- An internet connection
- A typing device with power
- To be sitting down.
I havent had much of any of those things lately! But here I am, on the high-speed train to Venice, with all of the above and a few snapshots to share.
Although McDonalds has a presence here (the only fast food chain Ive seen), the best toys dont come in Happy Meals, they come in chocolate eggs! However, one can no longer bring KinderEggs into the USA because we are not allowed to have toys in our food. (This wont keep me from trying!) Note: It worked! I put the kinder egg in a sock, put the sock in a souvenir Hard Rock Café glass, wrapped the glass in dirty clothing, and buried it in the middle of my suitcase. Hopefully my child will survive...
They put everything on pizza here! Hard boiled eggs, zucchini flowers, anchovies! At one meal my slice was mounded with a fresh, shredded vegetable we dont have in the US, puntarelle. The pizza is baked in slabs and you show with your fingers about how much you want (You can have an inch of something, just to try it), then they weigh it. I even saw a pizza with french fries on it near Naples!
School notebooks are lined with graph paper, and worksheets are rare. Neatness counts in taking notes! This is a page from the notebook of a second grader...note the competent cursive! (Ask me if you want to see more...I was so impressed I photographed ten pages!)
A Bar is Not a Bar
Bars arent where you go to get an alcoholic beverage. That`s everywhere. You go to a bar for a pannini (sandwich) or a can of Fresca. A kid can go into a bar and get a Kinderegg. Also, a cantina is a basement....
If you don`t want to walk into a bar and practice your Italian (Vorrei una Fresca, per favore), you can go to a Self-Bar. These ubiquitous vending machines serve all manner of curious beverages, some of them actually good for you, or chips or sandwiches. A sandwich from a Self-Bar may have prosciutto, ricotta, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes, as if someone just made it by hand.
The first few times I was offered a cup of coffee, I was surprised to only get an inch of liquid. Coffee cups are tiny here... and they barely fill them halfway. Without sugar, its just a tablespoon of bitter wake-up medicine. Americans like me are also shocked that caffe often comes in a dinky plastic cup. Little plastic cups are everywhere!
|This lady is on the Self-Bars that serve caffe|
Arriving in Venezia... more later!