Those Cheating Bastards
Trip Start Jun 09, 2005
36Trip End ??? ??, 2006
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We have spent the last week or so doing nothing but sleep, stare at the sunset over the Mediterranian, and eat. Sounds miserable, doesn,t it? We are staying in a tiny little fishing village called Riomaggiore, which is collectively part of a region known as the Cinque Terre (literally 5 towns). There are no cars allowed, so the only sounds are the ocean, a lost rooster who crows throughout the day and incessant church bells. The place has alas, been discovered by the wretched tourist, to the point where at the height of summer the locals would be outnumbered at least ten fold. We, fortunately have come at the time of the year when it is about half and half, and is quite bearable and peaceful. It is still warm enough though, that I had my first swim in an ocean for over a year the other day
We have, for once, stayed put in one place long enough that we can sit back and really get a feel for a place. Both the locals and the tourists have kept me sufficiently amused. Who is my favourite? Would it be the old randy italiano waiter who barely grunts when he puts your food down but still manages to pinch the bums of the waitresses and chat up every single woman who happens to enter his lair? Or the middle aged-divorced American who literally begged the italian bar owner to take her home for the night and was totally unshamed about it. The young Canadian tourist who whipped her bra and silicon gel fakies out at the dinner table last night? I kid you not. Or could it be the middle-aged Australian winnie blue/bundy rum monster(otherwise known as Zac to a few of our friends) who was trying desperately to crack on to all the young american college students hanging around town by crooning such cliches (sorry, classics) as Brown eyed girl on his acoustic guitar. Actually, we ended up going out for his Birthday dinner last night, and he wasn,t QUITE as bad as I make out
Every spare inch of land in Riomaggiore (and there is not very much of it, as it is really steep land) has been terraced and is covered in lemon trees, olives, grape vines and veggie patches. As I sit and have my coffee in the morning a progression of Italian mommas and poppas (why is it that Italian women either dress like Donatella Versace, or nuns. At what age do they suddenly turn into Italian mommas in thier sensible shoes, big baggy nanna dresses that make them look like they are going to a funeral and permed hair?)slowly make thier way down to the hill with big woven baskets of veggies or fruit picked that morning to the local fruit and veggie shop. Laster on in the afternoon there is another progression of guilty looking men with a bottle of something tucked under an arm, as they look around furtively - I wish I knew where they were going! the fruit and veg is still covered in dirt and are bruised and battered, but without exception (okay, maybe that one microwaved lasagne was not so fresh) the fruit and veg that we have been eating are the freshest and tastiest I have ever eaten. A person could get used to this. In England (and probably Australia too, we just don,t make it so obvious on the label)the fruit and veg comes from improbable places like Israel and Chile and are so plastic looking it is sometimes difficult to figure out if they are actually vegetables, or just display items
Everything shuts at lunch time, after opening at around 10am and then will slowly start opening again at two or three or maybe four. In short, the way of life around here is pretty damn good. I know that I am only here for a week, and it easy for me to only see the good things that exist here and gloss over the bad things, but from my limited point of view life aint half bad in Riomaggiore. There,s not a lot to do here, but that,s kinda the point. If the rest of Italy is like this, I,m not coming home.