Moments when you know you're travelling
(postcard from Doug 3)
(1) When the American business major opposite you on the train leans in confidentially and says:
ABM: "Is it just me, or is Italy full of beautiful women?"
Doug: "No, it's not just you."
ABM: "I mean, American women look good. But they just all get so big after about their twenties."
Doug thinks: And that would have nothing to d owith the US diet of 50% sugar and 50% meat.
Doug says: "Mmm."
ABM: "And y'know, I didn't expect Italy to be so full of graffitti."
Doug thinks: Coz they didn't, like, invent the word.
Doug says: "Mmm."
(2) When standing under the central dome at San Pietro Basillica and saying to oneself, "Ohmigod, 6 years of Latin class were not in vain! That reads, 'You are Peter and on this rock* I will build my church and I will give to you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.' Yeah, I rock!"
"Oh, look, there's a translation in the guidebook. Still at least I now get what these damn papists mean about the importance of Peter, and why everything in the Vatican has keys on it.
"What is that shrill whining noise?
"Ah, just my protestant ancestors revolving in their graves at my having set foot in this more than human scale Catholic church full of graven idols. Pipe down guys, it's beautiful and I'm not about to convert or anything."
*Insert chuckle at Latin play on words.
(3) When doing the maths in the shower and realising you're in Venice four nights, but have only booked into the convent guest-house for three.
(4) Hearing in a bar, or on a train - indeed, up to twice in one sitting - on announcing to a group of English speakers that you are Australian: "Man, you guys can drink!"
Yes, yes, we can. It's because our beer actually has a detectable alchoholic content.
And that we're all alchoholics too, anyway.
(5) Explaining in fractured phrase-book Italian to an elderly, non-English speaking nun at Convent 2 that you are not absconding on the bill, but have a train to catch, and paid the bill the previous day to the English speaking convent secretrary who has yet to clock on.
And do indeed have a reciept.
And that you have not made any phone calls.
Nor had anything from the mini-bar.
Okay, so not that last one at a convent.