Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Italian Job

I've been in Italy a week and it's been good. I've only found the time to write this as it is 3 AM and, having just gotten back from a 6th straight night at the bars, I have found it is the only spare time to recount one of the funnier stories of this past week.

After a sleepless 13-hour journey to Rome and a shuttle ride to my university, I was left with a John Cabot University rep to take me to my apartment and get helped get myself acclimated to the Roman lifestyle. Unfortunately, after taking me to the 8th floor of my apartment building, the chick had no idea how to open my door. To call the key to my apartment medieval is to call Leslie Neilson the future of Hollywood. The picture above reallly doesn't do justice to its 6-inch length. The door would not open. After about twenty minutes of futile twisting, we went back to the shuttle van. The driver, realizing that we couldn't open the apartment door, insisted that he give it a go. He opened the fucker within 20 seconds. After brief translingual lesson, explaining how I need to more or less jimmy my apartment door with my own fucking key, I was left alone with an empty apartment and no idea what I was going to do for the rest of the day.

Fortunately, that question answered itself rather quickly. Having scoped out all the rooms and deciding on the nicest single room (the one upstairs with the desk and closet), I lugged my bags upstairs and got ready too unpack. Before unpacking anything, however, I needed to take my first look out of my apartment window to the beautiful city streets of Rome. I set down my suitcase, shuffled to the nearby window, and lowered my head to the pane in a brisk, overexhausted motion. CRASH. Before I noticed that the sheet of glass from my window jutted out I had already shattered the damn thing. Glass exploded on and around my face. Fuckinghell.

Fortunately for me, I had been given John Cabot's emergency maintenance number in a packet less than an hour ago. Unfortunately for me, I began to notice a steady flow of blood dripping from face to hand. I looked in the mirror of my bathroom for the first time. Blood streamed down from my nose, through my fingers, into the sink. I called the maintenance number, explaining my ridiculous situation. They called a taxi for me to take from the apartment to the hospital, suggesting that I not look overly conspicuous and have a "big smile for the cab driver". As I dribble blood into a stained maroon t-shirt with a gash the size of a small canal. Sound advice.

I get into the cab and fumble through my own shit Italian to let the driver know that I basically need to get somewhere before his seats turn crimson. He looks pissed but understands and drives me to the hospital. After excessively tipping him for having to transport someone bleeding steadily into a rag, I exit the taxi and enter the hospital. Before reaching the front desk I check my pockets. Motheroftits. I left my phone in the cab. I earn myself an English-speaking doctor by confusing the women at the front desk. She washes off my face, periodically accidentally spilling unknown chemicals in my eyes and nervously asking her assistant for confirmation that these aren't damaging chemicals. She appplies gauze to the suture and bandages my nose like something out of Revenge of the Geeks.

After getting a ride back to my university and having them call the cab, whose number I miraculously remembered, things began to look up. Since then I've only washed my phone in the laundry and had to spend $40 on a replacement. But besides having a stupidly memorable introductory story to tell people I've met here and and hefty early repairs tab (both reparational and medical), it's been one hell of a first week and I'll have more stories to come as more time to reflect represents itself. Seacrest out.


Ben said...

what. the. fuck.

Clay B. said...

dont you love doing stupid things in other countries.
ive been in buenos aires for a month so imagine the size of my encyclopedia of dumbass.