Melaleuca Media
Notes from an irreverent tourist

Notes from an irreverent tourist is a series of travel articles that stand out from the crowd, combining original viewpoints with wide experience, wide scholarship and wry humor.

Sample: Great scaffolding of Europe By Phil Dickie

Just like the real thing-full frontal scaffolding at Siena's Duomo
“The prize for the most informative scaffolding goes to Parma's Duomo (Cathedral) which is covered with an abundance of displays on the science and technology of saving delicate pink marble from the ravages of Fiat and Vespa exhaust emissions. One gathers Parma's problems were extreme, with passers-by in danger from a constant rain of saintly fingers, toes and other appendages.

The scaffolding on Sienna's Duomo is the current leading example of a trend to enhance the tourist experience by covering the scaffolding with a rendition of the building you are not seeing. At Milan's famous Duomo, they are taking a different approach and selling advertising space on the scaffolding. A hardly very holy combination of inducements to experience Citroen cars and Batman films was pasted over the religious symbology when last I checked.”

Sample: Master of the five bottle blend

Chanel, anyone?
“But you couldn't say the local rep for Chanel No 5, White Diamonds, Calvin Klein and everything else in upmarket perfumes was doing a great trade.

It could very well have had something to do with his appearance. Khaki green singlet over hairy arms and shoulders, and over trousers that had seen much better days the odd unwelcome glimpse of a bum crack the size of the grand canyon. Grease back the hair, fasten the lips around a sagging cigarette and slip on a pair of scuffs and you get the general picture. He might have been better in character driving the delivery truck but here he was flogging the fragrances.”

“This was no delicate dabbing of a drop or two on wrists and behind ears, this was how you would handle the mosquito repellant in a malarial mangrove swamp. Fully five types of perfume were sprayed onto these guys who took up their new responsibilities enveloped in a white mist.”

Sample: Delusions of being Caesar

Hercules, aka Louis XlV, and friend
“There he is, looming these days over a children's playground, looking every inch the Roman conqueror on horseback in skimpy robes and laurel wreath. Actual conquests of Louis XIII, the employer of some far more famous musketeers noted in fiction and film, amounted to a few persistently Protestant cities within France itself.”