*Note to US officials: I am not a terrorist nor am I in any way affiliated with Al Qaeda. The phrase is catchy, that’s all.
This post is dedicated to Kevin-Raphael who works at Ivanhoe Hostel in Rome, who spent some of his nightshift last night reading this blog. Ivanhoe Hostel is a place where dreams are sewn onto clouds in golden thread, and every so often a breeze through the window or down the street brings just the faintest aroma of sewage. Having a shower here means hoping for a tolerable medium between scalding hot and ice cold water, which would be bearable if either temperature were evenly distributed over a wide spray rather than in a single firehose.
I’m on my fourth city of eight on my solo Eurotrip to France and Europe. So far I haven’t flashed anyone or done body shots, though I have accidently visited a nude beach on the French Riviera and stumbled upon the apparent cultural norm that it’s okay to fondle one’s penis while sunning oneself. Not that I fondled my own penis, that would be weird. Because I don’t have a penis silly!
It was in Pisa last week that I had a revelation. In between taking the tourist money shot (‘holding up’ the leaning tower of Pisa) with two girls from New Zealand that I met on the train, I started stealing pictures of other people awkwardly doing the same thing. It’s quite easy because you know you’re never going to see them again, and anyway they probably just think you’re trying to get a unique angle on the Coloseum or whatever the nearest tourist trap might be. Anyway, I started taking pictures of posing tourists, except from my angle it just looked like they were cupping invisible breasts while making their face look retarded. And I didn’t stop there. I found an old guy slouched over with 40 pounds of travel accessories, fannypack included, resting his Teva’d feet. I found someone who was making a face like the Stink Eye girl in Mean Girls. I guess you could say my revelation was that that day I discovered the best travel game that provides hours (minutes) of entertainment even under the worst possible tourist conditions. Maximum capacity trainrides laced with B.O., freakishly tall Germans with no spacial understanding of where their collossal feet and mine begin, little Spanish/French/Italian women that have wordlessly designated the sidewalk a one-way street for their family of 4 unruly children (it’s okay, I like the prospect of death by vespa in Italy, the title alone would make a good post-humous biography).
You might be wondering why I’m describing photos instead of posting them. Long story short, the computer here at the hostel may or may not be telling me in Italian that there’s no space on it’s disk, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.
Other notable tourist-bombs I’ve done so far are snapping a black Santa Clause getting some sun on the beach in Nice, France, and most recently today I sat and watched people pose with a statue of Julius Caesar pointing his arm up to the sky (can you guess how they posed? I bet you can’t guess). Snap, your stupid Facebook default picture is going in my photo album, bitchessss.
With four more places to go, I’m excited about the endless embarrassing moments I can capture on film in about a month more of travel. Croatia’s next; we’ll see what happens there. I honestly have no idea about Croatian people or culture, but I’m hoping people there will be a bit Borat in nature. Yakshimash!
The Italian equivalent of Engrish:
And proof that other tourists are generally bad at taking their own kind’s photos.