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Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Duitsland 2014

The Red Cap does Venice, city of love and romance

We travel south again. We are in a hurry. We want to get to that famed little town called “La Dominante” and “Serenissima” (the serene one), and also “Queen of the Adriatic”, to Venice, the City of eternal love and romance and happiness. Tourists from all over the world flock to this city that is slowly rotting away in the water, to partake in her love, her happiness. As usual, they believe that happiness is always somewhere else, somewhere far away, somewhere EXOTIC. Thus they, the deluded humanity gather by the million like so much flotsam in the streets of Venice in search of that evasive, coveted, everlasting (but non-existent) happiness. And typically human, not having the tenacity to work for the everlasting version, they simply go for instant gratification, the addictive, ecstatic high, the orgasmic fling. They like to call it “living in the now” while they do not have the foggiest notion of what it means ‘to live in the now’. For them it is a mantra mindlessly repeated after the current leader of the pack (usually “Mevrou Dominee”), and it simply means to forget the past while driving in a luxury 4×4 double cab on their way to the local boutique to buy yet another must-have-now Gucci or Versace or whatever labelled item, while not worrying where Hubby is going to get the money to pay the future bill with. If they cared to ask me, a humble Red Cap, I would not mind to share my superior knowledge with them about something as sacred as ‘the now’ where past, present and future meet during mindful contemplation to become ‘Deep Time’ or ‘No Time’, where your spiritual practice transports you into the void, into the Tibetan ‘Rigpa’. But what do they care. They are living a deluded, vulgar life, happily turning the sacred in to a gilded turd. And that is why they come to Venice, to be seduced by her and to make love to her and each other like vile rodents. Because they are shallow, they are impressed by the superficial beauty of this cold, wet, pretentious bitch long past her prime. I honestly can not imagine what can be so romantic about a city that was built by the mass killing of trees. Three forests of Alder trees were devastated, chopped down, annihilated to get enough poles to build the city, the “Queen of the Adriatic” on water. Maybe that is why she is such a cold bitch. Hundreds of thousands of trees had to die for her to be born, and deep down her timbers she knows that it is inevitable that some day they will take revenge. Deep down she knows it, and she fears that day. (meer…)

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The Red Cap on a visit to Romeo and Juliet

D202

Like so many millions of tourists before us, we shuffle down the streets of Verona, me bobbing on the head of my rubber-necked moron, towards the abode of the most famous lovers of all time; Romeo and Juliet (discounting of course Tristan and Isolde, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, Orpheus and Eurydice, Pyramus and Thisbe and thousands of other unknown young lovers who have, out of stupidity, died for love or lust.)

We enter the famous courtyard from whence young Romeo supposedly wooed his young love, standing starry eyed on the balcony above. And there she is, the beauty in all her splendour. Pure, innocent youth of a girl cast in bronze, not on the balcony but in the garden where she can be admired, looked at and touched by all. And touch they do, the morons. Especially the right breast seems to be irresistible for the brainless retards. It shines like polished armour from all the enamoured pawing. Fortunately my moron has no inclination to touch said breast. If he dared do it, I would have strangled the bastard. But is seems my good, superior moral influence is slowly starting to seep through his thick scull. I will yet make a decent man out of him. He did however, push through the throng of exited tourists and plonked me down on the lovely head of the beautiful Juliet. Again I did not mind, to the contrary, I loved it because I was immediately the centre of attention as cameras started flashing to eternalise me, the famous Red Cap’s epic visit to this lovely lady. I silently recited Shakespeare: (meer…)

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Red Cap at Campi di Verona

D202

We follow the faint smell of blood to the Plain of Verona (Campi di Verona) with its beautiful buildings. It is also into this plaza where Ezzelino III da Romano, in 1257, lured 11,000 men from the neighbouring town of Padua with whom he constantly fought bloody battles, and slaughtered all of them. Can you imagine the amount of blood and the cries of agony coming from 11,000 trapped and butchered men?

Outrageous? No, just part of the fun of being human, I believe. I mean, look at the history of this beautiful, warm hearted town. In 403 AD the Visigoths (the rulers of the town) were slaughtered here by Stilicho, and then the Ostrogoths killed Stilicho and so conquered beautiful, bloody Verona. And then the fun really started. For 15 years the Goths desperately defended the city against attacks by the Byzentine army before it surrendered, just to be conquered again by the Lombards 17 years later. Three years later another bloody human tradition played itself out when Alboin, king of the Lombards was murdered by his own wife. They don’t say why she did it. Maybe he refused to build her a new castle. Maybe it was just PMS.

