of figuring out what the fuck train I have to switch to on what the fuck track–I have a freaky, floaty, trippy feeling that makes me panic a little. I know, it sounds like simple train station stuff. If it was any other county, the information would be understandably organized, so when you look at a map, at least you can find the “you are here” box and figure out where the hell that is.
Honestly, I LOVE trains. I love trains so much I take trains to work. I take them all over Los Angeles and I don’t even own a car. But today, leaving Milan, I found myself praying to Saint Hertz to please send me a car. Any car. Just so I could tell the GPS where I’m going and it would tell me exactly how to get there.
In Italy, when you ask a PERSON for directions, the universal reply is, “I don’t know.” No matter how bad their english is, every Italian can say ‘I don’t know”.
But since this is Italy, even a GPS would say “I don’t know” .
Hunting down a public restroom can be more disorienting than finding your train. When you have to pee really bad, It feels like a scavenger hunt on Mars.At the Cadorna station in Milan, I found a ” WC” merged with a hairdresser, Apparently both are of equal of importance. (Either Italians won’t pee without styling thier hair..or they won’t style their hair without peeing) In Padova (en route to Venice) the restroom was barracaded by moving glass wall and a guard who looked like a night club bouncer. You couldnt go through the glass wall without putting;80 euros in the meter, and feeling slightly afraid of the bathroom bouncer. Using the restroom cost almost as much as the cost of the train from Padova to Dolo, where we would be renting a guest room at a stranger’s apartment. Renting people’s extra bedrooms while we travel saves money , so we can have more to spend on cannoli’s and shoes. By this time I’m dizzy and disoriented and seeing liquid freeways, and odd decor. I see ancient stone Palaces where emporers once lived and dudes selling cheesy souvenirs. I see an endless mashup of boats, food, carnival masks, and Catholic accessories.
Venetians enjoy mashing together many different colors and textures and themes. Every place you go feels like youre in a giant Minestroni Soup of history, humanity, and bad taste.
The restaurant we ate at last night was decorated in a theme I’ll call
‘Jesus goes to the Bahamas’ . The walls were tangerine color, covered with tropical straw hats and a huge crucefix, where Jesus sandwiched between a flat screen TV and a dart board. I think my Mom begand hallucinating too–or was our waiter, Lucio, flirting with her?
In spite of the many times it seemed impossible to find a train or a toilet, what I Discovered in Venice is that its impossible to take a bad picture. Everything I snap at looks like a dreamscape of stone palaces floating on water. It can’t be an acid trip. So I must be in Venice.