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Showing posts from October, 2008

Dieting Italian style in the Cinque Terre (or "Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen...")

We have arrived in the Cinque Terre which is on the North West coast of Italy. The direct translation is "Five Towns" and the idea is that you stroll / hike from one town to the next marvelling in the sights of the sea and the beauty of the towns. And the towns are lovely - it is as if Walt Disney came here 80 years ago to get his ideas of what fairy castles etc should look like. Pretty as a picture We are staying in the most Southerly town inside the Cinque Terre - Riomaggiore. There are no real hotels inside the Cinque Terre and the books (Lonely Planet and the " Rough Rubbish Guide to Italy") advise staying with locals. Accordingly we found ourselves following a burly, and I thought rather scary, Italian man home from the station after we arrived. Despite initial trepidation we ended up at a lovely apartment with a view of the sea at a fair price and with a gushing landlady who is wont to say things like "you should-a make-a the hay while the sun-

A Good Kicking

I have little, in fact no, tolerance left for young women who sit with their legs crossed on public transport. Why they do it is beyond me - surely they know they are taking up more than their allotted space when they do so? I mean, i'd be bound to notice if i spent 50 minutes kneeing the person in front of me in the back and non-stop kicking the person next to me with every vibration of the bus - wouldn't you? It's as if they are completely unaware of their own bodies from the ankles down. Give me strength. (By the way apologies if you believe I am unfairly maligning the good name of "young women" - it is just that I havent yet encountered any men / older women / boys / girls / dogs / cats that exhibit the same objectionable behaviour) Away from the kickers Enough with the moaning. As you can probably gather Lisette and i have been spending a lot of time on buses of late - we have been a little over ambitious with this holiday in that we are travelling pre

All Italian women look like Bono

Each one the same face swathed in 90% black plastic, shielding the wearer from having to interface with the world. Oddly it appears that at roughly the age of 50 they all abandon their U2 ambitions and start to interact with people once again - reasons for this are not yet fully understood. Lisette is learning quickly that the term "local speciality" is not necessarily a recommendation. For lunch she had what is best described as "pig fat... on toast" and yesterday evening was a strange pasta dish that was so intensely green in colour that we have dubbed it "Kermit Pasta". Most of these strange menu choices have been down the fact that none of the restaurants have even a hint of an English translation and so we have been thrusting into the great unknown. Happily my choices have been much more pleasant - no fat on toast for me! However, Lisette has made me promise that we track down an English menu before we make a food choices for the next meal. K

Learning things about pizza

Dear all, I type this from the sunny town of Sorrento in Southern Italy where Lisette and I currently reside! We pulled into town late on Sunday night and since we are in the birthplace of pizza we have devoted much of yesterday and today to researching the topic in depth. The first part of our education took place last night when we went for dinner at midnight (the journey to Italy having taken somewhat longer than we anticipated). Unfortunately despite having that 'late Latin lunching' reputation almost all the restaurants were shut by the witching hour. In fact lots of places seemed to be open but all told us that they were shut and pointed us the to the main square. We had actually been deliberately avoiding the main square as each restaurant appeared to have extra zeros after the prices ( -Presumably this is for the pleasure of dining in the main square where all the Italians congregate with their motorbikes put-putting away in the background....) Anyway, since w