Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Grossest moments

Warning: This is a super-duper-long-ass entry. You have been warned.

Something earlier made me think about my hotel in Venice 7 years ago, and how that was the absolute worst shower I've ever taken in my life. I became inspired and challenged to think up more grossness. So now, I will entertain myself and my vast reading audience with a list of The Top Ten Grossest Gross-Outs in Lisa's Limited Life. (this can also be considered a general introspective since i'm having a dreaded birthday this week - ugh.) Here goes, in no particular order:

The Top Ten Grossest Gross-Outs in Lisa's Limited Life

1. Grossest Shower of all time: Venice, Italy, 1997. Tam and I found this literal hole-in-the-wall "hotel" by stepping off the train at the crack of dawn, after traveling all night from France, and running into some Italian man holding a sign that said something to the effect of "hotel." Lurking at the train station, waiting for the sleepy and silly Americans to get off the train, he honed in on us when he saw the look of desperation on our faces. Anyway, he sold us -- it didn't sound terribly expensive and it was not that far -- and in retrospect, the location really was excellent. However -- and I'd read this in the guide books and thought whatever, paranoid-- we really should have SEEN the place before agreeing to stay there for 3 nights. BUT I DIGRESS which is my perogative since it is my blog.

So. In a gigantic, coco-nutshell, this "hotel" was like the 4th floor of an old building (I mean, all the buildings are old in Venice, hello) with no elevator (which normally wouldn't be a big deal, but I had fatally sprained my ankle a couple days prior and was lugging perhaps the heaviest, most awkward duffle bag in the land -- no, the continent). We were delirious. If I ever figure out how to post photos on here, I have some great ones of this incident. The desk lady spoke no English at all. We finally made it past her and opened the door to our "quaint" Itallian room and realized there was something missing... a TOILET. There was this bidet-looking thing, only it wasn't a bidet...it looked like a sink, with a faucet and a sink drain, in the form of a bidet -- and to the day I don't know what it was. But I know it wasn't a sink b/c there was a sink right next to it... Anyway, we used it for multiple purposes while we were here, but that might be another entry on this list IF I EVER GET TO THE FIRST ONE...

Ok. The point is: Communal Toilet, down the hall, nowhere near our room. One TINY room with a toilet and a sink, barely big enough to get in and close the door behind you. The first time I was in there I noticed a drain in the center of the tiny room. My gaze shifted upward and saw a shower head. And it was then that I realized that this was also the Communal Shower. Here's how it worked: after using the Gross Communal Toilet, you were to stand up, take all your clothes off, and hang them on a hook on the door, about 6 inches from the shower head. You were to stand naked in this room about the size of a one-man shower in the US -- and you were of course standing on a damp gritty floor that served as a shower and a germ collection for every other patron. You turned on the lukewarm water, with no water pressure to speak of, and realized that now everything was wet -- all the porcelein surfaces and your clothes. No way to avoid that. After this (and after realizing there was no soap) you were to feel somehow cleansed. And because you had to pay extra for a towel the size of a postage stamp, you then had to re-dress in your dirty, damp, smelly clothes to slink back to your room.

Yeah, that's what we thought too. Thank God I was uber-skinny in those days -- I don't think I could have pulled it off in my current state. Now, on to...

You know what? I just decided that instead of writing a 50-page entry, I'm going to keep the Gross-List going indefinitely and just write about Gross Things as they come to me. Yeah, that's what I'll do. Stay tuned...the inspiration could hit again at any moment.......

4 comments:

sarah said...

Oh, I can help you remember some dirty moments. The most recent one is the look of horror on your face after you extricated yourself from the ladies restroom at burlington last weekend.

Lisabell said...

Ah yes Sarah -- thank you for reminding me of one of the grossest public restrooms i've ever experienced... lalala....

Crazy MomCat said...

That's funny. I had a similar experience at the Burlington here in Houston a few years ago. I'm sorry, coats just aren't worth seeing something like THAT!

Dipu said...

A toilet in a tiny room with a shower head and a drain in the middle where everything gets wet? Pshaw! Try visiting relatives in Asia. The bathrooms may be bigger, but my visit in 2004 was the first time I actually had a shower head to use. Let alone hot running water. Well, warm. Ish. In both Indonesia and India, you'd fill a built-in 3-foot high concrete or tiled basin in the bathroom with water from a tap, then scoop the water over yourself with a ladle. As you describe, the toilet, sink, everything's in the room and there's a drain in the middle. It's why we always take flip flops when we visit. You don't wanna go in the bathroom barefoot. Though tractionless flip flops aren't always the best on wet tiled or concrete floors, so you have to be careful you don't slip. Plus it's all mildewy, and the mosquitos LOOOVE dark, dank, damp places. Perfect place to be naked. The whole thing with your clothes going on hooks and having to make sure you don't get them wet is the same too. And you're trying not to get your pants wet as you change because of the water on the floor. This was true even in some of the hotels. I could go on...