Thursday, April 26, 2007

5 things about Italy you won't read in a book

Listening to: Policy of Truth (Art of Mix) by Depeche Mode

More Italians are riding motorcycles than scooters now. 10 years ago the mosquito whine was an intergral part of the Roman soundscape. There are still lots just not as many...
[purrs] Ciaaaaao [makes scooter revving motion with hands] ala Eddie Izzard in Dressed to Thrill...

It's funny watching the street vendors of fake designer hand bags/sunglasses all running along in a group, each with a bundled up sheet of bags or board of sunglasses bouncing about. You know the police must be in the area. It's funny because they are persistant/annoying when you normally go past them.

As ubiquitous as the fake designer ware vendors, are the vendors selling rattle snake eggs (magnetic 'eggs' that make a racket when you throw them together) at every major Roman tourist attaction. They are like magic you know, and made in Italy of course that's why they sell them, and you can't buy them anywhere else in the world...

Laser pointer vendors point their wares at your feet while crossing San Marco's Square at night making you think you're about to get burnt by stray cigarette ash... Presumably laser pointers are really easy to buy in Venice. 'Cause you need them there to point at the water. Otherwise you might miss it. I should be directing all of my customers there. "You can try Officeworks, a pen shop or St Mark's Square in Venice."

Judging by the billboards Italians dig fake breasts and tans in a big way :P Two campaigns in particular were prominent. One was for a luggage company the name of which eludes us. Clearly not an effective campaign. The two women featured were barely buttoned into their shirts, coyly handling the, ah, merchandise. I found it amusing to say 'Tits! :)' to M - he sometimes spotted them before me and said it - every time we went past them at Rome's Termini station as well as quite a few other places.

A more effective campaign in terms of remembering the brand and conveying a message is this one which I managed to track down online:

Seen at train stations in Rome, Milan and Naples. We saw this one on average every two minutes on our lengthy bus ride to the airport in Milan. Imagine the Hollywood Tape needed for this shoot!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Cocktail Recipes: Ski Lift and Tropical Hobbit

Warm drink, known as a Ski Lift in the cocktail book* I have.
Make a yourself a hot chocolate as you normally would. Add to your cup:
1/2 measure of Malibu
1 measure of peach schnapps
Gives you a nice warm glow :)

Cold drink - my own concoction. Do you think we could get the name kiwi fruit changed to hobbit fruit? :P
Tropical Hobbit
1 mango chopped
2 kiwifruit peeled and chopped
1 cup or so of orange juice
Blend ingredients together. Drink up!

* Walton S, Olivier S, Farrow J, 'The Bartender's Companion to 750 Cocktails', Hermes House (Anness Publishing), London, 2005
This book is excellent value, with a wide range of cocktails, juices, smoothies and an index by cocktail name and ingredient. It also gives you information on liquors you might not know a lot (or anything) about.