Apparently if you drill a hole through Italy you would eventually hit New Zealand.
That’s not very comforting for me at the moment.
I’m a bit homesick.
Without going into details, I am now a first-time aunt to a tiny but healthy baby boy.
No-one was expecting this day for a couple of months, so it’s a bit of a shock and I can’t help but feeling like a crap sister for not being there.
I’m a bit of a wreck and I don’t know how to cheer myself up, so I try some good old-fashioned retail therapy.
Before I tell you what I bought – let me justify it by saying I have not bought anything for myself in four months.
I also blame the smell of Italy’s leather, it really is intoxicating.
My first purchase is a black leather jacket from the Florentine leather markets.
I knew when I saw my jacket I’d know.
It truly was love at first sight.
Although, I returned the next day to ponder the label on it, as the guy told me he made it, but after a bit of Googling the label came up as an Italian woman’s clothing line.
He assures me he did make it but I’m skeptical – it’s the journo in me.
I’ll guess I’ll never know.
My next purchase is a leather wallet given I’m still using my moneybelt.
But it’s my last purchase which is riddled with the most complications.
I want to buy a leather handbag given I only have my backpack which screams dorky tourist.
I find the one, but it’s expensive.
I nearly buy a cheaper satchel but it looks like every other bag I have ever owned. I have a habit of doing that.
After thinking about it obsessively, I go back the next day to buy the expensive one, but the lady in front of me buys the last two in the colour I want for her daughters.
There’s only one other place in Florence that sells them and the guy’s a total jerk.
I went in yesterday and he looked and treated me like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, he even snatched the bag out of my hands – apparently I was zipping it wrong.
On principle I don’t want to buy it from him, but if I don’t, I know it will plague me.
So I decide to treat him like he’s treated me.
I go back in, tell him I want this bag, but don’t want to buy it from him given the way he treated me, but have no choice because the other place has sold out.
He actually went a bit red.
I also stretch the truth a bit, exagerating the discount the other guy was going to give me, thus ensuring a good price and thus freaking him out and making him think the only other retailer of this bag in Florence is undercutting him.
Sweet revenge. Although not quite as sweet as in Pretty Woman.
Here are my babies.
And no, I didn’t realise how colour co-ordinated they were until I got them back to the luxury of my dorm tent.
I can’t say my leather purchases cured my homesickness, but what it did do was make me go on a diet, because now I can’t really afford to eat.
Mind you, that’s probably not a bad thing, four months on a backpacker’s diet really does do rude things to your body.