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Monday, 30 May 2011

Italian Diaries - Hello World!

Bella far niente
As I was checking in the hostel at Venezia (Venice), right ahead were 2 girls also checking in, who I bet looked very-pretty-much Indian, and of my age! Shy they, Shy I, none of us spoke...and silently they I moved forward in the queue.

That night I slept at around 4 after having walked endlessly in the city, so beautiful, that you just don't know how to absorb it all but to keep walking and staring! Next morning, I promptly got up again at 7:30 AM. Everyone else in my dorm was still fast asleep, completely unruffled by the fact that one doesn't get to see the view of grand canal from the window beside one's bed, EVERYDAY! Anywho, I left the bed and settled myself on the window to get a better view of the canal and to observe people sitting in front of the hostel (some of who I recognized must have sat there all night!). While browsing through all those people, I saw them again - those girls from the last day! I leaned further out of the window to see that they were fast headed towards the Voporetto (Waterbus) stop...

...there was one hesitant moment, as I looked around the room, to make sure everyone was asleep. I held my breath, gulped, and jumped out of my bed and began wildly changing into my denims, getting my socks and shoes on after which I was madly skipping stairs of the 3 floors I had to get down, before running on the street leading to the voporetto stop. Gasping, I reached there, and found them both still waiting for the bus...

I stood silent for a moment trying to catch my breath, but when I finally opened my mouth to speak, words just kept boinking in my mouth!!! I shuffled around a bit, but on finding myself unable to say anything, I gently retraced a few steps backwards before I began to look like a random person loitering behind them. To my relief, just then, the bus came. I boarded it with them still trying to find my guts! As the boat caught on speed, the lovely sea breeze started whispering all around me, effectively calming me down. I moved forward, and after a squeaky one, a confident "Hi! ... " emerged...

I talked for a little while, and after having reached the destination told them that I had no reason to be on this boat but to ask them "what the HECK are two Indians, (and that too, GIRLS!), doing in Italy on all their own...Are they too backpacking just like me, for I have died to see a single soul from my country in last 10 days doing this? All I see is Uncle and Aunty taking Cox & King tours, and being more than happy to take a zillion pics of Leaning tower of Pisa and go back home with souvenirs!..."

Thankfully, they were not a part of those tours. But they weren't backpacking as well, for they were studying in Italy itself. Nevertheless, I still was quite happy about all this and hummed on my way back!

That was the last day of my Italian trip! I went to several places including Roma (Rome) - Vatican - Napoli (Naples)- Pompeii - Mt. Vesuvius - Firenze (Florence) - Pisa - Cinque Terre and Venezia (Venice): and all that in 7 days! Obviously by missing out on sleep. But who cares!

The food was unforgettable and so was all the mad traveling, specially getting lost in each and every city I visited, without exception. Paintings and sculpture were magnanimous but regrettably given my level of adroitness in being able to appreciate or even recognize them, I unfailingly yawned* soon after I saw the first painting in the museum, in a humorous recap of the college days now left behind!

*Note: This yawning business does not apply for the painting "The Last Judgement" in Vatican at The Sistine Chapel. That was more like 'jaw-dropping'

Anywho, in all this, one experience that stood out for me was meeting and listening to people:

People who had backpacked all alone in France for a month, often sleeping on roads, people who were doing 45 European cities in 30 days immediately after their high school (imagine yourself being 17 yr old again), alone (I'm yet to do that for even a weekend trip!) with $5000 to spare (I never had that much money!), people who had taken an year off from university to just travel around the world and figure out what to do with their life (I don't even know if I had this option!), people who congratulated me on winning world cup (Everytime this happened, it was a profoundly proud experience, disregarding the fact the only Cricket World Cup match I watched was the FINAL!), people who said "dude, I *SO* want to visit India", people who live in Paris but hate it (:O) etc.

West Indians, Americans, Canadians, English, Finnish, French, Italians, Romanians, Emirians, Russians, Ukrainians, Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis, Australians and so on...met people from all these nationalities who left on me a big or small impression about the world we live in. How very different it is. How very different are people from each other - in their thinking, in the way they do things...And that there's no limit to being Awesome!

Happy Traveling Folks!

And as I keep saying, "If you ever think of going to Italy, don't think twice, just go". The experience can be described in one single word - "pleasurable"!


  1. Wow! Simply loved this post. :)
    And Venezia, yes, loved that too. Makes me wonder whether I should have given working in Rome a little more consideration. ;)

  2. Grazie, Signora e Signore!

    Surbhi, one thing which I am sure you are missing out on by being here is the 'siesta'

  3. Oh my god! You’re backpacking in Italy! I am SO jealous of you right now. One of my friends just left for a six-week backpacking trip to Spain-France-Italy. And now I read about you going to Italy. I think God’s trying to tell me something :D

    Europe, here I come again!

  4. PS: Pl devour some gnocchi on my behalf!

  5. 6 weeks! Even I am jealous! Btw, where are you headed to?

    And yeah, Gnochhi was just AWESOME. I mean seriously AWESOME. Or as Panda might say, "severely awesome". Favoloso, is what perhaps Italians say!

  6. I don't know yet. Will have to think about which countries to go to. But Spain, Italy and France are definitely on the list. How come you went only to Italy?

    Gnocchi IS awesome.

  7. Good Luck! Those sound about nice. What about Norway? Amsterdam rather?

    Oh, I just had one week. I thought it was better to visit one country to the core; then to scramble all across Europe!

  8. Now that you have been to Italy, you must see this (if you haven't already) :D