March 16, 2006

circus maximus

ugh. Yesterday was another one of those days like my first in Munich. I got to Rome and dragged my stuff to the hotel I had booked a few blocks from the station. (Eurostars Domus Aurea for those keeping track). I knew to expect small rooms from the website reviews I had found for research. Despite that it had gotten good marks for its price and basic cleanliness etc, and it had wifi. Small wasn't the word. Oh well, no big deal. Across the street was this huge crowd of guys singing and chanting outside this bar - I was told there was a football (soccer) match going on in town. This looked like a group I wanted to party with! I decided I had to go have a beer with them after taking care of some business. Turns out the wifi was broken too. As was their internet point in the lobby (where I met with another guy trying desperately to log on).

Having been through this before, I decided not to waste time. I found an internet point (which are all those creepy kind of money transfer/long distance/internet places) and booked one of my other choices online. I checked out and was charged for the whole booking. Oops. They did have a 72 hour cancellation, so I couldn't argue - though you would think places would make an exception and give some sort of consideration when you've only been in their room for half an hour and he was aware why I was checking out. But - I screwed up - and I had just booked the second place, so I might as well go on to it. I drag my stuff across the cobblestones to that area and find that hotel. The guy was extremely nice, but they were booked. He saw how I had made my reservation - but - they were booked. (Hotel Mascagni - points to them for being so helpful). He offered to put me in their other hotel, but it was farther than I wanted to be. On I dragged to another hotel I had researched and I knew had shown up available online - this time just walking in and not booking online. Full. Ugh. Running out of options, I grabbed a cab (I couldn't drag this stuff any more) and went to a hotel someone had recommended that I didn't know a lot about. I ended up with a cheap rate, nice large room, and even wifi. About a block from my original hotel. Go figure. (Hotel XX Settembre).

So... Eventually I went out for a couple beers and a little bit of wandering in the area. I like the feel of Rome, the old with all the life around and through it, but I think I've almost worn myself out.

By the way - one of the songs I heard that group of guys singing was John Denver's "Country Roads". This isn't the first time I've heard that here. On the next to last night of the Olympics I was wandering through the IBC with a coworker and we heard the German network clearly having a party in their area. Suddenly they all broke out in "Country Roads". Not only that, but that was followed by them playing some disco version of it! I will have to remember to try to find out what the connection is to that song over here... "Country Roads, take me home..." Sounds nice about now.

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