Well, not exactly vital to just Venice but let’s go with it, it sounds important.
1. Sadly the number of addicts I’ve seen on a daily have far outweighed what I encountered in New York. There are some hardcore, terribly sick people who are also probably suffering from mental health issues and the age range is heartbreaking.
I was slightly insulted to be offered meth from a guy behind a dumpster because I thought I gave off a more mellow vibe. Told my husband this and his laughter could be heard from coast to coast.
2. The dog poo is everywhere which I have mentioned but it needs reinforcing. I love dogs (except the big, bitey ones and yes, I know it’s not their fault but they scare the bejesus out of me) and have stopped to admire and chat to many on my adventures. And dog owners are universally thought of as a Good Sort, so is it too uncool to bag your pooch’s poop? Because it’s pretty freaking uncool to stand in it.
Also it’s not Paris. Be aware.
3. I can’t find raw food on par of what I can get in Auckland anywhere in the vast vicinity of my long walks. Lots of healthy options of course but I’m blown away that even in Whole Foods the darkest chocolate is imported and my beloved dark choc almonds are covered with some sort of confectioners glaze and taste wrong. The amount of some sort of sugar to EVERYTHING is disturbing. There is very little food that is not overly processed apart from organic fruit and vegetables. (It goes without saying, of course, I’m not cooking anything.)
There are juices galore thank goodness, as they’re my staple go-to. And they cost a bomb.
4. There are less vegans than I thought they’d be. I’m going off conversations with the beautiful people I meet at yoga and while many are vegetarian, I’ve only met a few vegans. And most of the vegan food is some sort of pretend meat item. Ugh.
Obviously for some of you, this is a positive.
5. I’ve found the price of most things to be on par with New Zealand. Except for the many cheap prescription drugs which you can buy over the counter here, although they’re not something I’m bringing back as gifts. Should you want a pair of original vintage Levi’s which carry a capital E on the red tag expect to pay US$800 plus. What’s the bet they weren’t even worn with undies back then. They’re not coming back as gifts either.
Food I thought would be a lot cheaper but I suppose mostly organic, plant-based items, as always, cost more.
So, you know, bring snacks.
6. Iced coffee. It’s an abomination and unfortunately, a national issue. Yes, I know that’s coming from a decaf drinker.
7. The packaging waste is incredible. Individually wrapped pieces of fruit, double bagging of everything and an insane amount of plastic. On the other hand very few places would hand over a paper receipt.
Take your New World bags.
8. They say you can drink out of the tap but not really. So, that’s a no then.
9. Although people actually swim in Venice Beach water I would suggest not. I would strongly suggest not.
10. The driving policy here is to stop for every person crossing a street that doesn’t have a traffic light system. It is delightful to be a pedestrian (especially one who looks the wrong way each time AND walks a lot).
It would add something massive to my road rage though if I was driving.
Bring a taser.
I hope this has been vitally helpful and if there’s anything further I can add, just ask away! I LOVE this crazy place and hope you’re following along on my Insta stories where I possibly overshare completely unnecessary videos taken at unflattering angles.
Photo by Kyle Glenn
© The Yoga Connection 2017