Friday, November 04, 2005

Lightning in a Bottle

I booked a B&B to stay at in Venice online. It was the same service (www.cross-pollinate.com) that I had used in Rome and had great results.

The B&B in Venice was nice, for what it was, but it was no B&B. For one thing, when I got there, Roberto, who ran the B&B, informed me that the woman who normally came in the morning to cook had been running late, so there would be no breakfast. He knocked 5 euros off of each day's charge, which was responible. So it was a "B, no B."

Actually, what it really was was a bed set up in an extra room in their apartment. This didn't really sink in until I was lying in bed and realized what the deal was. It's not that I'm dumb, but you need to understand that the train from Naples was eight hours, ran a little slow, then I had to catch a train to the central Venice train station, then catch a boat, then find my way along the streets. When I booked online, it said to contact the B&B owner if you were going to be more than two hours late from your appointed time. I got there about an hour late and was happy to be there. Venice doesn't really have a nightlife. The city shuts down around 8:30pm, apart from restaurants and bars in some touristy areas.

So I was sleeping in the library of this family's apartment. The walls were lined with bookshelves full of books: Pasolini, Pirindello, Malmaux, etc. There was also a Jean Paul Sartre poster on the wall (no lie, and not hyperbole). I was pretty happy to be sleeping in a library, and went to bed.

Still it felt a little odd. As I may have mentioned before, I don't really hang around wherever it is I'm staying. I'm out sightseeing during the day, I catch a bite to eat at a restaurant or bar, and only return to the hotel or whatever at night to go to bed. When I returned the second night, I heard the family's child ask who it was at the door before the mother hushed them in to their room. Had the mother and father been running a B, not B out of their home and somehow kept it from the kid? In any case, I sat in my room listening to music on my iPod (Beta Band, Neko Case) until I heard the family retire. This took about an hour or so.

Except they didn't fully retire. The kid, who sounded 12 or 13, decided to take an hour long shower, beginning at 11:30 at night. Now, I heard the shower starting, and even though I had to go to the bathroom, I figured it was late enough that the kid would be done soon and go to bed. He was still showering at ten to twelve, and now I really had to use the bathroom. I decided to be polite and wait. He was still in there, water still running (the sound of which didn't help matters any) at 12:15. I could no longer wait. My stomache was bloated, round like a basketball. I was in serious pain and starting to worry that I was going to actually wet myself. I figured I had two choices: I could either go down to the street and piss in the canal, or find something other vessel nearby.

I had an empty 1.5 liter bottle of water that I had drunk, and periodically refilled at one of Venice's many water fountains. Yeah, no wonder I had to go so bad. Holding the bottle up to "little John" and aiming very carefully, I pissed into the empty water bottle. The sense of relief once I began was incredible and immediate. However, as the bottle began to fill and I showed no sign of slowing down, I began to worry what I would do if I had more piss than bottle. Empty it out the window and start again? March into the bathroom and dump it on the kid's head? Happily, I finished with a little bit of space to spare in the bottle.

Another ten minutes after that (there's no way I could have lasted that short amount of time) I heard the bathroom door open. I waited a few minutes to make sure that no-one in the family would be lurking around to catch me with my bottle o'piss, then dumped it in the toilet.

I am happy to report that the B&B I am staying at in Florence is a legit B&B. Although I have noticed that it's billed as a "Bed & Bed." It doesn't provide breakfast either, but there are two twin beds in my room, so I guess they are telling the truth.

2 comments:

Iva said...

How many days did you spend in Venice? Did you get to the museum that is in St. Mark's Plaza? What did you think of the city overall?
Are you still in Florence? Have you seen David yet?
Lots of questions...I love you.
Mom

the hanged man said...

Spend 2 and a half days in Venice - wish it was more. I did get to the Doge Palace (the museum in St. Mark's Plaza). I will write about it...God, there's too much to write about and never enough time.

love you,
john