A Birthday Abroad

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What a nice place for a Birthday.

On the shores of beautiful Lake Garda, we swam in a warm lake and ate delicious Italian gelato as we walked the harbour. Food was delicious and we always ate on the lakeside. I overloaded on cheese as I had day after day of quattro formaggi pizza accompanied by Italian wine. On my mother’s actual Birthday, we visited a castle, cycled for several kilometres, and visited a couple of different beaches. Breakfast was served with champage, as was our lakeside picnic and all around, the day was a extremely lovely one.

I was sad to see my family go, but happier to have had them come.

Two guys of unknown origins took me away from the lake. We literally had no ability to communicate and I will claim that they are Moldovan because they said something that sounded similar. They spoke a language not dissimilar to Russian. I don’t know what language they speak in Moldova.

I travelled to Verona and enjoyed interesting architecture and attractive streets. Sitting in the main square, an elderly gentleman offered me half a bottle of wine. I laughed and politely declined at which point he went to put it in the bin. At this point, I stopped him. He explained that he was going into the amphitheater and wasn’t permitted to take alcohol into the arena. I quickly changed my mind and took the wine for my journey. It served me well as I walked a great many kilometres out of Verona at nightfall.

I wouldn’t recommend hitching at night. Not for safety. Whatever happens at night could also happen in the day. However, people are a lot less willing to pick you up at night. I was near the motorway which would be beneficial in the morning and I had found a good place to camp for the night. Stupidly I decided to catch one more ride.

A friendly Sri Lankan man talked of cricket in broken English and took me to a train station, far from the motorway. I explained I didn’t want to take a train, so he took me to a bus stop instead. I explained that I would hitch-hike, but he said it was impossible. I ate the remains of the birthday picnic on the roadside before deciding to sleep beside a small apricot orchard and vinyard that I found next to a bridge.

I dreamt that someone unpleasant was in my tent and woke up in a panic. Nobody was in my tent.

I went to a shop today where a lady had forgotten to weigh her courgettes. It took an awful long time for her to go and weigh them. It seems unusual that it’s impossible to weight them at the check out.

A rather stunning dragonfly got swept under a passing car as I passed it. I retrieved it from the road to find it incapable of flight but quite content to pose for photos. I left it on a bush, away from the road. It probably isn’t OK.

A friendly Italian truck driver went out of his way to take me into Padova, where I will be staying tonight. He invited me to his house at some point in the future, or to come to Oktoberfest when it happens. I don’t think I will be around for the festival, but I might visit him sometime.

Alternating between writing this and reading a beautiful Japanese book that was sent to me as a gift from a friend very far away, I am sitting in a large public garden. I just saw a large rat come out from the bushes to retrieve something from the grass, a few metres from me.

I think this one was a friendly rat.

I wonder if rats vary from country to country. Do Japanese rats speak the same ‘language’ as Italian rats?

1 Comment

  • In Moldova they speak Romanian, which is a roman language, not slavic. The language takes some of its vocabulary from slavic languages, though.

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