We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Before my brain's hard drive deteriorates, a few more random thoughts about our northern Italy trip a few weeks ago, a trip which has been more-than-amply photo-documented here.
1. An ottica in Verbania fixed my glasses, for free. The nose-thingy fell off, and she put two new ones on. She was young, blonde, and lovely, and wore high black leather boots and a short-short skirt under her lab coat. My thanks to her.
2. Each morning from my balcony in Baveno I watched two families of Grebes, with their young'uns, paddling around the edge of Lago Maggiore. About the size of our Western Grebe. The chicks were just beginning to learn to dive. Sometimes, one would try to climb on Mom's back the way young grebes too, but they were really too big to fit. The Dad hunted for minnows to feed the chicks, and the Moms herded them so they wouldn't wander too far.
3. Wherever you go in Italy - city, town, country village, or farmland - you are being watched. There will be an old lady peeking from behind a curtain watching you go by. Just stop for a moment to admire somebody's tomatoes, and you will see the curtain move and an old face peer out. It never fails. Italians have a paranoid streak to them. Some old lady is always watching you. She thinks I might steal her zucchini.
5. Gelato? An overrated item, in my opinion, although the hazelnut is very nice indeed. Any dessert is always welcome. I have visited Italy several times, and keep hoping that I will discover the specialness of gelato, but Haagen Dazs is better. The local wines are more fun to sample.
Ditto to what Santay said, but I have a couple of observations. If you could notice all the attributes of the young maiden who fixed your glasses. You don't need them in the first place. Paranoid Italians? Doubtful. Suspicious, most definitely. Especially when you fondle some maiden in their gardens, and I thought I was a HORN BALL. You make me blush! I bet when you were done. You took the old ladies tomatoes, and zucchini too!!!
I really enjoyed all the articles. It always seems more interesting when it's a personal account from someone you know, rather than some sterile article in Travel Digest.
As I mentioned after the first post, the one thing that's continued to amaze me throughout all the pics is how lush the area is. Not "tropical", like it is here in the Keys, but heading that direction quickly. It'd be interesting to do some rainfall comparisons.
And all those old ladies peeking out their windows? I would suggest that it's neither paranoia nor curiosity. I would call it loneliness and boredom, and each of those plaintive faces was a call for help.
Mark Steyn, call your office. Your predicted demographics are manifesting into reality.