Duitsland 2014

And so it went. Blood were repeatedly spilt on the streets of poor Verona. Rulers came and rulers went (or were killed), until the scandalous Scaligeri family came into power. Mastino I della Scala were elected to rule over Verona, but when he was not re-elected later he performed a bloody coup d’état, just to be murdered by his own nobles a few years later. From here it really went happily downhill. King Cangrande II (Cangrande means big dog in Italian, so I am told), a cruel, bad, bad tyrant of a man, was killed by his brother Cansignorio who was such a very nice King. He spruced up the city by building new castles and bridges and rounded off his beautification by killing his other brother as well. The people just loved him, but the same people were terribly offended when his brother Antonio (whom he, the nice king Cansignorio for some reason did not kill) and who succeeded him, continued the family tradition of fratricide by killing his brother Paolo. So disgusted were they that they deserted him and he had to flee the city when Verona was attacked and conquered by the forces of Milan.

As you can see, the scandalous Scaligeri family was a jolly lot, killing each other and anyone in between for the hell of it. And as the podesta or prince died or was murdered, the remaining scoundrels out did one another by erecting these outrageously massive decorated sarcophagi for the late, very dead ruler of the city. Each successive sarcophagus had to be bigger than the previous one to prove the greater greatness of the recently dead scoundrel to the preceding scoundrels.

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Oh happy days! The gods must have had a jolly time watching their subjects at war, each praying for victory and then killing each other with gusto all these years. In1387 the People of Padua had their day of revenge for the 11,000 victims of Campi de Verona. At Castagnaro they gave the forces of Verona a bloody beating. Then the Scaligari came back and retook the city, just to submit to Venice one year later. And with every battle the blood was running down the streets like so much red wine. In 1630, just when they thought the coast was clear and peace was at last come, the gods struck with the Black Plague and killed 33,000 people in Verona. That was more than 60% of the population wiped out in one year, and probably more than got killed by their own stupid wars since the Romans built the Arena to kill people for fun so many years ago. And that is probably why they still drink very large quantities of wine every day. To forget, so that they can keep on believing.

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This is a beautiful city, with beautiful people and unbelievable works of art. Exquisite statues and frescoes and paintings adorn the streets and buildings and plazas. And that is the anomaly in the human psyche; that they are the most murderous species on Earth, and at the same time the most brilliant, creative, artistic creatures that ever lived. One cannot help but to admire them for the determination, effort and brilliance they are willing to apply, whether it is for the brutal killing of another being, or creating works of exquisitely beautiful art. I have been told that the morons are even capable of that most sacred of all emotions … love. I can hardly believe it.

A strange lot, this murdering, fornicating human race. Ridiculous to the point of madness. From my more cultured point of view, rather amusing.

I hate the bastards. But my Michela is not like that. She is soft and tender and shy. She is a goddess, an innocent child. She is my Juliet, and I her Romeo. I love her. And bedazzled by love, we follow in the blood tainted footsteps of those two immortal lovers, Romeo and his Juliet. I want to pay them a visit and see what all the fuss is about.

Duitsland 2014

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Trail of blood

D202

Early morning and we are off to Italy while I am excitedly but softly humming: La donna é mobile, Qual piuma al vento, muta d’accento, e di pensiero, …. Ahh my beloved Verdi and his Rigoletto. I can hardly keep myself from bursting forth in full volume: SEMPRE UN AMABILE, LEGGIADRO VISO ….. We travel, me and my moron and his companions. Not like the fool Perceval on a quest for the Holy Grail, but more like bloodhounds, nose to the ground on the bloody trail of murderous men.

Duitsland 2014

First stop Pischiera, that benighted little town on Lake Gerda. Long past her splendour, with her drawbridges used for keeping barbarians out, now permanently down and tarred over, inviting a new breed of barbarians into her fold. The moat and massive protective wall around the inner city is still intact, but now serve as beautification and curiosity respectively. But the wall still remembers its bloody past. It still remembers the war cries of the defenders and the counter cries of the bloodthirsty attackers. It still remembers the cries of the wounded and dying. It still remembers the putrid smell of blood and the desperate cries of war prisoners being tortured in the prison deep inside its innards. Once a proud wall, playing its part in the violent history of a moronic humanity. Today it is a sad wall with no function, only nightmarish memories.

Late that afternoon my traveling companions were sitting in the shade of the wall, laughthing and drinking wine, and eating pizzas. They were having a good time celebrating their trip to Europe. I was furious. Have they no shame? I shouted at them at the top of my voice: Do you not smell the blood? Do you not hear the desperate, terror filled cries of woman and children amidst the roar of battle embedded in this very wall, in the soil at your feet?

And what did I get back in replay? From the table next to us, a discussion on the aesthetics of the sword, and the fine art of swordsmanship. Even the crude old metal shield became, to their bemudled brains, a thing of beauty! Instead of an intelligent discussion on the morality of war, I got a passionate technical overview on the merit of the crossbow over and against the conventional bow and arrow and how the crossbow was the predecessor of the modern missile. I wanted to cry. I wanted to puke. I shouted: But people were being brutally butchered, and for what!

