With the arrival of Rutters my friend from the states, I thought it was worth spamming your news feed after so long. January 18th 2013.
15.05.2012 - 17.05.2012 1 °C
Travelling can add, alternate and take away lots of different aspects of life, new sights, smells, and above all else the exchange of experiences with others. But despite me still being stranded here in the confinements of my bedroom with just enough space to lay down, I was becoming restless.
However, this special week in January has brought a new guest into my bleek last moments in Britain.
A new friend I met whilst I was touring Venice, Italy. Steph Rutters is a friend I met on my second trip to the beautiful Venetian City in May 2012, whom I am lucky enough to be in the company of whilst writing this entry.
I had been to Venice once before back in March 2012 with my ex partner. After debating it for years as the first place I wished to travel to after watching late night documentaries about it, I did some flight research and within a week I was sat on a plane heading for Italy. The first time I had experienced the romantic side of Venice in all its glory with the sharing of gelato ice cream, drinking fine red wine besides the rivers, and even taking a ride on the gondola.
However, the magic of the gondola ride was sucked away by me haggling with the gondolier about the €50 for twenty minutes system, 9 out of 10 males reading this will whimper and cradle their wallets at that statement. He settled at €45 for 15 minutes, after tutting and raising his eyebrows over his €500 sunglasses of course, b*stard. Despite what seemed like haggling with Dell boy in a striped jumper, the ride as pretty good. The Gondolier had taught me more about Venice in 15 minutes than I had learned in two years of research.
You could assign any person in the world to a new place to research and tour people around it's streets, but you can't go travelling without speaking with the locals of their knowledge. If applicable and you speak the language of course, you don't want to go pissing off local's by calling them a flatfish in Italian or something (Note to self: Purchase heavier translation book for maximum propulsion at angry locals next time.) After my wallet had recovered from its traumatic ordeal in Venice, I decided to head back again. This time single, and this time with my good friend, Richard Hinchliffe. The romantic city I knew upon returning had became a beautiful canvas of tall dark italian women and a new photographical training ground for landscaping photo's with my new DSLR.
The room was no 5* hotel after being given dirty looks by the receptionist whilst cramming several packets of italian Wotsit's into my bag for sustenance. In my defence I did leave them a swanky half broken tripod which I couldn't be bothered to take back home to fix, some italian maid owes me big time. The awkward, cold bedroom boasted a single wooden bed, sink and cupboard with complimentary creaks throughout the night. But I didn't care, we was there for the night life, and after unpacking all my possessions; camera, tooth brush and condoms, we was up for the most amazing night out of our lives. We wanted to taste the night life in Venice, search every street and bar for the most interesting night life. The night life was great, if you were:
A. a local, B. Over 40 or C. A fan of red wine.
But it wasn't all bad, we wound up at a juice bar on the main street, Richard drinking shots of rum like no tomorrow, and myself being chatted up by an obese 40 year old german lady named Vonda who's husband was coincidentally sat within ears reach, to save the remainder of my skinny frame being tossed into the river by a german man named Hans, we relocated to a corner on the bar. Only to be greeted by a study group of American's, all sheepish, and all scared of the two british guys laughing and spilling rum all over the counter at the end of the bar, taking pictures of their shoes. Hours passed, drinks flowed and locals had even joined us for a shot or two, even the bar staff had began feeding us both drinks. Soon after around 3am, we began talking to the americans, one named Zach, the other named Steph. We all began talking in a flurry of stories exchanges and laughing at the accents of one another, shortly after I suggested walking to San Marco's square, the main attraction in the whole of Venice. It wasn't too far, but it was 4am and we were drunk, so very very drunk. Our new friends politely agreed knowing that it may end badly in getting lost, or worse sobering up to the realisation of getting lost. We had our last drink and managed to take a photo of us with the bar staff who had so proudly got us drunk. Despite the state of me and Richard in the photo, the funnier part was that you can see a passer by stealing fruit, seems legit.
As you progress to the square it becomes a much more respected and expensive area, which made it all the more worse when Richard hurled his stomach content cocktail of Gelato, rum and pizza at the Gucci shop front. After our visit to the square I had walked away with a heavy head, and strangely enough a russian couple who I was apparently escorting back to their ferry on the dock. But non-the-less I had seemingly made a friend for life, I only wish this thought would have brightened up my otherwise gloomy last day in Venice as I threw up behind the church just outside of our hotel. The last day was wasted on trying to recover from the previous nights events, this being strolling to San Marco and eating fresh fruit, which Richard and I almost spat back up in laughter as we passed the Gucci shop front, soapy, wet and covered in vomit.
The most bizzarre part of the events that happened was that I couldn't remember giving Zac and Steph a number, my name, anything. As luck would have it, we bumped into the study group a few hours after walking around Venice outside a small coffee shop. The four of us sat and laughed about the night before, I had not spoken much with Zac after that night. But more so spoken with Steph for 6 months now, we spoke of visiting one another in our home countries. I will never forget the lessons learned of the importance of speaking to new people, not hanging your head down in the street whilst passing someone, but open to the concept that they could bear something very important to you, a conversation, an experience, an exchange.