Posted by Amy
We are just past our two-month mark and although we purposely didn’t book most of our lodgings before we left home, we have made a point of reserving a room at least one night in advance. Tonight was only the second time where we left in the morning and had no idea where we would be sleeping that night. After having overstayed our welcome in Italy, mostly due to a long wait at the Indian embassy to obtain visas for later travel, we decided to hightail it back to France. We booked a last minute barge trip up a river in Southwest France and had to drive 13 hours over the next two days with the five of us, a bike and way too many bags tightly squeezed into a Fiat Picasso. We don’t have those cars back home, but go ahead and Google them. They are very cute, little cars. Little cars.
After driving 7 hours, in and out of tunnels, mostly high up on the cliff of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean, with night falling, we decided it was time to find a hotel. We programmed the TomTom (our GPS) to look for a POI, or Point of Interest for those of you who don’t speak TomTom. The TomTom directed us to a hotel just 1.2 km off the highway called, The Florida Dip. We drove until we found the destination, surprisingly very much exactly where TomTom said it would be. We decided to send David in to check this establishment out.
There didn’t seem to be a door leading to the hotel so David entered through the Florida Dip Ristorante. The room was filled with Italian working men, only men, eating their dinners. They all looked up from their plates to give the American in quick dry pants and a baseball cap a good long stare before returning to their pasta and scallipini. David found the lone woman in the restaurant. She looked like she knew what was what, so he decided to see if she could help us.
He asks her, “Do you have any rooms?”
She points up a staircase and answers, “Upstairs, upstairs.”
David thinks about this and rephrases the question, “So, you do have rooms?”
She answers again, “Rooms yes, no toilets.”
Curious. He tries again, “You have rooms but no toilets?”
She responds, “Tonight, no rooms and no toilets.”
Not being one to give up, David asks, “What about the hotel across the street? The Argentina? Do they have rooms?”
“Yes, they have rooms, but no toilets.”
She thinks for a second and then writes the name of something on a slip of paper, a hotel? A town? We aren’t sure. She hands David the paper and says, “3 km. Toilets.”
Sure enough we followed her directions 3 km to a fine little hotel with toilets, showers, a restaurant and a laundromat across the street. All the luxuries we could ever want. We even were served a three-course Italian Touristic Dinner that none of us really wanted to eat for a “very special price only for your family.”
Did that hotel really have no toilets? Did they have toilets just not in the rooms? Maybe she took one look at David and decided this was a guy who needed his own toilet in his own room. Down the hall wouldn’t cut it. And why do no woman eat at this restaurant? And most of all…..where were all of those men staying in those rooms going to go to the bathroom tonight?