So they turned to the exciting topic of the enemy scaling the walls, and the defenders pouring boiling tar on their heads from above. They considered this for a while, and to my relief I noticed the faintest signs of distaste to this barbaric practice … and then they decided that molten iron would have done a better job! I almost fainted.

They drank a toast on this brilliant idea, and then started discussing the next day’s excursion to Verona, city of the scandalous Scaligeri family and the besotted Romeo and his beautiful, stupid Juliet.

Yes, true to form these bi-pedalled excuse for a life form blunders ahead, knowing all the answers, but like Perceval, they do not know the question. They stumble onto holy ground and into holy abodes blabbering and drinking and having a good time while the Holy Grail is sitting right in front of their eyes, but they cannot see it even if it is paraded up and down for their benefit. Afterwards they have this vague feeling that they missed something, even something very important, but they blunder onwards into the dark forest of their emaciated lives.

Forwards to Verona with me humming: Libiamo, libiamo ne’lieti calici, … the drinking song from Verdi’s La Traviata. How I love these passionate Italians!

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Red Cap on a Trip to Germany

Been there, done that and all that crap. Yes, I have been around, met some people (and things) head-on you can say. Rather, I have been unceremoniously dumped onto things (and heads attached to things called people), mainly against my will, and mostly to my horror.

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So I decided to go into hiding for a while, and then maybe ask for asylum in that African heaven called Zimbabwe on the grounds of physical and emotional abuse by a white man. I even talked to old Robert about my plan and he was rather excited about the prospect of having an authentic Red Cap in that rotten banana republic of his.

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But then, Oh Glory of Glories, I heard about my moron’s intention to go to Europe on vacation! I could hardly contain myself. I almost voluntarily jumped onto his head to make sure that I did not stay behind. We are going to Germany, to the land of the Furher. I am so excited, I almost shouted Zig Heil, but then remembered what happened to those stupid Potchefstroom students that got themselves investigated and transformed just because they did not know about the man who single handedly caused the greatest havoc on Earth since Jesus kicked those tables to smythens in that Temple so many years ago.

I hopped into the moron’s suitcase so fast he only saw a red blur before he slammed the lid on me. Bastard, he was going to leave me back home, on my own and play the smart ass know-it-all world traveller. Well, not without me buddy, you won’t. “I will follow yooou, follow you wherever yooou may gooooo. I’ll follow, I’ll follow” and oceans too deep and all that crap. You know the tune. You get my drift? We are going to Germany.

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Next thing I knew, we were on the plane, me squeezed flat and freezing to death in the luggage compartment while His Lordship, the moron, were sitting snug and comfortable, and drinking Whisky somewhere above me. It was a ghastly flight, with a ghastly eight hour stopover in Tinker Town in the middle of the night in the middle of a ghastly dessert. By the time we reached Munich, we were in tatters. If this is what holiday feels like, I shudder to think what Hell must be like. I vow never to go there ever. That is a trip my moron will do on his own, thank you. And go there he will, no bones about that. Child of Saturn!

Munich, glorious Munich. City of kings, and playgrounds of a little man named Adolf. I can hardly believe I am here. Tonight we sleep. Tomorrow we start on our first adventure. We are going to explore Italy, land of leaning towers, pizzas, Gladiators and of course wine, woman and song. I do believe that I will not be able to sleep tonight, being as excited (and sensitive of natural inclination) as I am. We will count the hours to daybreak. Lo amo l’Italia!!

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Are we visitors to these far lands? I believe not, because visitors come and drink tea (or coffee, or whatever), and chat about this and that (mostly gossip), and then go home. We want to see, and intend to drink a lot more than the casual cup of tea, thank you. Are we travellers? I believe not. Travellers go from point A to point B on business, mostly. Our business is not business, not on this trip, no. Our business is to observe, to watch, to learn.

We are not wayfarers either, for we will do our traveling not on foot, but primarily in style by luxury motorcar. But of course we will walk, or rather, the Moron will do the walking. Lots of it. Me, I will be sitting pretty, watching.

Pilgrims, that’s what we are. We will walk on holy ground, we will visit holy sites, but, being human made and trampled by human feet, and soaked by human blood, it will by default be more unholy than holy. Different from travellers or visitors, we will not only see or hear, we will experience, we will feel, we will immerse ourselves in the culture and history of our surroundings and the people who lived there, or are still living there. And I will judge them. I will judge them severely, for they are merely human, and to my experience, mostly brainless, amoral, brutal and unworthy. I hate the bastards.

D202

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