Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Rome - part four - top tips for surviving Italy

Fly 'Alitalia' :-this will give you a head-start on the insults and indifference to which you will be subjected during the course of your holiday before you even get to Italy-indeed ,if you fly from LHR,before you even leave England.

You will also understand why the Pope kisses the ground whenever he disembarks from an Alitalia plane...and why Italians in general pray so much.

'Cheese' is considered to be one of the five-fruit-and-vegetables that its recommended that you should eat daily.

As is pasta.

And meat.

If you want a salad then find a McDonald's.Really!!

Many of the locals will be better looking than you are...almost all will be better dressed.Get over it...however try not to highlight the fact that you're ugly and that your mother has dressed you funny by avoiding the following common fashion faux pas:-

1.If you are from Europe,specifically the UK or Germany then please note that sandals are never,-under any circumstances whatsoever-,to be worn with socks...especially if you are wearing shorts and/or knee-high socks.People will quite rightly point at you and laugh.

2.'Plaid', the patterned material so beloved of Americans was originally designed as a joke by effete New York liberal intellectuals on over-weight middle-Americans;and in itself,it derives from 'tartan',a joke played by effete Scots on ...well...everyone.

If a snobby or rude waiter or hotel receptionist is trying it on, because you speak little or no Italian,remember the following phrase..."I'm sorry I do not speak much Italian...but I am a British (Allied) Army officer...and you can surrender to me!!"

This phrase will be helpful in most social situations.

Do develop your own phrase to us on other English-speaking tourists...there is no law that says that you have to talk to your countrymen when on holiday...specifically if you are on holiday.

Mine include the following:-"Nein hable Anglais" ;"Non parlay Italiano" and "Nie sprechten Inglisi".There is also the ever popular,"No speaka da English".Rest assured that most of your countrymen will have no idea what you have said to them but will be impressed that you appear to be able to speak three foreign languages simultaneously and they will leave you alone.

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