15 Days Abroad - Odd and Amusing Tales from Italy [PART 3]

Welcome, fellow readers and writers, to the third and final part in my “15 Days Abroad” series, in which I pass some of my most entertaining stories from Italy down to you.

If you happened to miss my adventures from part one and two of this series, like waiting four hours in a broken van for a taxi, climbing up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and more, feel free to click on the links below to check them out!

Click here to read Part 1

Click here to read Part 2

So without further ado, let’s get started with my personal favorite story that I wrote on a train, entitled “Drunk Man”:

July 2, in the evening
Florence

“OOOAAH!”

The man yelled at the top of his lungs as he knocked a few chairs over, making a KLUNK sound one by one as they hit the ground. To him, today may have been a run-of-the-mill experience, with the exception of a couple-or more than a couple-bottles of beer. To others, the ones who were calmly roaming the streets alongside these events, this man was undoubtedly and considerably drunk.

“He’s on a wild ride, isn’t he,” was along the lines of what the man behind the counter said to me.

“Looks like he’s in need of some help.”

I interrupted peacefully enjoying my gelato to have a little chuckle at his words.

Seeing the drunken man’s struggle, another young man unsuspectingly chose to help him. Still, no matter how much courage the man could muster, helping the nearly passed-out drunk still remained a challenge.

“God, why do I do this,” he mumbled to himself as he regretfully approached the impaired fellow. “Are you alright, sir? Do you need any help?” Despite his visibly minor frustration, he surprisingly chose to ask politely.

The drunken man responded with a loud grunt, followed by an undignified and clumsy tumble to the pavement.

“Damn it, dude,” the other man exclaimed with an increasingly harsh tone. “Wait up, let me get you some water.” After a few seconds of rummaging, he produced a wattle bottle from the bag he was carrying.

“Drink it,” he ordered the drunk to do in an almost authoritarian way. The only responses he received were the loud coughs and small gags of a man who was truly in need of help. Without receiving any motion of acceptance, he once again yelled the order at the drunk, this time with even more frustration and anger embedded into his voice.

“I said drink it, idiot!”

He then proceeded to push his previously obtained plastic water bottle into the other man’s chest. Once again, the man refused to consume the liquid.

A few minutes went by, and an ambulance finally arrived, to the joy of many bothered bystanders. The paramedics took the drunken man into the vehicle, and eventually came out to thank the other man, presumably for attempting to help out in such an odd situation. While I was glad the situation was taken care of, I still couldn’t help thinking to myself that he was a bit more angered than helpful.

July 3
Venice

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We’ve just arrived in Venice after a really nice stay in Florence- so far, I think this part of the trip looks promising! The buildings are beautiful, and unexpected cars and mopeds aren’t a problem anymore! Actually, scratch that. Traveling on crowded Vaporettos (water-taxis) everyday isn’t much better.

The only thing I’m concerned about are the bootleg Michael Kors and other designer bags being sold on the bridges. First of all, laying out twenty-to-thirty products in the middle of a bridge when there is no street is a huge inconvenience to others. Second of all, no one will think that your ultra-fancy “designer” bags are genuine when you’re selling them for €30 on top of a bridge. If you’re causing so many inconveniences to potential customers, why would they actually buy these bags?

Update: I’ve been in Venice for less than a day and I’ve already seen some people buy these bags. Buyer beware!

Surprisingly, the weirdest thing I’ve seen in Venice all day is our hotel. To get to the building from the main road, you must:

  1. Turn in to a small alleyway.
  2. Walk through a small, dark passage in a brick wall.
  3. Go around the corner.
  4. Walk straight until you reach the hotel sign.

From there, you must access your email client to find the welcome message the hotel staff sent you. In this message you will find the code to the lock on this building’s door. Then, enter the code, bring yourself (and your baggage) up a couple flights of stairs, and finally get to the reception desk… to find absolutely nobody working at the time.

Oddly enough, this hotel was run by solely one employee, who was only around from the morning to the afternoon. If you check in while she’s gone, which you most likely will, you can find your room keys on the desk, along with a welcome message and some other (confidential) papers.

At this point, I thought my situation couldn’t get any more odd. Until I saw our rooms. The first accommodation was pretty standard; just a queen bed, a bathroom, and some others necessities. The second room had a slightly bigger bathroom, and not much else that was different from the first.

As we walked towards the third and final room, I had a feeling that what was held inside would be something special. I was right. When my mom opened the door, all we saw was a couch, a TV, and a small fridge. Wondering where the rest of the furniture went off to, we peeked around the corner to find stairs leading up to a fully-decorated loft. At that point I knew, that we had struck the jackpot of all rooms.

After little consideration, my family chose to let my parents have the first room, my grandma have the second room, and me and my sister have the third room. Sure, the loft was a bit cramped, which is okay if we were only going to be sleeping up there, and the bathroom was very small (the shower door could only open halfway without bumping into the toilet), but it felt like staying in a suite. I was almost speechless.

July 4
Venice, continued

In the morning, I woke up to find our breakfast waiting for us on the tables outside. The nice lady who worked there dropped it off for us, the only guests at the time, before she left to clean our rooms. If I could describe the meals in one word in Venice, that word would be carbs. You know, carbohydrates, and this was no exception at the hotel. Of course, these foods tasted great, but I’m just here to say that I’ve never had a more unbalanced meal than toast, butter, fruit and cheese for breakfast. I’m glad to say that I’m looking forward to Venice, and the remainder of this trip.

July 5
Rome

The speed train ride from Venice to Rome was our longest one yet, clocking in at around four hours. Fortunately, I had my trusty 3DS and notebook to get me through without much boredom.

I can’t believe that we’re closing in on the last day of our trip. It’s been a great chance to bond with my family, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. Yep, even the broken rental car situation had some goodness in it.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned during this trip, it’s that you can find enjoyment in anything.

Anyway, my family and I are taking these last few days to enjoy some of the biggest tourist attractions in the city of Rome. Today, it’s the Colosseum. In 90+ degree (℉) weather. It’s easy to say that I’m not looking forward to passing out in the monument.

Later that day…

Here I am, at a tourist trap restaurant, right outside of the great Colosseum, on an extremely hot day. It’s been almost two weeks in this country and I still haven’t gotten used to weather that is warmer than Washington State’s. To be truthful, not much happened in the Colosseum. I took hundreds of great photos, some even for people who I didn’t know. I mean, just because I’m a kid walking around with a nice DSLR doesn’t mean I’m a photography master, but I’m still proud that they came up and asked me to shoot for them.

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It’s really amazing to see the crazy, and somewhat modern, architecture in these old monuments. However, the greatest thing I’ve learned today is that a family that’s together is a family that can conquer anything. Today, we conquered the heat.

July 8
Still, Rome

This is it. Today is the last day I’ll be in Italy. Today is also my birthday, and the day I come back to my blog. As you can tell, today has been a pretty eventful day. We even went to Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, all in one day. It’s crazy what I’ve accomplished with my family in the span of about two weeks.

I’ve packed my things, I have my blog post scheduled, and I even got some videos off my grandma’s camcorders before we split paths. The end of a trip is a pretty bittersweet moment. I get to come back home with all these great memories to share, but at the same time it will be years until I come back here.

We’ve traveled to Florence, Venice, Rome, and even Cosenza, where my own grandmother grew up in the harsh times of World War II, and not to mention even more areas of Italy.

I guess all I can end this crazy journey with is, as long as I’ve got family, I’ll always have a great time.

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Thank you, for reading about my journey, and looking through my memories.

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