Reflections from the future in Italy and France
1- How beautiful is Italy! Venice, Verona, Genoa… and the Italians are awesome, super crazy, a bit lazy, it feels pretty much like home.
2- In the future people already overcame the Fernet period. In Italy, where it was invented, is drunk only by some few old men, that drink it pure. What’s “in” now is the Spiritz, a red beverage made with Campari, wine, Aperol, etc. And the wines are majestic, like in France. At 5 in the afternoon people gather to have the “aperitivo”, that consists of some drinks and food, like an anticipated dinner. A lot of weed and hash too, as same as in France, where you can ussually smell that perfume on the street.
3- Italy it’s a big mix of accents, dialects, hot tempers, pasta, pesto (the real, delicious one, not like the one we eat in Uruguay), economic crisis, mafia, millenary history, fragmented political parties, football, pizza, wine and music. I loved it. It’s a pity the north-south inequality (I didn’t see it but I heard about it), the situation of the Africans, the mafia, the corruption and the lack of solidarity when you’re hitchhiking. My only good experience was when a guy from the south (apparently they are poorer but nicer) stopped his car by my side and offered to pay for my train ticket. That Sicilian was a legend.
4- They are quite similar to us, and as you learn Italian you see the influence they had on our country, with words like faccia, aggiornato, guarda, mattina, capo, naso, fato and gamba.
5- Italy was the first country where I saw that people don’t take their shoes off when they enter a house, except for Latin America. The Balkans, South East Asia and New Zealand… they all have the no-shoes-in-the-house tradition, which I love.
6- France is amazing, with its daily consumption of 43 baguettes, 5 pastis, 17 pieces of cheese, 3 liters of wine… and the little bastards don’t get fat. Maybe it’s because there’s a fashion of going to work in those skateboards with handle, or by bike, and having quite a lot of sex, I heard.
7- I lived the Paris terrorist attacks from Marseille, seeing how the amount of cops and soldiers patrolling the streets increased day by day, seeing the nationalist reactions on people, with too few cases of self-criticism, hearing them say that they were attacked because of their free and cool life-style but omitting so many years of European bombings and invasions in Muslim countries.
8- To learn French is quite difficult, I miss the Italian! But even then I finished my trip in France knowing how to flirt and curse.
9- They are awesome when it refers to giving rides to hitch-hikers. So far, France was the best country for this, they are very caring and hippie towards backpackers.
10- The Italian and French girls are gorgeous, as I expected, and those accents mon dieu!
11- I went to a very amusing French dance class, I asked for food in bakeries, I slept outside a train station and did some “blackriding” in trains… France was a country for new experiences, all of them successful and instructive.
12- And when I was almost bankrupt again, once more I confirmed that hitch-hiking, using Couchsurfing and having good friends on the road are the best ingredients for a great trip, for learning good lessons and restoring the faith in humanity at its maximum! Thanks to all those new friends and the old ones that I hadn’t seen for a while. Viva l’Italia et Viva le France! I loved both countries (except for the Italian car drivers, they will go to a drivers’ hell where they’ll spend an eternity trapped in a traffic jam surrounded by hitch-hikers and street jugglers).
13- I still find it hard to believe that the rightist parties have increased so much their electorates in Argentina, Venezuela and France… but it’s understandable, it’s not easy to fight the big media, the widespread ignorance and apathy, the First World great powers and the local rich people that generate economic wars to achieve their goals. But what goes around comes around, and in the long run people wise up.
I’m already in Madrid! With some brothers I hadn’t seen for 4 years, celebrating in big in the best place possible to spend my birthday (outside Uruguay, of course), and in an environment of elections, New Year’s Eve and Christmas. This is my first December in the northern hemisphere, winter is coming 😛
Hugs for everyone, thanks for your birthday wishes and Long live Spain 😀
Originally written on December 9th, in Madrid, Spain.