A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about friends

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

Curb side Clairvoyance


It all escalated quickly, he had captured my imagination and before long I was standing in an alleyway next to a MAC Cosmetics store in Milano having my palm read by a flamboyant Italian gypsy.
Sergio stopped as we were looking at some plastic streamers that had been tied to a subway grate and were fluttering in the wind from below street level.
“It’s just paper and plastic but in New Orleans it's even better,” he says coming up behind us.
Within moments he was asking us where we were from and he tells us he is going to Australia later in the year, then just casually mentions that he reads palms. He also says, “meow” and swipes like a cat. He was loving life and loving the energy we were putting out. He asks what we were doing in Milano then told me that he knows I will be at a house on a lake. I explained that I had just returned from Lake Como and we both gushed, he meowed and I thrust my hand out, palm up in his direction. He had a quick look at my palm and offered me a bargain deal to have it read. In between screams, meows and cheers he grabbed me by the hand and pulled me down to a side street like an excited teenage girl.

In amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, with people walking along on one of Milano’s main thoroughfares leading to the Duomo, Sergio has my hand and the three of us are huddled together around my palm. He studies it for a moment, runs his finger along some of the creases then starts telling me about my big spirit. This is now the third time in three weeks that someone has commented on my spirit. He says I have a big strong spirit and I am being protected by my grandmother. It made me smile to think that she is with me on the journey especially having just hiked up a hill looking for her great grandparents. He says her spirit came into me when I held her hand just before she died. She protects me and will protect me for the next 8 years. It seems my strong spirit, protected by my Nan, makes me an unstoppable force that nothing can contend with. He even suggested my friend beside me needs to stay close as I will protect her as well.

Maybe the poet was right, I have some archangel qualities.

I have always been interested in the supernatural, astrology and fortune telling. After a bad day at work my go to plan is to throw it all in and go to psychic school and learn to hone my skill. Sergio read my palm for over 30 minutes, scribbling dates with a Texta on my hand as well as pointing out and circling things, covering my hand in an array of markings that needed time to soak in and I wasn’t permitted to wash off until 4pm that day.

He told me about a bunch of things, some interesting, some confusing. He told me when I would die, that I would live in two places and have a dual passport (finally!). I would have 2 children, one a girl, evident from the ‘cuca’ your hand makes on the side which he fell about laughing when he said it. He then reminded us he’s not into them. He talked a million miles a minute, spitting with most syllables and scribbled dates on my hand, it was hard to keep track of it all.

He mentioned many things that rang true. We would gush, shout and ‘meow’ when he got something right, or mentioned something that was a regular topic of thought. Some was advice about protecting myself and my energy, some was factual information such as I need to get my eyes checked before April because I need glasses (it’s okay, at 65 I will get Lasik surgery). Some readings were given with the intention of being preventative, or giving forewarning about the future such as the fact that if I marry the Australian man that comes into my life between 2018-2022 we will divorce. Though he is an architect or engineer and will seem like a good choice. He isn't.

He kept saying he loved our spirit and enjoyed telling us both that we are strong independent women and we should be fussy because straight men are stupid and most are not worth our time.

He said I am a wanderer and I can look after myself. Then he said he can too, laughed and tapped his jacket pocket,
“I carry a razor, baaaaaaa!”, he screeches. “You need to look after yourself!”.

I could have stayed and talked to him for hours. At one stage a couple, most likely tourists were staring at us from inside the MAC store. They were either highly amused with our urban palm reading or concerned for my welfare. He kept wrapping it up but would find something else he wanted to share or wanted to know if I had any other questions. He said I will work by helping people, but will only ever work to do what I want to do. I knew that, I was kind of hoping he would tell me to follow the psychic school dream or my other ‘go to’ escape job, peanut butter farmer. He reminded us that he is telling us everything he sees because he likes our energy and friendliness. Our reading was quite in-depth, some good things, some strangely detailed problems. He was going to need a few more euros for his trouble, he said as he meowed and swiped at me playfully.

