A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

Tchotchkes

Tchotchkes everywhere. It’s a beautiful old town, narrow streets, old church buildings, bells ringing every quarter but its also a tourist trap. Hundreds of shops filled with – well tchotchkes. Badges that represent something, sea shells, old fishing nets, and then high end stuff like Burberry child gear. I stop at a shop selling, amongst other things, coppolas made from old sacks. Quite beautiful to hold and look good on but € 25 is a little step for sackcloth. We find a space where the locals used to bring their clothes to wash. Long closed over but a fresh water stream that flows under the village to the sea.
Then its back to the beach. I must confess that we have a week pass to Lido Beach which allows us a parasol, a sun bed, access to the restaurant and toilet block and changing sheds. Yesterday we slummed on the public beach because my socialism would not allow me to enjoy the ‘private’ one. I say private but I fail to see how this all works. Apparently it’s the same in most European countries. Yesterday I was approached by a slight Asian lady touting a card and smiling sweetly. There is a lot of this on beaches. Guys with racks of baubles, selfie sticks, wallets, sandals, and umbrellas. You develop a thick skin and either “ no thank you or fuck off”. Some are very persistent but hey you are here to relax , not to be bothered with street shlock. Anyway, I could not work out what she was selling as she waved this brightly colored card about. Later in the day I saw her in negotiation with a young lady and it looked very civilized and not having the flavour of the other hawkers. We were lounging back on our beach loungers, adjusting our parasols, and thinking of that first martini, when she appears again. She is a masseuse and for €20 you get a 40 minute full body massage. Seems reasonable to me and I can tell you there is nothing like getting a full body massage while the sun beats down on you and the Mediterranean gently flows beneath your lounger. Only downside was that after I paid her she kept chanting ‘domani, domani, you domani’ which I thought meant I hadn’t paid her enough but quickly realized meant see you same place tomorrow. Unfortunately we have found a ritzier lido further up the beach so we may never see each other again. And she gives a good massage. Except when she pulls your shorts down to have a better go of your butt or, if a woman, asks you to rollover with fully exposed breasts, in front of 50 or so fellow lidoers, who don’t give a toss.
Very impressed by the politeness of some Sicilians. For, not the first time, a person in a supermarket queue, seeing my meagre buy, has ushered me in front of them. Rarely have I seen this in NZ. Also, people we have dealt with in shops or stalls will see us in the street and wave and boungiorno. Very friendly and touching.
Started off the day with the Guardian updates on the third and final Bledisloe cup. Why we have to rely on the Poms for up-to-the-monute commentary I do not know. The Herald and Stuff were about 49 minutes behind and Sky does not broadcast in your location. Why not! I’m still paying my bill. I listened to last weeks game in Catania from South African radio and then switched to Australian radio. Totally different game. The SA thought they were in with a chance but the Aussie radio told it like it was. Same this week. I checked out Aussie media and it was all about bad ref calls, and booing Quade Cooper. We do live in a parochial little world. I have tried to watch Italian football on a Sunday but not knowing any of the teams or players makes it hard and football is , at times, a pretty boring spectacle.
I started with tchotchkes and I will finish with them. Small, worthless, icons or tokens often sold to tourists. You will probably see them on mantlepieces, coffee tables, maybe pinned to a wall. Like those endless photos that are taken. Or when you get bqck to the office and someon3 asks how was the holiday. But they don’t want to hear your stories or look at your photos. They are YOUR memories – to cherish, to fall to sleep to. TCHOTCHKES.20161023_02251920161020_062925

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2 Comments»

  Kate Vercoe wrote @

Loving the  blog not much good at replying sorry broken hand limits  how much I want to type.Seems like you’ve  relaxed into some serious r and r for the last few weeks. Yay to that.We are just returning from Pounawea couple of nights relaxing … Labour weekend here.Lots of love xxxxx

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

  graemedixon wrote @

Oh yes. But Alison has Rome & Singapore lined up for extra suitcase and Hive of Activity to end it all. Me I am looking to the infinity pool at the hotel. Thanks for the kind words. G


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