I hired someone new to row for me tonight.
I'd never seen him row until a quick jaunt a few days ago,
but with seven years experience, and the word of a friend whom I trust, I put him on the back of one of my gondolas and entrusted him with a most precious resource: clients.
I was not disappointed.
More and more these days, I'm seeing gondoliers visit and row in new locations.
The "traveling gondolier" is becoming a new archetype.
He visits a new servizio, takes passengers on a route that's different from the one he "grew up" rowing in.
With a decent knowledge of the waterway,
and a superior knowledge of rowing,
the gondolier has nothing to worry about despite being in a new place. In fact, he has a fresh new adventure of his own in the new location.
Often his enthusiasm becomes contagious.
The passengers get a spontaneous experience - some might call it, "organic".
After our cruises were over we swapped stories and talked about some of our best, worst, and most famous passengers.
This guy had rowed in two other operations, and did a fine job with a remo in his hands tonight.
My clients had a great time,
I talked with the gondolier - he enjoyed the experience,
and in a tight economy, where the happiness of each and every passenger is invaluable, I couldn't be happier about the way things turned out tonight.
I won't open my boat up to just anybody who claims to know his voga-alla-Veneta, but with the right credentials and a positive reaction from my gut, I'm willing to share the water to see more of what I saw tonight.