The heat wave continues over here. I did not think that it was possible to sweat this much. Some tourists were up at the crack of dawn walking the streets with their cameras. Air-conditioned bars, restaurants and stores are other good options for staying cool…. and cold showers.
On one evening I listened to the sounds of my neighbourhood. I could hear people talking below and the chatter was happy. I looked and thought I saw a man in dance shoes… possibly Tango? Then as the evening went on I could hear just faintly what I thought was Tango music… it was awesome. Dance is such an elixir for the soul.
I think the heat and peak tourist season is starting to take its toll on people. With the lack of sleep due to the heat I found myself not thinking clearly. Before Sunday morning’s departure from Venice back to Rome, I found myself not setting my cell phone alarm properly, I then threw shampoo into my eye because I somehow missed my head… and when riding the Vaporetto, I was on the receiving end of a few hand gestures, mutterings and dirty looks from 2 local women. I gave up my seat to one of the women … both were neither, seniors, pregnant or disabled… I did it out of courtesy but I don’t think my extending of olive branch really mattered. I was a foreigner with suitcase. I stood with 2 Japanese girls as they stared at the local women in awe or possibly fear over what had just happened. With the heat, masses of tourists and crowded crowded vaporetto’s tempers are likely to flare. I did observe, to see how long the women held their anger. One simply sat reading her newspaper whilst the other was still throwing daggers with her eyes. Thought bubble, “She needs a Spritz!” I have to say though out of my many visits to Venice this is the first time I have experienced any sort of aggressive behaviour from local women usually people are nice.
Venice has been busy so if you are visiting and lets say possibly walking through the San Marco area or trying to board a Vaporetto don’t be surprised if someone comes up behind you and yell’s a blood curdling “PERMISOOOOOO!” It happens.
I attempted running errands during the afternoon not so smart but fairly successful. I went to buy the IMOB.Venezia card. It costs $40 euro and is good for 5 years. You buy a virtual booklet of passes or a single pass. It cost me just over 11 euros for a 10 pack. The actual cost for a one-way trip on a Vaporetto is 7.50 euros so this will be a significant savings for me. It’s basically a bus pass. My second successful errand was visiting a local bank. Then I decided to go run a 3rd errand. I went to a local hardware/home store. On this visit I had to buy an iron and wanted to price their rubber boots. When I asked where I could find the boots, one female store clerk who was clearly not happy pointed to the back of the store… I couldn’t find them so I found someone else to ask. (Utilizing my Italian language skills the entire time). This male clerk said that his colleague at the back of the store would help me. I approached this man at the back and asked him in Italian about the boots. All conversation was in Italian. He looked at me and asked me if I wanted them for the rain. Without really thinking, I said “Aqua Alta” (high water). Apparently I just said the wrong answer. He blurted something out to me that I could not understand. He proceeded to take me to the calendar and went through each of the 12 months jabbing at each page and saying in Italian No or Yes to which month might possibly have high water. I should have just told him that I wanted to wear them to bed; the drama would have been significantly less I am sure. So what! I like to be prepared but the other reason was for design purposes… not that I needed to justify why I was buying a pair of rubber boots. He continued on and I couldn’t understand him. He was purposely being difficult. Finally he asked me what size I wanted. He seemed to be getting angrier as he made it clear that I was wasting his time. I gave him my size and he left to go to the back. After awhile he returned and I heard a loud crash as he let the boxes of these boots go flying everywhere. He pointed out the colours and then kicked one of the boxes. I ignored his seriously aggressive behaviour…The theatrics were almost over but he told me that I should have socks on to try the boots and I was in flip-flops. That was my cue to leave. I told him I would come back. Will I?
Back in town late last night, and waiting for my Vaporetto, I heard a French man chatting with a group of American women. He said to the ladies, “They hate tourists here”. I thought to myself, “OMG, I can’t listen to this right now… I don’t want to hear it, please shut up and go away.” My Vaporetto came and as I boarded and headed to go inside the Vaporetto, the employee told me to go and stand in a different area. Usually they tell you to move inside. The rules seems to change with who ever is working because at the next stop that employee jumped off and another one jumped on followed by a slew of people with suitcases in tow heading inside the Vaporetto. LOL..I was too tired and stayed put.
Alas, on this visit , in particular on this very day, I am avoiding all high traffic areas. The to do list this weekend is to recharge my battery and check out the FESTA DEL REDENTORE… I am hoping to get some photos of the huge fireworks display Saturday night… wish me luck!