I postponed this post for so long. I actually went to Italy in January 2016. Yup, that’s my level of procrastination, 1 year. 😂 😭
I did not do Italy trip, I only went to Rome and Venice from Brussels, Belgium. But because my visit to Belgium was short and IMO not interesting, I’m not gonna make any post about Brussels, Belgium. But yeah, I went there.
The environment in Italy is different, at a glance you know their main sector is tourism. There are so many people from so many backgrounds there, especially in Rome. If you want to visit Rome, make sure to purchase Roma Pass at the airport. This pass includes free entrance to a list of points of attraction and transportation pass for 72 hours or 48 hours. And plus, if you have this pass you get to skip the queue. The queue is no joke, especially at the Colosseum. Crazy long.
And another thing to note is, this pass doesn’t include Vatican City. I only knew right there that Vatican is not a city in Rome, but is a country. The smallest country in the world. They have a big wall surrounding this city as the border and since my pass didn’t include Vatican city, I didn’t go there because yes, again, the queue is so long that it takes a beard to grow. Make sure you book a tour in advance to go to Vatican city.
What excites me was, Malay is common there. Not only Malay people but Malay language. There was one time we stopped at a stall to ask for direction. Of course, we asked in English because the vendor was an Italian.
Our question was first answered with a question, “Malaysia or Indonesia?” We get this a lot, they can’t differentiate Malaysians and Indonesians but nevermind, we are negara serumpun like my teacher said.
So we told him we are Malaysians and guess what, he answered us in full Malay. Like “Belok kiri, nampak bangunan bla bla bla, belok kanan”. Jaw dropped. Could have asked “Macam mana eh nak pergi Colosseum?” instead of “Can you please show us the direction to Colosseum?” I could have skipped the unnecessary English lololol.
Okay continue, so after spending few days in Rome, we took a bus to Venice. Because our bus is late night bus (to save accommodation cost for one night), we waited for the bus in the middle of a winter night and it was friggin cold. Can’t stand the cold biting bones, we went to a nearby cafe. Because we were not really hungry or thirsty, we planned to just buy a cup of hot chocolate. And the cafe man asked, “Malaysians?” So we said yes.
And guess what, he actually served us free food because we are Malaysians. Despite my gratitude, I can’t hold the curiosity, what makes Malaysians so special that we get special treatments everywhere? Everywhere there, I meant EVERYWHERE. Because there is a restaurant here in Manchester offer free drinks to Malaysians. You can find a notice in front of the restaurant here “Minuman percuma untuk Malaysian” Yup you read that right, in Malay. It is not a Malay restaurant, it’s an Arab restaurant owned by Arabs.
So get back to my Rome cafe story, I asked why were we given food? He said he’s a Bangladeshi and he worked in Malaysia once. He remembered how nice Malaysia was, and Malaysia people are so nice. He feels grateful whenever he finds Malaysian anywhere because our land fed his family. Man, I was in tears, man. I was so touched right there.
Because before that, we went to a Pizza restaurant in Rome and we got the same question, “Malaysians?” and when we said yes, the treatment was different from other customers, I can see. And they were Bangladeshis who worked in Malaysia once.
I mean, you know how our people make fun of foreign workers who worked in our country to feed their family. What was their sin? To find money to feed their family because their countries are poor? That was their only sin. I was like that too. I don’t like Bangladeshis for no obvious reason. And I remember a highschool joke “Hitam macam Bangla“
Not that the cafe man only gave us food to eat at his cafe, when we told him we were going to Venice, he told us halal food in Venice is expensive and scarce. So he packed us food to eat in Venice, so many foods that we did not finish everything in Venice lol.
The free food
I’d say my Italy visit has changed my man towards racism. I was a racist until 2016, and I didn’t realise it until the Bangladeshi man said Malaysians are nice. Obviously, the Malaysian he talked about was not me. I promised myself since I met this cafe man, I will treat every race equally beautiful and countries are just soil with lines on a map.
Here some pictures in Rome;
Trevi de Fontana
I personally think Trevi de Fontana is the best in the night because the light makes it beautiful and the water looks clearer and bluer.
Some roads in Rome
This picture was taken with Xiaomi Yicam, I don’t have a Gopro because I think Gopro is overpriced. I recommend this camera as an alternative for Gopro. Much cheaper, and the quality is about the same, most people can’t tell the difference. Look how crisp the picture is…
When I was at St Peter Basilica
I’ll do another post about Venice, in shaa Allah not next year. 😂