New Normal Random Thoughts #4

After 5 weeks in Italy, I’m starting to reach the edges of what in the old times might have been reasonable expectations from service providers, but I am discovering they are no longer compatible with the new normal.

For example, Three has decided that I have used more than it was fair to use of my roaming allowance. It doesn’t matter if I have an unlimited account, it turns out that “unlimited” is actually 20Gb. Not clear if 20Gb per month, per year, per lifetime. All I know is that I need to go get another sim with another provider.

Also NowTV has decided that after a month not connecting from the UK, I’m no longer allowed to watch their shows.

No big deal, I’ve cancelled those services, and anyway I’m too busy re-watching The West Wing on PrimeTV. It’s 20 years old, but what a show! It was probably complete fantasy back then, but watching it today feels like we felt back then watching any dystopian future show. But anyway, who cares? Ironman is not realistic but it’s fun. President Josiah Bartlet is even more fun.

We spent last weekend in Venice.

Venice is close and beautiful, and while it takes about the same time to get there from our home in San Martino as it takes to get to the other side of London from Ealing, we only visit for short trips when somebody is visiting, so it was great to spend some quality time there.

We have always avoided Venice in August because of the crowds, so I can’t really compare, but it didn’t feel crowded at all. Yes, there were tourists, but at no time it felt uncomfortable. Most notably for Venice, there were no Americans.

We found a lovely B&B at a very reasonable price smack in the centre of everything, had great food, plenty of spritzes and cicchetti. If you like visiting cities, this is a great time to go to Venice.

I did appreciate how seriously masks are enforced everywhere. The “captain” of a vaporetto refused to leave when a family of four boarded with some plastic contraptions which were clearly not proper masks. Turns out they did have proper masks, and once properly masked we left.

I love the crooked bits of Venice.

Another “new normal” feature is that pretty much all bars and restaurant have a QR code sticker on every table which links to their menu. It always works and once you start thinking about how many people have touched those old menus before you, you never want to go back to the old ways.

Stay safe, keep cool, be kind.

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