After weird jury duty, Italy is in my sights

     Is anything in this guy's sights?

     I had jury duty last week. I was hoping it would be a trial of someone stealing travel website content or a jaywalker so I could scream, “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!” It’s surprising how easy it is to get excused from serving as a juror. More than half of the people who came for the cattle call got away with using any excuse they could think of. You simply stand and announce your so-called hardship and the judge was very lenient about letting people go. I didn’t mind staying. I’ll save my excuse next time: “Your honor, I suffer from intense hemorrhoid pain and severe flatulence, a potent combination, as you can imagine…”
     The case was bizarre. One of the charges was assault—assault with a frozen chicken leg, in fact. In the end we found the defendant not guilty, but it had nothing to do with his lawyer quoting from the movie, “The Big Lebowski”, in his final statement. (“The Dude abides.” Ummm, OK…)
     I’m glad I saw the judicial system in action, but it was strange to get up early every morning and have to go do something. It reminded me of work. (shivers)
     The judge might have felt sorry for us jurors dealing with such a strange case, so he brought his wife’s delicious homemade biscotti as a snack.
     The next time I am going to have biscotti will be in Italy in July. (How is that for a segue?) I am waiting to read the fine print, but the government for the region of Emilia-Romagna is proposing to put me in a house in Rimini for a week with some other travelers to blog about the attractions of the area. Emilia-Romagna is next to Tuscany, and the fact that I have to explain its location is why they are doing such a project, I am guessing. I don’t know the details, but I hope tourism officials in Japan are watching closely and learning. Yes, I’m talking to you, JNTO! You still need me!

     I’m going the long way round. Next week I’m flying one-way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Los Angeles on Air China for $568. I know, I know, I’m not happy about it either. There’s also an 11-hour stopover in Beijing, but since I read my transit terminal is the fifth largest building in the world, I am keen to see it. A couple of days later I fly to Semarang, Indonesia. Sema-what? Exactly! It’s the cheapest place in Java to fly to from KL, $61 one-way including taxes and bag fee. Must be paradise.
     The moment my payment for the ticket was approved, I sprang into action: I raced to the store to buy chips and salsa. Who knows when I might have them again? I’m so weak.

     This is meticulously folded Chinese money, 1 fen, no longer in circulation. Last time I was there I tried to get as many of these little banknotes as possible and one kiosk seller stored his old money like this. He was thrilled to exchange them as Chinese people didn't want any part of the nearly valueless notes (worth less than one cent). See? I am doing my part to bridge cultures, optimize the most efficient reallocation of resources, etc., and I'm not even on the shortlist to be a United Nations global ambassador. Outrageous.

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Comments

After weird jury duty, Italy is in my sights — 2 Comments

  1. Beautiful picture of a Hungarian breed of dog “puli”. In fact, in Hungary there’s an urban legend that if you cut the dog’s hair in front of his/her eyes, he/she will get blind. Which is, fortunately, not the case. This shepherd dog WILL get confused and his/her movement will become uncoordinated temporarily if you cut the hair in front of the eyes but will get used to it. That’s why it was believed that cutting the hair of a “puli” causes him/her blindness. A “puli” needs – and indeed has – a very good eyesight as it is absolutely necessary for a working (shepherd) dog.
    I wouldn’t say that Emilia-Romagna is not that frequented by tourists. In Europe, for most of the peole it won’t ring a bell of you mention the name of the region but most guys will absolutely be enthusiastic and ready to go if you mention Bologna, Parma or Rimini. There are already LOTS of tourists there. But if you are given a temp job promoting the region, you shall by all means accept it. Though, don’t promote it too much as it’ll become unbearably overcrowded during the season…:)

  2. Pulis are indeed great. I don’t see them around so much in Hungary anymore, but I guess I am too Budapest-centric when I go back.
    Yes, people are warning me that Rimini is plenty popular already, and especially in summer. I’m not being paid, but accommodation and an excursion or two will be provided. My selling point to them is that I want to see smaller, less-known places in the region

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