March 25, 2011

Venice Pt. 3 - Night life

It turns out the bar we sought shelter in was none other than Madigans (the bar the waiter recommended)! Glancing immediately up at the sports television, Dani asked the bar tender, who we later learned was named Fabio, if they had ESPN America (you can take the American basketball player out of America in March, but you can't take March Madness out of the American basketball player). Fabio reached down, grabbing the TV remote as Dani and I held our breath and shot each other hopeful looks. UCLA vs. Florida appeared on the screen and we immediately decided Madigans had just earned our business for the night.

Dani & Me Outside Piccolo Mondo
Now, before you get the wrong idea, I find it necessary to explain that both Dani and I consider ourselves 'grandmas' when it comes to partying. Like the dancing until 4AM that Europeans do is really, REALLY hard for us. We both like a solid eight hours of sleep, and have no problem calling it a night before midnight if we're tired. This is the part of the trip where the aforementioned SuperMoon came into play. Like I said, the SuperMoon makes people act CrAzY, and for some reason trying a shot called "Sex on the Gondola" (consisting of absinthe, Bailey's, and Kahlua) suddenly seemed like the best idea ever. Maybe the saying should be, "When in as the Venetians do?" I had never tried absinthe before - the only thing I knew about absinthe was what I learned from the movie Moulin Rouge, and I was actually kind of scared I'd start seeing a green fairy, which I even admitted to Dani after our decision to give the shot a shot. Needless to say, after Fabio poured our shots and then proceeded to light them on fire, I was growing progressively more worried. The power of the SuperMoon took over though, and Dani and I both finished our shots leaving nothing for Fabio to do but blow out the remaining fire. Shortly after, we settled down to watch the game - which we were successfully able to do until halftime; at which point a small crowd of Italian men poured into the bar preparing to watch some soccer game.

Within a matter of minutes of hearing the Italian men talking and cheering, Dani and I got into a discussion about language. I admit (although at first I denied it), Italian sounds very similar to Spanish. Dani was able to pick out verbs and phrases that she'd learned from her year playing basketball in Spain, making it possible to communicate with our company. I tried to contribute to the conversation by hearing one guy yell "ALLEZ" (Which in French means ‘go’), only to learn that he was calling to his friend "Alex" (who was probably very confused when I kept chanting his name thinking I was adding to the cheers for the competing soccer team). Oops. Innocent mistake. Note to self: Italian doesn't have much in common with French.

San Marco Square @ Night
After making friends with Fabio, Alex, and a guy named Flanders, in entered Jira. Jira stood out to me among the room full of Italian men; maybe because he was of average height for a male, maybe because when he saw me he immediately said "Ciao Bella" and winked, or maybe because his eyebrows looked freshly waxed (there's a fine line between metrosexual and European by the way). Through the course of the soccer game Jira made his way over to where I was sitting and tried his best at international flirting. When the only phrases you can understand from someone you're talking to are "hi" and "how are you," you know your relationship is doomed from the get-go. Regardless, I sat and stumbled through a conversation with Jira, and somehow managed (through gestures and broken languages), to figure out that there was a dance club on the island called Piccolo Mondo. After conferring with Dani about a plan of action (and naturally a code word - Guacamole - for when it was time to leave), we decided to head to Piccolo Mondo for a night of dancing.

Now guys, let me let you in on a little secret. If you don't know the words to a song - don't attempt to sing it. Better yet, if you don't know the words to a song, please don't think screeching nonsense five octaves above the lyrics will contribute to your 'game.' Jira, my dance partner for the evening, was actually a good dancer. Thanks to a friend from home who taught me the basics of salsa dancing, I was able to let Jira spin me and lead me to the music without falling, stepping on his feet, or biting his head (hey Al! ;)). Unfortunately for Jira, his screeching really took away from his dancing, and "Guacamole" was announced shortly before 2AM.

Dani and I said our goodbyes to our Italian friends and hopped on the Vaporetto heading back to San Marco Square. One of the things on our to-do list was to see the square late at night when all the day tourists were gone. When we came up to the square, and I triumphed over the death step (actually I sat on it like a 5 year old and scooted my butt down into the square), 

Happily Eating our Pizza
we took notice of the lamps and SuperMoon lighting up the eerily quiet area. As hectic and filled as San Marco Square was during the day, it was its polar opposite by night.

No sooner did we say how clutch some Venetian pizza would be, than a guy carrying a slice walked by. We immediately engaged in conversation, leading us to meet my favorite Venetian of our trip. This guy (whose name we never learned) wanted nothing more than to show us where the pizza shop was. He enthusiastically talked with us as he walked us to the pizza shop, and once we found our way said a friendly 'goodbye' and returned to his friends. This hole-in-the-wall pizza place with a line out the door had THE BEST pizza. I don't know how many times in my life I'll be able to say I sat in San Marco Square eating a slice of delicious pizza at 2AM under a SuperMoon, but it happened once!

While we were eating, another Venetian man approached us, who had apparently just gotten off work at 2:30AM and was heading out for a drink. This Venetian was my least favorite on our trip, since after we said no - that we were done for the night and heading home - he continued to push, asking us for our numbers, if we would meet him tomorrow, etc., etc.  After finally getting rid of him, we made our way back to our hostel, replayed some of the night, and again, hit our pillows exhausted.

1 comment: