I’ve been working on but mostly off on this blog here, I had planned to have it finished before 2010 came along but I guess I failed that seeing as we are already half way through February! So please excuse me if this blog doesn’t flow smoothly! Here we go…..
I started off the year 2009 waking up on the tiled floor of a mansion situated on the river in Perth Australia. The sun was shining, it was warm outside and I was with good friends. Nice way to start. A week would then go by in my home town before I made my yearly trip back to Verona Italy where I was greeted with a white blanket of snow. Unfortunately it decided to stop snowing the day I arrived so the wet cold Verona winter began. I’d go weeks without seeing the sun and my slight tan I managed to achieve on the beaches back home quickly faded.
(I may go off on slight tangents here and there…just a warning)
I always find it funny to spot those vain self loving Italians or Veronese that walk around this town. It’s winter, and like I said the sun has disappeared and naturally you are going to get pale. The majority of people, like myself, accept this phenomenon and gracefully let our skin colour fade away… however… I can’t help but laugh when I see, in a sea of white, that single Italian who has just spent the last hour in a tanning bed. I mean, seriously, have you seen yourself in the mirror?? You look like an orange turd!
So winter carried on and friendships were formed in all shapes and sizes. One friendship that would continue to grow strong throughout the year would involve a couple from North Carolina called the Munday’s. I met this couple while working at Oberdan Cafe (my second home so to speak) in 2008, but our friendship became much stronger throughout this year 2009. Spending evenings hanging out at home, or drinking at bars, I got to learn a lot more about life through the eyes of someone who was covered in tattoos. Today tattoos have become more accepted in day-to-day life but it was always amazing to see the peoples heads turn, and hear those sly remarks about the way they looked. I’ll admit that Munday and Amy were the first people I’ve become good friends with who were majorly involved in tattooing and being tattooed. And through them I learnt even more the value of not judging someone just by the way they look. They are lovely people who I would do anything for and at the end of August I offered to share my apartment with them so as to save money and help out.
But before August arrived there was Easter. At this time my brother was also living in Italy in a place called Salsomaggiore, for those who don’t know it’s the place where Miss Italia is held every year!…however my brother (Trent) was going through some rough times and missing home. He came to stay with me the month of Easter and not long after, our parents arrived for their Easter holiday. Like usual the holiday was spent agreeing and disagree, arguing over something small, fighting and then making peace over a lunch or dinner. We headed over to Croatia which I will say is a beautiful place. Found ourselves an apartment there, cheap as chips, stayed by the water’s edge for 4 or so days, then returned to Verona as my classes had once again begun. By the end of the Easter break we had decided that Trent would return home with the parents to begin working in the family business which now is proving a wise decision as he is now happier and enjoying life. Also he has turned out to be quite the real estate man.
So with the departure of the family I was once again free, able to roam wild in the streets of Verona all the way to Inkaddiction. As I said before Munday was a tattoo artist and this is the place he was working. A cool, friendly environment where art is created. Now earlier I had done a sketch of my violin, taken it to Munday and asked him to incorporate a woman into the drawing anyway he felt possible.
The outcome was like so
It was now or never and as everything in life comes down to choice, I chose now and this artwork now resides on my right thigh. Only the lucky ones get to see it….if you know what I mean.
I did what anyone would do if their parents didn’t know and decided not to tell them. A good idea at the time which turned into a few days from hell from my dad and 2 weeks of hell from my mum (for both me and my dad)…but I guess it didn’t help that I went and got another one from another amazing artist, friend of Munday, who owns his own shop in North Carolina, Errol. The cool cat with whom I shared many a spritz and heard stories about the punk era, post punk era, car fanatics, parenthood and more. His goal would be to bring together my family crest with an image/word my dad made up, Aroostercrat, (a mix of a Rooster and an Aristocrat) so basically a rooster with a cane, top hat, and monocle. And this image resides on my other thigh.
It was July, exams passed with flying colours, it was the holidays, and I was invited to go down to Puglia with my friends from the conservatorio for 2 weeks. Things were looking great, the sun was out, the beach was beautiful and the girls too, I was having an awesome time and taking pictures to remember the occasion. Now with the pictures being taken and me enjoying the sun and heat glimpses of the tattoos could be seen. So after the holidays I had to make a decision. Tell the family over Skype that I had gotten tattooed or let them find out for themselves on Facebook. So I man-ed up and told them… and then began hell…. But all that passed September came and the Munday’s moved in.
The day they moved in was an experience I’ll never forget. Munday was at work and me, Amy and Brandy (friend of Amy) were left to moved all of their things down the road, round the corner, round another corner and up the flights of stairs to my apartment… in the summer heat. But we made the most of it! and thanks to all our effort and the sweat put into moving the Munday’s now resided in my lounge room on the pull out couch bed.
Those months we all lived together will remain forever with me. The delicious vegan dinners Amy would cook. Our first home-made sushi nights. Being able to hear what music Munday was listening to on his iPod on the bottom floor from where we were on the top. The odd jam session here and there. The evenly matched games of Madden. I could go on and on but I would be here forever. When the time came to say “until next time” it was a sad moment, but as with all things in life you must move on and look at the brighter side. And with the brighter side came Americans from Chicago, an Italian Girl, The Aroostercrats and a couple from Poland and just in general more people to hang with
I was extremely fortunate with how my year went. Such lucky guy to have met so many amazing people and to have made such great friends. And what better way to start 2010 than by waking up on the tiled floor of an Italian Villa. I look ever so forward to what this year will provide…. That being said, 2 months have gone by already and they have already given me so much.
The Journey That Was 2009
Let’s get our 2010 on!!