Sunday, October 13, 2013
When it started getting cold and rainy, I start taking a closer look at indoor things like, museum statues, books, antiques and hallucinatory decor. The hotel we stayed at in Turin looked like it was decorated by a schizophrenic with multiple personalities. Each personality decorated a different section of the hotel. It had more textures, colors, patterns and themes than Lady Gaga’s wardrobe. It was visually much too weird.
Luckily, later we spent the whole day at the Egyptian museum staring at early statues of gods that might have been Michael Jackson and several other pop stars in previous incarnations. If you look at the pictures, some of the gods had too many nose jobs, and also grabbed their crotches. That cant be an accident. I totally believe in reincarnation. One of the gods was a dead ringer for Biggy Smalls.
We were supposed to take a tour bus around town to see the whole place, but after spending so much time staring at Egyptian artifacts. we missed the last bus. However, we did see several groups of protesters in the big Piazza, and a couple on their honeymoon in the small piazza on a bench under a huge chestnut tree.
My mom had fun snapping photos of the local police, who were out in droves, surrounding the protestors in case someone got crazy. We suspect that only attractive looking cops were called in to work, and the unattractive ones were asked to take the day off. All of them looked like GQ models in uniforms, toting radios, guns and ‘man-bags’ Apparently, Italian cops carry satchels that look like fashion accessories. No sense carrying deadly weapons without a nice, hand crafted leather tote bag to keep them in.
As the rain and cold crept over the sky, we caught the last shreds on sunlight at the flea market, where you can gaze at endless stalls hawking antique clothes and housewares and cha-cha’s. I even saw a booth just selling retro phones!
It got colder and rained MORE….so we scurried down the drizzly Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and hit the appertivo, a huge buffet of yummy food that you get when you buy a drink. Appertivo is light years beyond the common dish of peanuts in a bar. You can actually stufff your face with enough food to be full of a cheap, healthy meal for the price of a beer.
Theres really only one thing to do if you’re leaving Italy. You have to drink as much hot chocolate as possible. It looks like thick, crude oil…and tastes amazing. I tried the Becharin, a drink made with coffee, chocolate and cream, but I likes the hard core cup of chocolate better. Turin is a city where you can sample some insanely good chocolate. They give you a “choco pass” where you can just eat unlimited chocolate from the different shops for 48 hours. i tried a lot of chocolates, but I didn’t get the choco pass because I was afraid it would make me insane to the point where I would actually love the hallucinatory , schizophrenic decor in my hotel.
When it was time to leave Turin, I figured out the easiest way to reach Malpensa airport in Milan would be by bus. And it was true. The bus was nice and comfortable, and cheaper than the train. So the final roll to the airport would have been great except for the hyperactive group of Middle Eastern type guys sitting next to me and behind me, who either had ADHD, drank too much Turkish Coffee, were on speed and hard of hearing–or all of the above. They yammered loudly and rudely for the entire two and a half hour ride, never running out of subjects to shout to each other about. They smelled like Halston and lamb kebobs. After an hour, I felt like blowing them up. I wondered if thats why theres constant fighting in the Middle East–Cause of these irritating guys who won’t freakin’ shut up. I shudder to think about a world populated by loud, obnoxious guys who cant sit quietly for even two minutes and they’re constantly ranting and yelling. The answer to world peace. is simple: talk at a normal decibel level and stop being loud and irritating. I cant even imagine what they’d sound like talking on cell phones.
Finally we made it to Malpensa, ready for more chocolate, campari, vino rosso, and god knows how many kinds of carbs. I feel a little bloated. No. Totally stuffed with tasty treats and dishes of Italy. Tomorrow I’m leaving for the USA, feeling appreciative of my country, the English language, and of life in general. But somehow the place got into my molecules. I feel the urge to learn Italian and go back there. I just might have to.