“I have to sleep. Anywhere. I need a pillow. Something to put my head on. Now.”
I consider the soup I’m eating. Somewhere in the back of my brain a voice says that it being a liquid could be a bad thing but it’s drowned out by the front of the brain screaming that it’s warm. And squishy. Like a pillow. Also, I wouldn’t have to expend the energy of dipping the spoon into the soup and bringing it to my mouth. I could just close my eyes, stick my tongue out, and lap it up. Win, win.
I need to read everything. Posters in the alleyways, signs on train doorways saying ‘Attention: in case of emergency, press this button”, pamphlets discarded underneath the bench I’m sitting on… it’s like my eyes need to draw a mental line through anything representing a sentence before they can rest and just take in the scenery. After a couple of days, reading the Italian language is doing my head in. Most of the ‘general public’ Italian words read just like English but in a heavy Italian accent. “Grande Centrale Stazione” for instance, though clearly simply ‘Grand Central Station,” is said in my head by a 50 year old Italian bolognese chef waving a spoon around the kitchen; “GRRAN-deh sen-TRRA-leh sta-zy-ON-eh!!!!!” The chef says everything and won’t stop waving his spoon at me; “at-TEN-zione!” “twoi-LETtte?” It’s gotten to the point where the chef says my own english sentences for me; “Wherra IZ-za mi FON-na?!!!!!”
It’s not 100% full proof though. “Lavenderia” is NOT, as you would suppose, a shop all about lavender, which is clearly worth risking your life crossing a busy Italian street to see. It’s a laundromat.
On arriving in France I said “Si, Grazi” to the hotel concierge and checkout girl at the local supermarket instead of “Oiu, Merci”. Switching from one language you don’t know to another one you have not the first idea about is hard work. Also, we’ve made an attempt to understand basic words in the local language, such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘oh my god where’s the nearest bathroom?’. It’s pointless though. The 10 words I know in Italian (5 of those numbers), every single Italian person knows in English. Peppering complete english sentences with the word ‘cinque’ instead of ‘five’ is not aiding comprehension.
In Nice, France though, I was thrilled to the edges of my pink painted toenails to say “Excuse–moi?” in a full french accent to two girls attempting to push in line for the tram. It just sounds so… catty.
…in public places cost money. It seems a little opportunistic to charge 50c for the relieving of bodily functions. At Toulouse, on a stopover to Barcelona, the toilets didn’t open until 6am. Our train arrived at 5:30am. The last 10 minutes of that half an hour are the longest 10 minutes of my life. I practically threw the money at the operator.
Kendyl keeps getting stuck in bathrooms and I keep getting walked in on in toilets. The latter situation is because my Clair Brain forgets to lock the door in restaurant and train bathrooms. We’re not sure why Kendyl keeps getting stuck… but it’s damn funny to hear the little whimper behind the cubicle door again!
I’m standing by the side of a road, at 8am, not wearing any underwear. We got out of the jacuzzi an hour or so ago, chatting with two of the ten Norwegians renting the mansion overlooking Nice, France until it was time for the bus to arrive.
When we board, I can feel more than a bit of itching from the seat. A seven year old boy in shorts and socks to his calves gets on. Going to school. I haven’t slept since I woke up at 11am yesterday morning. His perfectly combed hair and tiny, polished black school shoes rebuke my lack of underwear, sleep and decorum for the entire bus ride.
Kendyl and I can’t stop giggling.