I met Basil Fawlty – Florence, Tuscany, Italy

I now know the difference between 1 star, 2 star and 3 star hotels. The price, and the services. The rooms are usually the same but the things like bathroom, breakfast, TV and so on are different. I don’t care so much about TV and beakfast (if there’s a kitchen) but this one had one extra service I wasn’t ready for. We have a shared bathroom, which is usually okay. And a kitchen. Last night we bought some food and (a bit late, I suppose) at 10:30pm the guy from room 1 (who it seems lives there) came in, snarled at me and said “ljhghfs kdffderiu iudiudiu” and I said “no Italian”. He rolled his eyes (at the assumption I had only English) and spouted that he speaks Italian, French, Spanish and Italian. Then he rolled his eyes again and wrote down “COOKERY CLOSE 10:30”. Well, the people who run the place didn’t tell me that. Also, we had to share the crappy bathroom with him. So, this morning and last night we couldn’t use it because every time I tried, he was in there. When I knocked I got this “Yes!” sound, like it was a labour for him to communicate with other humans.

I did get to have a shower and cook tonight because we did it before he came back. The shower was crappy, small and didn’t drain. I’m glad we’re budget travellers, otherwise I’d be pretty pissed.

Actually, generally in Italy most people seem to have the same expression. Like it’s an effort to do their job and serve customers (even if we are foreigners.) The tourist office in the station at Venice I think was the worst, with just one person (and only space for one person) and not a happy person at all. Considering how many tourists there are here, Italy is not at all set up for independent travellers.

An example is I wanted to go out to a vineyard today, but unless you’re on a booked tour, or have a car there are no wineries with easy access like we found in Chile. (As for Australia, I’ve never tried public transport to a winery.)

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