Sunday, June 17, 2012

So we're four days in to our little European jaunt, and finally getting fingers in action. In my defense it's been a hectic few days, and jetlag has me feeling like a cranky, over-medicated pensioner. Some cute Italian kiddies very nearly copped it in the vegetable aisle this afternoon- and I'm sure you know how painful that can be. Anyways, here's what's unfolded so far...
 I don't want to tell tales here, but if you wanted to enter the EU undetected, Rome may be your best bet. My friendly immigration officer glanced at my passport with all the interest Berlusconi would show a bottle of sunscreen. Cursory would be an overstatement.Then a derisive wave and I was through. It was at this point that I realised that my preparedness for my Italian adventure consisted of a barely functioning, downloaded map of Rome, and a dozen or so words of restaurant Spanish. But I'd come this far, so I hoisted my horns and set off to meet some new amigos.
 I had a day and a half before the first gig, so after settling in to my charmingly drab hotel room, I went sight-seeing. Now, I'm a shitty tourist, but I knew I'd be interrogated by friends and strangers alike upon my return, so I made an effort. And to be fair, it is Rome, and they've got fascinating and historically significant gear up the gooner. First up was the Imperial Forum where I marveled at two-thousand-year-old ruins, and was attacked by a seagull. Seems unreasonable, but I have been accused of resembling a french fry before, so fair enough, I say. I was also hungry and may have been trying to steal its eggs. From there it was off to the Colosseum. Don't think I can shed any new light on that particular edifice, but I can tell you that I entertained tourists and locals alike with what I'm hoping will soon be the joint's new themesong. It's pretty much just the Addams' Family with Colosseum instead of museum, and Addams replaced by Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus. Check back next week for the ringtone.
 Other Roman highlights: seeing a lumpy American teenager in a humourous T shirt smiling uncertainly for a photo, while slouching dutifully beside a statue of Julius Caesar in all his regal and commanding glory, illustrating in an instant the inexorable decline of the human race; eating a delicious meal in a restaurant with a picture of former Australian Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone on the wall, and keeping it all down; resisting the cheap, tacky souvenirs for sale on every corner (I went off the beaten track to find this genuine plastic Centurian outfit... Not real comfy, actually- don't know why the locals wear them) ; and throwing a tourist into the Trevi Fountain, which has brought me nothing but good luck ever since.
 The gig (really the reason I was there), was terrific- swinging support from Canadian bassist Ron Seguin, and my mate Adam Pache on the drums, in a groovy little club called Gregory's (named after the little-known emporor Greg Caesar). The folks seemed to enjoy the music, and my laboured patter was met with baffled silence, so it felt just like home.
 That's it for now. Next up, Milan and Paulie Shore! Righto...

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