We parted ways and he gave us both a talisman. Mine a Swiss Franc that I need to put 7 grains of sea salt, a lock of my hair and a petal of a red rose on, wrap tight and store in between some books. If I ever lose it, or spend it, it will bring bad luck he said, then cackled like an evil Disney queen. I felt overwhelmed with responsibility.

He kissed us on the cheek a few times, touched my boob and told me if he wasn’t gay he would have had my babies. As a single gay man his only expense is his lifestyle, and he then pulled his shirt up and showed me his waxed stomach. He said he does the occasional palm reading to make a little cash to spend on eyeliners.

“Remember, only you can change your destiny," he said once he was done.

With a thousand more meow’s, ciao’s and animated gestures he bounced off down the street, his suit jack flung over one shoulder and we returned to the street in a daze, looking at our hands covered in Texta. Going over every detail of our futures so we wouldn’t forget anything. We then sat down by the entrance to an old Milanese castle and recapped and laughed about all the things coming our way in the next 20 years, good, bad and confusing. Also the fact that we just spent the past hour with a gypsy getting our fortunes read on the streets of Milano.


Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 20:48 Archived in Italy Tagged italy friends milan fortune_telling the_tipsy_gipsy gypsies Comments (1)

My Beautiful Soul

Making train friends.


Looking back it’s hard to say how exactly both my energy and I fit on to the train carriage. I boarded my train bound for Sondrio, a journey of about 2 hours in which I was looking forward to looking out of the window and playing with my broken camera lens in case two solid hours of fiddling could fix it.

I entered the first carriage of the regional train and saw a man looking at me. I ignored him and went to find the conductor. After walking several carriages down to no avail, I figured I would park myself back in the first carriage to help my case when I get in trouble for fare evading.

I sat down and started looking out the window. A few minutes later the man comes over and starts speaking to me in Italian. ‘You speak Italian?” he asks. I say, “no” in which he replies that I can, he “believes in me, he believes I can”.
“Righto”, I think, I zip up my bag and sit up straight ready to see how this is going to pan out.

He sits next to me but motions that he is not going to touch me or bother me.

He asks me to repeat a bunch of Italian. Thanks to several months of using an Italian app, I can parle a little Italiano so I was repeating after him something along the lines of “Io sono fotografo" (I am a photographer) as I had my camera. He started showing me some pictures on his phone, he explained that he is a poet and showed me some of his drawings and verses. He shared a few of his best lines, something about how “a woman is stopped inside her bag”. He asked me if I understood and judging from my blank expression, said it three more times pointing to my bag each time. Thankfully his phone soon went flat.

He then parked opposite me and continued to talk to me in a mixture of Italian and English. He was picking up on my vibes and it was blowing his mind. He went to leave but then came back and started singing to me, “blue eyes, blue e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yyyyyyes,” he sang but he would pronounce the e-e-e-e-e-e like he was letting off a round of bullets. “Blue e-e-e-e-e-e-e-eyes” He was singing right in my face. He wanted me to pay attention to his vibrato. He did it again and pointed it out, “blue e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-eyes”. He seemed to think he was nailing it.

“Blue e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-eyes,” he continued to sing, staring into my eyes and getting close to my face.

I wondered if there was another verse?

I have one of those faces, and evidently one of those energies that attracts odd people. There is something about my aura and something about my face that really puts crazy people at ease. It usually makes for an interesting tale.

He assured me again he won’t touch me and he won’t bother me but he was hanging around and wanted to say something it seems. So he sat back down and told me in a mixture of English and Italian about how big my energy and soul is. He was overcome with it. He could feel it soon as I got on the train. He talked at me at length about my soul. How he was attracted to it, not like a man and woman. He was “49. Old” he would say but regardless my soul was throwing out all sorts of vibes and this guy was tripping on it. He didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t leave. He just kept saying something about my soul and talking in Italian. He was flipping his lid and the song really wasn’t getting across everything he wanted to tell me.

