Wet and windy in London and Venice

Masks on sale in Venice in June 2012

Venice Mask sales display.

London’s summer is the same as summer in any other city or town with history.  There are lots of opportunities for tourists to be liberated from their cash for goods or services.  Payer beware.  Whether the goods are well made or shoddy is something tourists must judge for themselves.

How is it that many folk suspend their critical powers as soon as they don their virtual “kiss-me-quick” hat or their sandals with socks.  Looking for quality amongst the tourists tat requires critical powers to be intact.  Looking for service value equally is as fraught.

In Venice recently, I could have bought an elaborate fiesta mask.  Some of them were fashioned into exquisite pieces, if somewhat weird.  Why would I want to walk around wearing a long beak?  Quality may not have been in question.  Did they deliver value though?  Walking the streets in the rain with high tide flooding St Mark’s Square, uniquely dressed like a festive puffin?  Difficult to see the value there.

The fiesta mask is iconic and strongly redolent of Venice, of that there is no doubt.  Iconic though of hedonistic days when Shylock risked his money for a pound of flesh forfeit.  No one is going to get rich on mask sales in Venice this year.

You have to admire the Venice mask vendors who, like their equivalent serving the London tourist magnets, stand stoically waiting for passing trade.  High wind or torrential rain, they still have a shed-load of tie-on beaks to shift.


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