The Flat Possum Gazette  

Test Kitchen

Courtesy of the Road-Kill Press

= Impressions of Itlay =

Bill,

I've been thinking.  About Italian food, sauces, pasta, salads, restaurants, hotels, lovely women, wines. As you know, we went ahead and spent your inheritance and went to Italy awhile back. You will be pleased to know that we enjoyed or trip very much; Capri was lovely. Immediately upon our return I reflected and then jotted down my "Impressions of Italy". This is what you get instead of money, so think positive.

IMPRESSIONS OF ITALY

1.  No wash cloths.
2.  Most Italians smoke.  They smoke a lot.
3.  Hordes of speedy motor scooters, with a girl and/or a dog in the driver's lap.
4.  More hordes of speedy very small cars, all vying for the same parking space.
5.  Hundreds of steps, everywhere.  All going up.
6.  Rome looks like Milan.
7.  Milan looks like Rome.  Naples is awful.
8.  Good roads. (The main ones.)
9.  Well marked roads. (The main ones.)
10. Beautiful hills and fields.
11. Lots of gardens. Well tended, manicured.
12. Small, teeney, tiney elevators in hotels. (two persons, one suitcase, max.)
13. No wooden buildings or homes.  All stone or concrete.
14. Red tile roofs on everything. Everything. (Must be a law)
15. Lots of window boxes with flowers.
16. Great wines, and lots of it.
17. All the pasta is good.
18. Colors of houses:  Siennas, Ochres and Green Oxides. Mostly pretty.
19. Lots of trompe l'oeil,  therefore lots of good artists.
20. Ancient little towns built on tops of hills. For protection, in the old days, I'm told.
21. Weird tasting coffee.
22. Italians sit around and talk a lot, and with their hands.
23. Really narrow streets. I mean really narrow.
24. Lots of cops, walking around. Very young. Resplendent uniforms.
25. With all those Japanese visiting Italy, who is minding the store in Tokyo?
26. Italians dress well. Especially in big towns. Better than most Americans.
27. Great shops. They are everywhere, and people walk to them. Expensive.
28. Where are the sailboats?  Lots of power boats, but no sails.
29. "STOP" signs are merely a suggestion in Italy.
30. The "AUTO-GRILLS" on the main motorways are great places to eat while travelling.  Why hasn't the U.S. caught on to this? We have nothing to compare.
31. Bread is good, everywhere.
32. No chocolate mints on pillows in hotels.
33. Ice cubes are really scarce.
34. Room service is practically non-existent.
35. "Ranch" salad dressing not available. Get used to olive oil.
36. Over half of the Italian peninsula is inhabited by Japanese, moving about in groups, smoking cigarettes.
37. Shops and stores close for lunch at 12:30 PM  and reopen about 3:30PM, and remain open into the evening.  People eat supper around 9 or 10.
38. Mozzarella cheese made from the milk of water buffalo is outstanding. It is called "Mozzarella de Bufala". They maintain herds just for that purpose. The regular Mozzarella cheese does not compare in taste to this "de Bufala" variety.
39. I learned to order the restaurant's house wine. They likely will bring it to you in a pitcher or carafe, or in an opened bottle with no label. It was always good.
40. This is the first time I saw black whores prospecting for customers alongside country roads. They were every few hundred yards, and as you pass them by, they shout something, turn around, flip up their short skirts and "moon" you and your passengers. I was told that they were from "Africa", and the police were doing nothing to control them.
41. The mafia is really there. It is really in control. It has been that way for generations. In the highest levels of government and business. They have whole mafia towns. I saw them, they are strange. Nobody works but they regularly kill each other.  A very small town may have 100 killings a year. But, tourists are safe. The mafia hotels are beautiful; this is where they have wedding parties for their daughters.
42. The main motorways are privately owned.  This is like our Interstate Highways; they are privately maintained, as well. No government money involved. It works.
43. Yes, they have real gypsies. So does England, for that matter.

Dad

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