01 December 2008

Last time I was in Florence

Well… It's now December. 35 days from today until I leave for Madrid. Final preparations are being made. I've started putting the finishing touches to my plans, getting quotes from removalists and that sort of thing.

I've also stocked up on green and gold clothing with 'Australia' written on it. The last thing I want to do is get in a taxi with a disgruntled nationalist who thinks I'm American. And to keep warm, I've bought a rather dashing Bourke and Wills coat. Actually, I think winter in Spain is a fair bit more temperate than say England or Switzerland, but I reckon it will get cold enough to get away with it. Actually, I just want to wear a Bourke and Wills coat and walk around saying "g'day" a lot.

People at work are getting to the part where they offer me advice on where I should go while I'm over there. While I’m sure it’s all well intentioned, it actually makes me want to hit them sometimes.

“Oh, you’re going to Spain? How lovely. I remember when I was in Europe. What city are you staying in? Madrid? Oh no, you don’t want to go there. Make sure you get out to Salamanca. They’ve got this fantastic bakery you have to check out.”

“You’re going to Madrid? Oh, I much preferred Barcelona, to be honest. I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time, but make sure you get up north. It’s much nicer.”

“Are you going to France at all? What do you mean, filthy?”

“Well, if you go travelling, make sure you get down south. Are you heading over to Morocco? Yeah, see the south, that’s where the real Spain is. Madrid was just so cold and boring.”

You know what? It might well make me an uncultured Strine, but I’ve never actually been further afield than Invercargill (I’m measuring in distance from Darwin, so technically I think Singapore is closer). I have it in mind to see as many new things as I can while I’m there, and to be honest, even dull, cold old Madrid is going to be a big adventure for this particular Territorian, so I really don’t care how many darling antique silverware shops you found last time you were in Venice. And I don’t want to see photos of your last skiing holiday in Germany. I have no interest in the classical guitarist you met this one time in Lisbon.

I’m not interested in comparing notes with you before I’ve actually taken any. And no. I can’t speak freaking Spanish (kiss me) yet.

Far from home (how ironic)

Garry with 2 Rs
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