Saturday, 31 May 2014


I'm waiting on a number 6 vaporetto from Zattere to Ferrovia, and it's taking a bit of time to depart.

The marinaio is remonstrating with a couple on the pontoon, and it's clear that all is not well.  He's putting them off and getting them to fill out a form. Presumably they haven't bought a ticket. It seems they're being fined. The woman is doing most of the talking. Her partner just stands and glowers, although the marinaio is being firm, but not aggressive.

Eventually, they're finished. He takes a copy of the form for himself, and begins to cast off. The other man sees a chance to look like a big man in front of his wife. Risk-free. Take a swing at him now, just as the boat leaves, and he won't be able to retaliate. The boat starts to move and then, just before the gate is closed, he shoves him and swings a punch. The marinaio staggers back from the the force of the push, and the punch misses.

Immediately, the capitano shoves the boat into reverse. People start shouting abuse. The marinaio takes a few steps along the pontoon, after the retreating couple, and then thinks better of it. If he reacts, the guy will have an excuse to make a complaint. It'll be his fault and he'll get into trouble. He shakes his head, gets back on the boat, and we begin to move off.

This hasn't gone unnoticed. A couple of men on the pontoon are now shouting and pointing at the aggressor; whilst his wife looks on with a mixture of resignation and disgust. The boat starts to pull away from the jetty, as the two men close in.

The marinaio looks back to the pontoon. He sees his assailant backing away from the two men, still shouting and pointing, and pursuing him on to the fondamenta. He gives him a cheery wave and beams a broad smile as we move away, leaving the unknown pugilist to an uncertain fate...

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