Today was my "day off", which roughly translates to "sleeping in until the kids go on a field trip and getting back on the clock when the kids arrive back at dinner time" in English. I used my time wisely by falling asleep on the beach.
During my waking moments, however, I was privy to some of the finer examples of fashion, trends, and other intricacies that Italian (and, perhaps, European in general) beach customs has to offer. Take for example the following sights I witnessed while awake:
1) A tanned, round Kenny Rogers in a Speedo who spoke German.
2) An older woman using cross-country ski poles while strolling along a sandbar (No, she wasn't wearing skis.)
3) Now, ponder these five words: cowboy hat and a Speedo (more on this guy later).
4) A line of kids from a different camp doing the long jump from the sand's edge into the shallow water. It was pretty hard to *not* stick those landings, as one might imagine.
5) Many, many man purses worn by...wait for it...Speedo-clad men.
Back to #3 on the list. Imagine for a moment a cross between Burt Reynolds and a skinny Gary Oldman. Have you got that mashup in your mind yet? Now, put him at around 50 years of age. Then, add several years of recreational tanning. Next, put a black, straw cowboy hat on him and make sure he's wearing a navy blue Speedo.
That was my day. I kid you not. I'm glad--in a way--that I wasn't hallucinating, because I wouldn't have been able to share this little insight and slice of cultural joy with you. Sure, I got a bit too much sun but it was worth it. Besides, I can't unsee what I saw.