Monday, March 7, 2011

Carnivale di Venezia (part one)

The train on our return from Venice to Milan was silent only buzzing with a few snores and drunken half asleep slurs.  Some passengers slept with their heads bobbing up and down or sidewards, some with their mouths wide open, too exhausted to care about appearances. Some still carried the trails of the past 24 hours;  coriandoli (confetti) in their hair and clothes, a stranger still hanging on their arm or a mask dangling from their bags. Everyone relieved to be able sit down and close their eyes, all utterly exhausted.

At some point during this three and half hour trip however we were abruptly wakened by loud shouting that came like a storm into the coach. I was one of the first to wake up in fright by the shouting coming from the seats behind me.  An ominous looking man with long black dreadlocks shouted at the girl behind me about his bag which he then placed on the seat next to her, saying something about how people wants to steal his bag, the poor girl rattled out of her sleep, trying to explain to him that she really just wants to sleep and wants no trouble. Out of shear shock I hopped up and asked him if he could please keep his voice down to which he replied something in Italian which meant something like going into your ass, but really I was was too tired to really understand his insult.  

The fact that some people were now dissaprovingly looking at him and rolling there eyes only seemed to be like fuel to his fire as he now walked up and down the coach ranting insults to us all. He said something like “you are all asleep, but you are racists and thieves and slaves of arabs” inserting the word “motherfuckers”  after every statement and any other open space left to use the word. He then proceeded to an open seat opposite an Asian man.  The fact that he was Asian immediately made the man adres him. “Where are you from?” he asked with the loudest tone of voice one can possibly immagine, the poor man replied that he is Vietnamese, which didn’t really seem to sink in with the rebel here as he almost started assaulting the poor guy by shouting at him for the capitalism of the Chinese and other wrong doings, calling him ignorant and spoiled and all kinds of other names. He then started frantically looking for his bag, blaming everyone of stealing it, as it was still lying where he left it next to the other girl. He then realised it, grabbed his bag and placed it opposite the Vietnamese man, shouting about how he can not trust him, then repeated his earlier rantings about his disgust in the east.  He then continued to rant at the rest of the bus, calling the Spanish thieves, the Italians corrupt and basically every other existing nation as something negative and always using the word “motherfuckers” repeating it like a mantra.

It took my two friends to walk over 10 coaches to report the matter to the conductor. When the conductors arrived they observed him as he was now doing kicks and slamming the seats with hands.  I have no idea what the conductor said to him, but he managed to talk to the man in calmest of ways and made him leave the train at the next stop. Silence at last.

We could finally return to our numb states. This radical scene seemed almost the appropriate end to one of the crazier days I’ve come by in my life. What an adventure it has been, the carnival of Venice held up to the reputation of carnival offering chaos, absurdity and spectacle... 

To be continued...

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