City Moment – On Rudely Greeting the ‘Horrid’ Big Ship Tourists, Venice
The memorable instant.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It is always delightful when beautiful people find a reason in life. This time it is against the big ships.
One afternoon The Delhi Walla goes to the promenade of Zattere in watery Venice where hundreds of Venetians have gathered to protest against gigantic cruise liners that have been entering this touristy city for a decade and destroying its aesthetics.
It’s like a carnival. There are families, friends, drinks, fancy costumes and music. Many people are waving flags that say ‘No to big ships’. Many are wearing shirts with the similar slogan. Some are wearing no shirt at all. One young man is dressed like a pirate. One is waving a communist flag, complete with sickle and hammer. One is holding a H&M bag. Quite a few protestors are bobbing on the watery waves on their little boats.
One of these boats energetically lends its support to the protest, and after a while, abruptly turns to sail its way towards the city’s cruise ship terminal. Giant ships are standing next to one another. Each looks like a grand hotel. Tourists are seated on the deck. Now aren’t they the very people who are ruining this pretty town? One of the men in the little boat waves towards these much-maligned tourists. They wave back. The man shouts, “Fuck off!” The people respond by waving back again. It is a beautiful moment.
Big Ship times
Ay dios mio, look at the size of that ship! Do these behemoths grow their own food aboard and have zip codes too?
No one takes big ships and first impressions seriously any more. Thank goodness this isn’t the pre-modern era, when an exchange like the last one would have ended something along these lines:-
Man in little boat, upon seeing a huge ship : F@#$k off!
People aboard huge ship : Oh look, a native! How quaint! Let’s wave at him. Hello, good sir! What is this fair land called?
Man in little boat, really spelling it out this time :F-@-#-$-K O-F-F! No to big ships!
People aboard huge ship: Thank you, noble citizen! Monsieur Le Cartographer, did you take that down?
Brilliant. Exactly right.
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