Pizza and the Continuing Dock Saga

As I need to have music as background noise as I work the demise of my iPod tower last week has continued to bug me, not only did I have to return one faulty dock to the store near the airport I had to do the same again, but this time somewhat closer.

I love pizza and It would be fair to say that the Italians do too. The pizzeria is busiest around lunchtime with people clamouring for their slice of heavenly goodness (that’s how I see it.) I’m in no way stereotyping the Italian population by saying this; I’m not saying they are anything like the Dolmio family, but the truth is they do love pizza. In a country where McDonalds and other  takeaway restaurants sell less product than the traditional Italian pizzeria, you can understand why, it’s perfect fast-food and also in Italy tradition and culture are vitally important. I’ve sat in the McDonalds near the university and watched as young Italians flock through the doors in much the same way as their English counterparts, the difference here is they purchase very few burgers and opt for traditional Italian panini and slices of pizza.

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So after OH and myself had a slice of pizza and with the remaining two slices in the car for consumption later, we set off on a quest to buy a new iPod dock. We trawled through electronics shops and I am quite taken with a black, Sony device, but this has a clock included and a radio and really all I want is a dock and speaker combo. We tramp our way through the major supermarkets and drive backwards and forwards between the two in the centro commerciale. I eventually spot a nice little white LG device and it’s on offer, down from €79,90 to €49,90 for one week only… How fortuitous I think to myself, it’s fate. I read the symbol that states designed for iPod and iPhone and hand over my euro notes to the cashier.

I drive the 22 Km home and open the box eagerly, plug in all the cables and turn on the power and plug in my iPod and nothing happens, “Not again,” OH says remembering the saga with the first one and the no sound issue. “I’ll look at the destructions,” I say opening the instruction booklet, and read the words, suitable only for iPod Nano 4th generation and onwards. “I’ll try the USB,” I then say. But it’s to no avail, the dock is completely incompatible with an iPod classic. (I really should take my reading specs out with me).

So you guessed it, I had to return yet another device. I drive to Lanciano and explain that I had purchased it as a gift for my nephew and it was the wrong one; a lie I know but at least It gave me the chance to form a sentence with the word ‘sbagliato’ in it.  Taking no more chances I ask the assistant if they have any docks suitable for a classic iPod, she tells me, no and then refunds my money saying, “You speak sir, well Italian.” I’m convinced it’s the use of sbagliato, that boosted my language skills.

I return to Euronics and test the Sony device by inserting my iPod into it and Peter Murphy fills the shop with his song, I Spit Roses, an assistant comes over to see what I’m up to and within minutes he’s fetching me a docking station from the back of the shop. So finally after two false starts and a total of four trips and 178 km’s I finally have a new speaker pumping out tunes as I work away. Will it make me a better writer I doubt it, will it make me happy, you bet.

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And for those wanting to know what song was the first to shuffle and play on my new device, the artwork is above showing it was, Revive the World by Toyah, from the acoustic album.

Stop this Nerk (two)

So I’ve delivered the hire car back to the young man who resembles Jeff Brazier, even down to the same accent and spent the morning mooching around the arrivals hall at Stansted airport. It’s only 11.20 a.m. and I’ve noticed that there’s quite a lot of people speaking German and that the group of Eastern European men opposite me, who are swigging neat vodka out of a bottle they’re passing around are reinforcing their own stereotype. I decide it’s time to choose what will be lunch today, and having already decided it will be something healthy, I head to Pret a Manger and select a crayfish and avocado salad and return to my original seat. Opposite me now is a small boy, just a toddler and he’s eating a ham baguette that is the same length and thickness as his arms; he looks so funny dwarfed by his giant bread-stick. All around me people have their laptops open to Facebook, I switch on my iPod and it shuffles forward and Little Boots sings Motorway, as I tuck into my salad.

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I mooch some more and as I’m getting bored decide to ask if I can enter the departure lounge, as at least there’s shops to spend time in. The woman on the Ryanair desk says it’s okay and asks me to keep an eye out for the departure gate for the Pescara flight as all the information boards have malfunctioned. I join the queue at security, take off my belt: I have never understood why we have to do this. When my turn comes, the sign above my head reading, ‘stop this nerk and check his case’ must have lit up as my case has caused the machine to bleep and it’s been diverted to another bench. I’m called over and am asked if the case contains any liquids or creams. I respond in the negative but do tell the man who’s opening it that there’s a six-month supply of prescription drugs and a metal loaf tin inside. He removes the loaf tin and takes the case back to be x-rayed. The machine bleeps again and he comes back and asks me again if there’s any liquids or creams inside, again i reply, no and he smiles. “There’s deodorant inside,” he says. Recollection crosses my face and I tell him I’d forgotten it was there.

There’s now a small crowd all wanting to see what contraband is inside my case, they watch as the security guard removes two animal themed onsies, four packets of Colman’s chilli con carne mix, a retractable washing-line, a large orange rubber hoop and what looks like bags of powder. A woman leans in to see as the bags of powder are revealed and is visibly disappointed to see the bags contain turmeric, garam masala and cumin. (I’ll admit it: I’m a culinary powder trafficker). The man then retrieves three aerosols and two roll-on deodorants, “They had a sale in Asda,” I say as if that’ll make everything all right. He then swabs the case for narcotics, I assume and takes off the deodorants to be tested, before returning them to me in a plastic bag. I re-pack my case and am skulking off in the direction of departures when he calls me back. The nosey woman stops and turns to watch as he says, “You forgot these.” and I watch as he holds up a clear plastic bag containing three tubes of water-based lubricant with the words ‘Sensual Lube’ emblazoned across them. I take them from him and then say, “They had a sale on at …” I don’t go into any further details and remove myself from the security section and melt into the duty free shopping area.

Finally it’s time to join the queue for my flight, a man with a clipboard tells me it’s gate 57 and off I go, I join the long line of people waiting and just by chance catch sight of the person in front’s boarding pass and see that it says, Seville, I have no desire to go to Spain so I ask another steward with a clip board where the Pescara flight leaves and he tells me gate 55. I’m delighted to see I’m at the front of the queue, I’m joined by several Italians and before long there’s around 150 people behind me. The operative opens the gate and I hand in my passport and boarding pass, she looks at it, shakes her head and tells me I’m in the wrong place, as this is the gate for the 16.15 flight to Kaunas, Lithuania. I explain to the handful of Italians with me that we are in the wrong place and they follow me to another man with a clip-board, he checks and tells us gate 59, and we all head off hoping it’s the correct one. It was, thankfully but in all the confusion I not only lost my place at the front of the queue but found myself standing behind the nosey woman from security, who when we come to board the plane makes sure she’s several seats away rom mine.

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Sign of the Day