The day in Riccione is as beautiful as the night before was awful. There are branches of trees and other debris strewn around the roads as a result of the storm, but the sun is shining out of a clear blue sky and the sun warmed temperature is around 75 degrees. We have gathered at the pizza restaurant on a corner of the main avenue, midpoint between our apartment and the Hotel Fedora. A menu has been distributed to everyone. It does little good for any of us since it is all in Italian. Charlie and Jackie Allie are at the end of the large table that was placed together for our group. The Aussie, Bob Cozens is at the opposite end. BEG and I sit across from Bill and Stephanie Collins. We have a language barrier with the waiter and more importantly we lack any sort of rapport with him as well.
Over the course of the 17 days in
“If I had a bloody beer I’d drink it,” Cozens informs the group. That thought is replaced by his next thought, which is also expressed out loud to the group, “Wow, look at the knockers on that gal would ya,” as his head swivels to follow a fashion plate olive skinned Italian girl in a tight sweater walking by the open air seating; though I don’t think he noticed her complexion. None of the other guys say anything with wives present, but we do look immediately. At her complexion I mean.
The women in
Stephanie and Jackie decide that the lady with the cool knockers has really cute shoes. “Just what I was thinking” is what I said. Everyone stares at me. “I’m too sleepy and brain dead to be witty,” is what I was about to say to the stares, but it never got out because the pizza had arrived at the same time. For some reason I am expecting something special from an Italian pizza restaurant. I guess my level of expectation is produced from the Travel Channel. Remember where the too happy host sticks the pizza in her mouth and goes “ummmm, so special” as she mugs into the camera and adds “
This pizza in front of me is a vegetable pizza according to the menu. (The menu had pictures for the slow and sleepy) Have these people never trained at Pizza Hut or Pizza Inn? There are four vegetables on the pizza in front of me. There is one slice of tomato on one of the four quadrants. Not diced or chopped, mind you, just a singular slice of tomato sitting on thin cheese over a hard baked flat bread crust. On another quadrant is a slice of eggplant. It too is sitting there in solitary confinement on its designated quadrant. The third quadrant is decorated with 3 black olive slices. Just three thin slices though, no need to get carried away. The fourth glamorous quadrant is naked except for its thin coating of white cheese. Staring down at the pizza I am reminded of a Salvador Dali painting. I guess its because his paintings always seemed so sad to me. Remember the odd paintings with droopy ears supported by a crutch while a clock is melting off the wall in the background and such nonsense? This pizza is sad that way, with its three little vegetables scattered around, sort of droopy themselves. This is a poverty stricken pizza, though it will cost E15 to eat it.
After lunch I mosied over to the Hotel Fedora. Mosieing is an acquired art. My friend Bill is a master at mosieing. Its a distinctive manner of walking. Its also hard to spell. More about mosieing later. This is the day I met Christina, a front desk clerk at the Fedora. Christina spoke a wee bit of English; just enough to make her fun and very cute in a charming way. What was most important to me was she seemed to genuinely care about my situation. Later in the trip I will show you a photo of Christine kissing my cheek. I gave her all the info I had to create a delivery of the luggage to the Fedora. She determinedly picked up the telephone and called the
The day went on without sleep. BEG and I discussed that there was no need to buy a lot of clothes this day since the luggage would probably arrive in a day or two. Our friends affirmed this decision.
We went to dinner that night at around 6pm only to be turned away at the door of every restaurant we approached. Here’s the thing. They don’t open for dinner until 8 or 9pm in
The next morning would bring the first experiences on the track at the 2007 World Championships!
Photo 1 - The Pizza Restaurant on the corner
Photo 2 - Bill and I visit the Fedora Hotel to deal with lost luggage