We’re here, and…well, you’re not.

October 24, 2006 at 4:58 pm (Uncategorized)

I just had to get that off my chest, just in case there was any doubt about how bloody GOOD it is to be in Italy. Soooooo good, sooooo much better than NOT being here. We are in Firenze, and being very, very bad. There has been so much hardening of the arteries going on I can basically go three days without needing a bathroom with a door.

A few quick facts about travelling in Italy: there don’t seem to be any poor people in any of the major towns (except the gypsies, and even they look fairly well turned out). There is so much luxe retail here it’s like being in permanent duty free territory. What I can’t figure out for the life of me is how they are managing to buy anything when so many people have really Asian-style, made up jobs that wouldn’t last two minutes in Australia, where we are nothing if not efficient about culling those pesky blue collar positions. There’s a guy whose job it is at Pompei to take your ticket and feed it into the automated turnstile. He’d be lonely, except that there’s someone else at every other entrance similarly highly skilled in the confounding practice of the ticket feed. How is that a job? Today we saw staff in every room of the Palazzo quite shamelessly setting themselves up for another day in a comfortable corner with a good book. Essentially a less sophisticated form of ticket feeding, whereby they look at yours as you go through different sections. Oh, and they are occasionally called upon to stamp out uprisings of photographic activity. For a people responsible for some of the most sophisticated industry in history, this seems to me a little on the lazy side. I’d like to know how much these ticket talents get paid, because they all dress like pop stars.

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