Imagine being three. The most exciting thing in life is pirates and swords. Several times a day you sing sea-shanties and talk about pirates. Your parentes have been talking quite a lot about Italy. They say something about going on holiday there. It’s supposed to be warm and there are pools in which you can swim, and you can also swim in the ocean. It all sounds a bit odd, you’re not sure if you like it being warm, and swimming in the sea or in a big pool sounds a little scary. It’s been two years since last time you were by the Mediterranean, and although you remember some things about visiting family in Spain, most of it is at best a blur.
Italy is supposedly quite far away. You can only get there by plane, or by driving for days. We are flying this time. You have flown before, but that too is quite some time ago. It feels like it’s the first time. Before the first flight mom and dad are quite nervous. They’re not sure how you will react. Your calm nature surely have them amazed. You’re a little excited when the planes takes off, but by the time the plane reaches travel height, you are so calm and quiet it seems like flying is something you do every day. You’re a perfect little gentleman for the entire flight, and also for the second flight, and the third. During the second flight nobody understands what you’re saying, so you pick up a few foreign words. “Danke” and “tschüss” makes the flight attendants smile. During the third flight they speak another foreign language, you quickly pick up “grazie” and “ciao” and end up getting extra service and the double amount of snacks from the flight attendants.
It’s midnight by the time we get to the hotel. Since the south of Germany you’ve only seen large airports and dark skies. You wake up in a strange room. It’s cool and quiet and rather dark, but as soon as the door opens you’re blinded by the bright light. Outside terra cotta red, dry earth dominate the picture before you. It’s warm and a t-shirt and shorts are perfect. Downstairs someone has made breakfast for us. Much of the food is quite similar to that at home, but yet slightly different. A couple of women hustle back and forth out of the kitchen, both smiling, touching your hair and talking to you every time they pass. You smile back, say “grazie” and smile. The attention is fun, but there’s very little else to see and do at the hotel. Mom and dad find a car, not at all like the one at home. You prefer the one at home. The car seat is too small and you can’t see anything out the window. You quickly fall asleep.
The next thing you know you’re outside a big, lemon coloured building. After a bit of waiting while dad talks to some people a man carries all out luggage onto a golf cart. He talks to you, but you don’t understand anything. You smile and say “ciao”, that always make them friendly. Sitting between mom and dad the man drives to a different part of the big building. Carries all the suitcases into a lift, pushes a button and leaves us there with a quick wave with the hand, a smile and a friendly “ciao”. The lift moves and takes us to a floor higher up. Dad unlocks a door using a card and opens the door for you. You don’t expect much and walk in with calmness and quiet curiosity. Mom and dad wait by the door, looking at you, waiting for a reaction. You stop in the middle of the room. Your gaze travels from one corner to the next, until you have taken in every detail of the room. “Oi!” you say, suddenly and turn around to look at us. “It’s a ship”, you gasp, “we’re living in a ship!”. “There are pirates in Italy too!”