Jackie Part II

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
1
8
9
Trip End Oct 16, 2010


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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sorry for the delay in writing but since Sept 24th I have been with friends or family so it has been hard to write by blog.  Jen, who was with me in Ireland did not mind that I updated by blog but some of the others would not have been so understanding (plus I had limited Internet).  I PROMISE to finish my blog and post pictures of the rest of my trip even though I am home as I did manage to find more trouble.


Observations:

1.  Some roads in Italy are not wide enough for two way traffic.

2.  A man should NOT wear bikini bottoms and a life jacket to water ski…the molson muscle still finds a way to hang out.

3.  Karaoke is not any better in Italian than it is in English.

So we returned from St. Moritz but of course as they do in Italy we stopped off at a friends bar for a drink on the way home.  It was a quaint little place attached to a camping park.  We went back to Jackie's and literally spun around and went out again.

We went back to the same little bar as that was our meeting point for the night.  By time we left there were 5 Italian speaking women, 1 bilingual and me (English only)…the transport was a huge van that held 7 plus the driver and charged  5 Euros per person each trip.  They all seemed nice enough and they were ready for a good time.  They all thought it was funny my name was Donna as that means lady in Italian.  (For the longest time Jackie's husband Doriano thought that the lady was coming to visit.  He finally asked Jackie what the lady's name was and she had to explain it was Donna.)

So the "taxi" took up to a town with a population of 10,0000...its the biggest town around.  I don't know how it was decided that we were going to the restaurant that we did but I really don't think it is place that Jackie or I would have picked.

I asked to see a menu but there was none so the waitress (more about her later) just started bringing us.  NOTE for people traveling MAKE sure you see a menu and prices before you sit down.

We started with Antipasto...about 10 dishes in all 8 of which involved fish of some sort.  Of the two others once was deep fried cheese good but so greasy you could have a heart attack eating more than one piece.  The other dish was sliced deli meats again not my thing.

Now on to our lovely waitress...she was something else.  I swear to God she was not of this planet--she was very odd.  First off I noticed that she was playing with her nose and hair and then bringing food to our table.  So even if I was interested in the food I don't know if I would have had the stomach to eat it.  Then she was overly friendly with one of the girls at out table!  She was fascinated that girl and another were sisters.  Her behavior was very, very odd.

Jackie explained what the choices were for the "main" so I decided to have steak thinking that was a safe bet....not so much.  Who has ever heard of curried steak?  I tried, really I did but I just couldn't.  SO I ate another slice of bread.  Our waitress just said it was steak she never mentioned anything about curry.  A couple of the girls ordered desert and it took so long that I thought they had to milk the cow so they could make the gelati.  At the end of the night (we were there for over 2 hours) they had a nerve to charge 25 Euros per person (me included and all I ate was two slice of bread and two bites of my "steak").  Jackie would not let me pay for dinner--she said she was treating me for the night.  (Trust me when I say it is a good thing I don't speak the language as I would have said a thing or ten!!!)

So our after some confusion with the girls...they got a little lost on the way to our "taxi" we set off to a club.  It was after midnight as we arrived at the first place a couple of the girls went to check it out only to discover that it closed in less than an hour so that would not do.  So off we went to the second place.  Upon arrival we find a lot of people (read young kids) milling around so we pile out of the taxi and go into the Karaoke part of the bar only to find that there are more people outside smoking than are actually inside the place.  For those of you who don't know I DON'T sing...I scare myself when I sing and I know that singing is not something that I am good at in fact it is not even something I am bad at.  I am just plain horrible.

I will say this about all the girls in our party....they brought the fun to the karaoke bar.  When we arrived NO ONE was singing...they music was just playing with the words (in Italian of course) on a huge screen.  So they all went up to a table on the stage, after getting a couple of mics, and started singing their little hearts out in Italian.  They were so enthusiastic that they had others joining them in singing.  I was sitting back at another table just watching what was happening.  I guess they choose some huge hits in Italy as everyone that was singing got quite loud but I don't know about how good the actually singing was I some of the guys started yelling.  I can say that I did not understand one word of what they were singing as it was all in Italian.

