lunedì, gennaio 05, 2009

Reflections on a European voyage

Travelling in this over-ripened cheese of a continent at Christmastime is fucking penitential. We had this intensely beautiful and amusing holiday in Sicily and Calabria - more Milos Foreman than Sergio Corbucci it may have all been, and I did have the exquisite pleasure of losing my keys on the first day, but by Sunday, when we were due to fly back to Germany, I was feeling excellent. Well rested, well fed, well fucked, well et cetera. Some of the more family-friendly aspects of the fortnight will no doubt get exposed here in the coming days.

And then, Stefanito got mixed up about when I needed to be at the aeroport - two hours away on dreadful mountain roads - and decided for a marathon session in the bathroom. The entire household took turns begging him to hurry but if there is an Irresistible Force in this world, it's an Italian man occupying a fucking toilet. Anyways, eventually he popped out, responded to the situation, and fucking gunned us across some of the worst winter roads in Aspromonte. That little Fiat was going so fast I thought it would disintegrate. Intensely beautiful region we were burning through, but an absolute shithole - our (Reggio) side of the mountain is okay, or at least as okay as Aspromonte gets, but the Santa Eufemia side is where they took the northern kidnap victims back in the day and no doubt where all sorts of bad shit is got up to now, up to and including some cockless guinea motherfucker taking a bead on us with a handgun as we whizzed by.

We got to the aeroport twenty minutes late, but it turned out that was only bad for my nerves, because Italy being Italy the check-in was crawling at a retarded snail's pace. In fact, we checked in ten minutes before the fucking plane took off, and security was a breeze - all the women setting off the metal detectors with their belt buckles, et cetera, all the security men gaily , or rather heterosexually, waving them through. Not such a breeze, however, that the F-word didn't have confiscated from his hand luggage my bottle of Burt's Bees skin creme Elvis and the Vermeer Lady had mailed me from Vancouver for Christmas (not available in Belgium) which for some inexplicable reason he a) had, and b) had in his fucking hand luggage. I was pissed. I still am.

Luckily for him, Europe was about to overshadow his inexplicability by losing my checked baggage. Not much more to say about that. If it doesn't arrive I'll be fucking pissed. Aside from all the stuff typically in luggage that one doesn't want to lose, there was some olive oil soap in it my family makes from their farm, and little things for the neice, and a couple of packets of Caffe Mauro, roasted in Reggio and, once more, not available in motherfucking Belgium. Not to mention another bottle of Burt's Bees moisturizer that my mum bought me last time I was in Canada. Fuck. Uberfuck. The F-word's luggage got through, but the jar of expensive and exquisite thyme honey we'd bought in Syracusa had got broken despite careful bubble wrapping. Fucking hurrah. Three cheers for European luggage handlers, the fucking trogladyte cunts.

So speaking of Canada, northern Europe is in the grip of a rather refreshing Canadian-esque cold snap, with reasonable quantities of snow on the ground and temperatures bottoming out around -7 C. Pleasant to me, utterly chaos-producing to these incompetents. Let's face a fundamental fucking fact here: Germany and Belgium are northern countries. The last couple of years have been warm, but the winters here traditionally involve cold, snow, and, you know, fucking winter. And then in the last three days, five fucking inches of the shit falls from the sky and has the temerity to remain on the ground, and suddenly it's fucking Armageddon here. Getting from Dusseldorf to Brussels last night had me in tears. Tears of fury rather than despair, yes, but tears nonetheless.

And then, to cap the whole motherfucker off, when we ground into town around 22h in no mood to cook, I bought us some falafel from my favourite kebab shop, and they've changed the fucking recipe or supplier or something, and now it tastes like deep-fried sand. Fuck. Titfuck. Fistfuck. Truckfuck. Et cetera. And as if all that wasn't enough, now I have to go to work, because I haven't been fired yet. Call this a fucking recession? Porca troia. And fuck.

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