There was nothing else to do at this point. My energy was evidently getting bigger and bigger and drowning this poor fellow, as I sat stiller and stiller on a rattling old, graffitied train carriage. Tired, quiet and now somewhat amused. He couldn't take it any longer, he clasped my hand in his and closed his eyes. I was looking on with a smile but also wishing I had a camera. He stayed there like that for some time. His eyes were shut tight and his lips were quivering like he was draining all my energy with a spell. Think the curse Severus Snape is doing when Harry falls off his broom during his first quidditch match. He was holding my hand like the way an old lady would pray to a statue. They pray so emotionally and passionately their lips quiver. They care so much. It was like that, but instead of the Madonna and some candles, it was an overweight, sweaty Australian girl standing there like a lump while someone mumbled verses at her feet.

So if you can picture the scene, i’m sitting on a train, my backpack on my lap with a man crouched beside me holding my hand with both of his, mumbling in italian, his lips quivering and his eyes shut tight. I am looking all around the train carriage trying not to laugh. Or to catch someones eye and be like “shhesh, this guy ey”. His mumbling started to turn English intermittently “you beautiful women”, he would say. Staring at my face. “No, you are. You beautiful women”. If he said it three times he said it 300 hundred. Again, he is holding my hand, I am looking at the ceiling awkwardly.
“You beautiful women, You beautiful women. You beautiful women," he would repeat.

I’m not sure he has blinked in 20 minutes.

“…ah thanks," I say.

“nooo, no you. are. beautiful women”.

He kept reminding me he wasn’t talking about sex, though he is a man, he is a poet and love is not for this world. I am a beautiful women and my soul is blowing the roof off this carriage.

He tries again to explain it all. I am like the big woman, (rude, not that way) which I think i’ve heard the translation before, being like the Madonna. Big, as in almighty. He means spiritually I am very big. He then goes back to old faithful, “You beautiful women” he says again, insisting I repeat it back to him.

“You are beautiful women”.

If I didn’t repeat his mantra he stared even deeper into my eyes. So trying not to laugh I followed his mantra “I am a beautiful woman” I say, correcting his plurals. We would chant it together a few times then I threw a “io sono bella donna” in there - that one nearly blew his head off.

So there I am, barrelling down the railway into the region of my ancestors. Sitting in a carriage chanting “I am a beautiful woman” with a poet come cyclist who is holding my hand and staring at my face. Keep in mind I am wearing hiking shoes, 3/4 pants and a T-shirt. My hair is large and curly and I quite frankly look like a 60 year old cat lady on a day hike. I am not a beautiful women by any definition.

When he finally calmed down and stopped feeding on my energy, he also told me that I am an archangel. To which I said, “thanks”. He asked if I knew what it was to which he explained that me and my soul, we are not your run of the mill angel, or “white lady” as he called me first, I am an archangel, the powerful angels that make the other angels strong. They run shit in heaven is my guess. He scribbled the name Ulcia on some paper after repeating it several times. I’m not sure whether I am Ulcia or I need to look to Ulcia for guidance when I am unsure about my life choices. Ulcia is the archangel Uriel who according to Wikipedia has a flame in her(?) hand, is the angel of Sundays, poetry and the patron of the arts. Story checks out.

Eventually he gave me my hand back and with a few hundred more “you beautiful women” he caressed my cheek and then paid for my train ticket. He also wrote my mantra down on my notepad which I had taken out for some quick note taking when he went to chase the train conductor to buy my ticket. He soon returned with my ticket and another note scribbled in Italian on the back of a business card.

“io space il mondo sono bella come il mondo che e rotondo”

I plan the world is as beautiful as the world is round”

He kissed me on the cheek, and he got off with his bicycle and set off to cycle in the alps. Mountain cycling: A sure sign of being mentally unstable.

I guess I made his day. My soul and I went back to looking out the window.
Just saved myself €4,20 - cheers Ulcia.


Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 01:42 Archived in Italy Tagged train italy friends train_travel the_tipsy_gipsy 2016 Comments (0)

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