Va Bene, Venezia?
Day VII, 6.6.2010
Casa del Melograno, Venice
What a dream of a place: romantic, picturesque…the whole nine yards right? Well….yes. But, even as I write this, I feel disappointed. Venice seems to be made less of its own people than of its tourists. And what can you say about a place like that?
We’ve bought a beautiful Venetian Mask and even more beautiful Murano glass pendant for mom(shh..its a secret ;) )But it seems to strangely, weigh down on my mind. I can’t seem to be free about worrying about where to keep the mask, what if it breaks, how do I bring it back etc etc. Its a terrible weight on my mind.
The train ride here was spent in sleep, but you could tell we were almost there when suddenly, there was water everywhere. And I’m not even exaggerating. Water, water everywhere(, not that I’d care to drink). It started from below our train (we were on a bridge) and extended to the horizon in all possible directions. And far, far, away at the edge where the Earth curves, were these yachts. Tens and thousand of yachts with their sails pointed to the sky like arrowheads.
And then…Venezia (its so much more of a romantic name than Venice)
The first thing that hits you (quite literally) as you step out of the station is… you’ve guessed it… water.
The hotel is pretty nice, I pick up several (that being a gross underestimation) leaflets advertising different restaurants etc. There is a very interesting thing to note about these leaflets, the map overleaf is a sketch. As in, its hand-drawn, instead of being those staid, linear things that you see in shaadi ke cards. I’ve clicked a couple of pictures for you to admire.
Then, we hit the streets. There were masks in ALL sizes imaginable, magnets, T-shirts, mugs, what-have-you’s. All stereotypes of Venice- commercial, and surely – a vous. At lunch, I decided to go easy on the tummy and picked a baked lasagne. Now, I KNOW lasagne is cheese and pasta = LOTS of fat but still… baked lasagne!!
ANd then..Mamma Mia! If you could have SEEN what they gave me. It was lasagne all right, but it was SWIMMING in oil. Like, literally floating. MURDER for the soul in a yummy way :P Then, some shopping,a ride on their boat-taxi or taxi-boat or what you will (where I was unfortunate enough to sit behind a Punjabi family and be literally ASSAULTED by the smell of Navratna tel
Now, I am perched on one of the windows of our hotel room, looking down onto a narrow street and a canal and a bridge (very Heath Ledger’s Casanova reminiscent) and my sister is saying weird things to freak out people who decide to pass our hotel.
At dinner, I was forced to stuff down spaghetti al pomodoro (tomato sauce) in a posh restaurant. I was NOT hungry but we had to ‘cuz it don’t look nice otherwise, naa? My sister downed a HUGE prosciutto cotto (ham pizza) and t’was monumental, I tell you. And then my sister said something and I realized how true it is. When our hostess told her that it was okay if she didn’t want to eat the whole thing, my sister was like “but wasting food is against our relegion!” and although, thats ain’t strictly true, the fact is, how many times do you hear Indians wasting food? Its not even an option for us! And though some of you may say ki nahi ji, hum to kar lete hain, pay attention the next time. You’ll see.
I didn’t sleep at all. As we lay down to sleep, I remarked how quiet it was heer in Venice. And cruel Venice took its revenge on me for that. All night there was SO much noise that even the dead must have complained. It was madness.