Firenze – No Soup for Us
Everyone hated us in Florence.
Except for the cab driver who drove us from the airport to the air bnb – I think he smiled at one point. Oh – well until B didn’t have smaller change than a 50€ when we tried to pay – that angered him.
So, never mind, yeah, pretty much everyone hated us in Florence.
Things really kicked off with our first rude waiters at the cafe in Piazza del Duomo. I guess it wasn’t so much that they were ‘rude’…it was more just like they were really powerful and we were kind of scared of them?
Then our first dinner — B thought the waitresses were being nice, but he didn’t know at the time that it was because they were actually poisoning him.
Our 5 hours in the Uffizi also got off to a rocky start with the ticket lady shouting ‘GO RIGHT, GO RIGHT!!!!!!!!’ after we nervously took one misstep to the left. Later, I went through a wrong door looking for the bathroom and another attendant sprang up and shouted at me in Italian. B waited around to try and explain but I was back out of the door in a flash, trembling amongst the Medici portraits.
But the Pitti Palace really seems like the optimal place to work in Florence if you don’t give a shit. Like – look at this guy gently snoring in the gallery.
And clearly they don’t employ anyone to straighten the million candles in the million candelabras around the palace. They need my mother and her blue sticky tack.
Then there was the lady who barred our way into the Treasury Museum portion of the palace. ‘Well we didn’t want to go to your stupid museum anyway!!’ B said shaking his fist (well out of earshot).
And the girl reading her book at the door to the garden who languidly looked up and informed us we needed to exit the palace again to purchase a separate ticket for entry to the grounds. ‘You idiots!’ she added (with her eyes).
Or the gate-guarding guy on the outskirts of the gardens who was just sitting with his head in his hands (sleeping? crying?) and didn’t look up as people passed in and out of the gate.
At least we found this friendly Italian cat to show us the way through the maze (she scratched B).
But the waitresses from our 5th night really took the cake (or more accurately the chicken). We were doomed from the start as we hadn’t made a booking. Nevertheless, they angrily ushered us to a table where we then quietly sat and waited for a very long time for someone to take our order. Another long while after that, the drinks and bread were slammed down on our table with such velocity and rage that B jumped in his seat. Awhile after that, my pasta showed up. As B’s chicken did not accompany my dish to the table, I waited for a bit out of politeness and concern before I tucked in (I held off about 2 minutes). But no, really, we determined we had better finish the pasta in case they were intentionally waiting to bring B’s entree as a second course. This wasn’t their intention, we decided, after nearly an hour had passed sans a chicken sighting. But we didn’t dare say anything. B occasionally looked up with sad, hungry, hopeful eyes but still we made not a peep… just took turns licking the residual olive oil off my empty plate.
Eventually someone came and slammed down B’s chicken saying, ‘The chef forgot to make this.’
It’s lucky we made it out alive, really, and back home to the incredibly accommodating and friendly UK!
This Weekes Word has always been a favourite, but I didn’t know the fascinating (errrr gross) etymology until I looked it up for the purpose of including it in this post. Apparently, ‘mawk’ comes from the Norse word ‘mathkr’ which means ‘maggot’–therefore the literal meaning of mawkish is maggoty!
Mawkish: sentimental in an exaggerated or false way; sickly or puerilely sentimental; having an insipid often unpleasant taste. Ex: The Florentine shrug off mawkish mantle of American service in favour of exhibiting genuine disgust for tourists and customers alike.
xWG // #dazeandweekes
Oh dear, it sounds as if Florentine customer service is on a par with what I experienced in Vienna. The Venetians must get just as fed up with tourists and yet they were charming. Florence was right at the top of my wish list but maybe I’ll try Rome first instead!
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Yes, I thought Venetians were wonderful! Don’t be deterred from Florence though – as B told my mom, it’s all part of the fun!
I loved Florence and would have loved going to the Uffizi (even if I had been yelled at to go right instead of left or get the heck out of the boys’ bathroom.) Unfortunately, the two days I was in Florence, the staff of the Uffizi decided they would strike. Since this seems to be a common occurrence in Italy (and France too, it seems), it was no David for me.
Speaking of the Uffizi, the funniest thing that happened in Florence was on the first day I was there. My spouse and I were walking about the city, trying to hit as many “must-sees” as possible in our short stay there. We wanted to go to the Vasari Corridor (where the Uffizi is located), but we couldn’t figure out where we were. I needed some orienteering, so I walked up to a police office with my map, asking: “Dove siamo su questa mappa?” He looked at my map carefully, before chuckling and pointing to an area well off the map!
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Haha you guys are lucky you even got that response from him! If B and I had asked anyone for directions, they probably would have thrown our map in the river!!
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