Sunday, 8 June 2008

this is... my favourite travel memory


Or should I say one of my favourite travel memories. We travelled through Europe a couple of years ago and had lots of little European adventures along the way... not quite National Lampoons but we loved it. 

While in Venice we stumbled upon a lonesome barber and Mr Teacups took it upon himself to take it as a sign for a haircut... And that's where we met Umberto. A quiet old Italian man (or so we thought) who didn't speak any english. Lucky for us I speak italian so we were able to communicate, and on finding out we were from Melbourne, this quiet man transformed into quite the talker. He then elusively slipped behind his beautiful bright pink floral curtain to bring out a book on our fine city. He explained that one of his closest friend's migrated to Melbourne many, many years ago and sent it to him. Opening it up to a page on football he explained that he used to be quite the soccer star and then again slipped behind the curtain to bring out a photo album containing photos of him as a young soccer star. With a big smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, he then treated us to a demonstration of his fancy footwork. Very impressive and even moreso considering he must have been in his 70s! Our next "show and tell" items were letters of thanks he had received from other tourists, one of which had taken shelter in his store during a downpour of rain. Basking in the limelight, he then began demonstrating the technique of a Gondoliere (we were in Venice after all), and encouraged Mr Teacups to join in. On his final trip behind the curtain he brought out a Gondoliere hat to complete the Venetian scene and of course photos were necessary!

When we arrived home a few months later we sent him the photos, but to this day are not sure if they made it into his precious "show and tell" items. My parents are heading to Venice in the next few weeks so I've told them to keep an eye out for a barber with a bright pink floral curtain and a cheeky twinkle in his eye...

Head over here to check out more favourite travel memories and big thanks to Hila for this great theme.

14 comments:

Leni & Rose said...

What a funny old man! And a lovely memory.

Serena said...

What a great experience. The photo is great too !! I thought they were dancing (perhaps some daggy dancing) until I read further and saw it was gondola instructions...

Pherenike said...

great story! I wouldnt have believed it with out the photo!

Hila said...

This is great! I love this post :)

blazedanielle said...

Haha! What fun! A great memory indeed!

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

What a great fun, travel story!

Hannah said...

What a beautiful funny story! Made me have a quiet giggle.

Kirsty said...

That barber sounds (& looks) like an absolute star.

Maureen said...

We'll be there in Nov, and will look about for him. ;-) I'm glad to see that Mr. Teacups has a good sense of humor too.

flossy-p said...

That's the sweetest story. Experiences like that are what make travels memorable. I'm sure your photo's went "straight to the pool room" behind that pink curtain. He would have been thrilled to get them, in fact he's probably showing them to someone right now.

Drewzel said...

I love this story! Is it wrong of me to also think when viewing the photo "hmm, Mr Teacups is cute!" hahahah.

BigCat said...

What a wonderful story. I love those kind of travel memories.

AnastasiaC said...

what a great photo and story!! love meeting locals...!!

one little acorn said...

What a great story. Definitely one that will colour the memories for a long time. THIS is what travelling is all about. Thanks for sharing.