Imagine, if you will, a bar. Not the kind of bar that you seen in the movies, and certainly not your average English pub either.
Rather, you should imagine the kind of bar that gave rise to the word ‘barista’: the kind of Italian bar where they take some pride in making quite a good cup of coffee – thought they’ll have you hanged, drawn and quartered should you order a cappuccino after noon. Or they might not, but they’re more likely than not to let you know that you are, as it were, doing it wrong.
Know the kind of place I’m talking about? Now make it pink. And when I say that, I don’t mean to say that you should, in your mind’s eye, hang the cycling equivalent of a Juve or a Milan flag behind the counter. Nothing so ordinary. You have to make it pink. Pink balloons, yes, and pink ribbons. That goes without saying. Also pink menu specials, napkins, coffee cups, flowers and t-shirts. A bit like a pink St Patrick’s Day, but without the Guinness – though food colouring [pink, not green] of some description may be involved. And instead of having the bartender sing ‘Wild Rover’ or the like, let the barista – who does indeed make quite a good cup of coffee – sing “BA-BA-BA-BA-BA-BAS-SOOOOOO!” While serving customers. As you do.
[An aside: said barista was awfully chuffed that someone who clearly had no bias whatsoever – which isn’t true, but nevermind that irrelevant detail – agreed with him that Ivan Basso was indeed not at all unlikely to win the Giro.]
Get the picture? Really? Are there any pink soft toys in the picture? Add them in. Not just one – a good few of them. They bring a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. They tie the room together. All in? Good. Then you have an idea of what happens to a place when the Giro comes to town. In a manner of speaking, it adds a little bit of colour.
[I would, of course, provide pictures of this pinkest of pink bars – for there were, indeed, other pink bars, though none so pink as this one – but I fear that I have none. Remembering to bring my camera clearly isn’t my strong point.]