At one point one of the bartenders actually came and took the mics away from them as three guys sitting at the bar wanted to sing...and then they would get too sidetracked with their drinks to finish the song.  As one of the girls had to work at 8am four of the girls left after 2am (I think that would have been a good time to leave as well but there was still more singing to be done by Jackie and another girl).  As closing time of 4 am approached it was decided that it was time to head outside and call for our ride...he would going to be 30 minutes.  Although he was waiting for us somewhere else, which I did not understand as he is the one who dropped us off...it ended up being closed to an 50 minutes before he arrived.  As I normally do I was watching what was going on around me and noted that there two guys were about to fight...oh how I don't miss my nights of hanging around a bar.  I pointed it out to Jackie and she knew one of the guys so Jackie being the same Jackie from 25 odd years ago decided to get right in the middle of it and that there was not going to be a fight that night with the kid she knew.  Both guys are drunk and the one she is talking to has at least half a foot on her and she is yelling at him and kind of shouldering him into a corner.  I had mentioned that this place needs to hire off duty cops to hang around outside so that fights don't break out (it is so bad that she won't even let her son go there and he is such a good kid that he actually listens to his mother) and she started a "discussion" with a couple of the bouncers telling them the same thing although she was quite a bit more vocal than me.

Jackie called the taxi guy again and he was waiting for us in the wrong place so it was about 4:45 but time we got into the taxi.  After stopping to pick up another couple we were dropped off.

It was 5 am when I put my head down on the pillow and 5:05 when the damn rooster that lived next door decided to cluck...once would have been fine but that frickin' bird started a chorus of all the roosters in town and there were a lot of them.  I was seriously thinking of making fresh chicken pot pie for dinner that night.  I got up and put my ear plugs in and then I fell asleep until 10:30.

Plan for the day--head to Bellagio Italy. 

Originally the plan was to take the car and ferry over but Dorian suggested that Jackie drive along Lake Como...so off we set however the road construction crews were not so willing to cooperate.  We got to Lecco and the road Jackie wanted was under construction so we set merrily along on the detour except in Italy they send you off the road they are working on and don't give you directions they just leave you or in Jackie's case they leave you cursing!

We drove around in circles a couple of times and make a few wrong turns but Jackie got it sorted out and we arrived in Bellagio next we had to find parking.

There we no spots to be had so we waited now they do it a little different in Italy than in Canada.  The people that were waiting before you get the next spot that comes up not you find the spot and you get it as we do in Canada.  I think this is crazy but when in Italy, so I was out walking around (it is a very small lot of about 40-50 spots) and like Jackie said we waited out turn. SO our turn came and this couple in a black range rover decided that they were going to take my spot.  Now if I am going to play by their damn rules I am not letting anyone get in front of me.  I saw this couple arrive and the lady got out and was walking around so when I turn came up she decided she was next and I was having NONE of that.  So I went and stood in the parking spot and she started yelling at me in English and I told her under NO uncertain terms was she getting the parking spot as we waited out turn and that we were next to get a spot.  She then asked me if we were going to fight over the spot and I said no as I was standing in the spot and was not moving until my friend came over so she was NOT getting the spot. I then yelled for Jackie to come over while the ladies husband tried to pull into the spot and as I did not move an inch she went to talk to him and Jackie came over and pulled into the spot.  The lady had spotted people going over to there car so she asked them if they were leaving and went and got that spot.  There was a lot of yelling that I did not go into detail about but I am not one to back down and if Jackie tells me the way they do it in Italy then I will follow her rules and I will not lose a spot cause someone does not want to play but those rules (I think they were German based on the plates).

So off we set to explore Bellagio.  I bought a new pair of sandals although they cut my feet up pretty good the first time I wore them In Cannes.  (I am hoping to break them in once I get them from my mum as I mailed them to her.)  Bellagio is a lovely little resort town and it was really really crowed with annoying tourists (according to Jackie).  The weather was amazing (as you can tell from the photos).  Jackie was not happy that they could charge 2.50 euros for a coffee as the rates are set by a governement agency and she can only charge 90 cents. The people that come into her bar complain the cost has gone up 5 cents she said they would have heart attackes if they saw the price in Bellagio. She doesn't understand how they can get away with charging that and she wonders what the people of Bellagio think of it.

One thing I noticed and asked Jackie about is all the Pinocchio wooden dolls for sale. She found it odd as well and didn't notice it until I pointed it. I wondered if the story took place in Bellagio or the writer was from there but I checked and he is from Florence.  (If anyone knows why Bellagio is fascinated with Pinocchio let me know).

I don't know why I did not notice it on the drive into town but the road is at the side of a mountain with Lake Como on the other side.  It is single lane traffic in each direction but the road is barely wide enough for two lanes.  On the way out of Bellagio it freaked me out...you could see all the scrapes along the mountain where cars had to pull in as the cars going in the other direction were not willing to move.

Back at Jackie's we all had dinner and then I had to pack as I had a 9 hour train journey in the morning to Cannes.

I will definitely be back to visit Jackie (and her family) as you can tell in those 3 days we packed a lot in but she tells me there is so much more for me to see and I can't wait to see it.





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