Let me paint you a picture of a perfect Venetian escape: A converted palace nestling in the corner of a picturesque square with exclusive access via its own private bridge: A quintessentially Italian balcony overlooking a canal used by actual, real gondolas: A typical Italian meal cooked every night by an in-house chef.
There are some things money can’t buy, but for everything else... 35 Euro per night will get you a bed in the Venice Fish! But sheets are extra mind, as is a key, and to use the shower and pretty much everything else. Apart from the bed bugs, those are on the house.
Bought you back to reality with a bit of a bump, huh?
Staying in a hostel is something that everyone should experience at some point in their life. On the one hand, it’s a great way to see a city for a few pennies, but on the other there is the fact that you are going to be staying in a dorm (if you are particularly penny pinching like me) which therefore means that you probably will be privy to some things that you really shouldn’t see. In this case, it was the bible-bashing guy from Louisiana on the bunk beneath me, who had obviously decided that he was going to cut loose on his statutory, early twenties Euro-trip-of-self-discovery funded entirely by daddy dearest, and well and truly discover himself... and a few others along the way. Now I’m not going to claim to be a prude, ‘cus I’m not, but even so, as I’m lying on my top bunk being (not so gently) swayed to sleep by him and the Korean girl fornicating on the bed beneath me, I realise that I’m getting too old for this. I mean I’m a teacher, a profession synonymous to responsibility and being sensible! (Note to self: Must stop using that as an excuse as it’s becoming less believable, especially after what I’m going to reveal.)
Anyways, the hostel I was staying at specifically said on the booking form that you shouldn’t stay at this place unless you were sociable and prepared to party, (hard) every night. Blimey I’m thinking, it’s more like an application form than a reservation. Just to be on the safe side I decided to take back-up in the form of my straight talking, whiskey drinking accomplice, Hayley, just in case things got out of hand. The fact that she bailed two days before we were due to arrive, means that I lay the blame for what is to come squarely on her. Yes Hayley, I blame you. (Weirdly, as you already know, going to the cinema by myself in Birmingham, the place where I live, is a more traumatic prospect than going to a foreign country alone, but you guys should know I’m unconventional like that.)
After reading the full spectrum of reviews I was expecting a completely wild time here, and to be honest, there was some room for improvement: I’d give it a B+. But oh well, I would be starting work the next day so an early night wouldn’t be quite so bad.
So where did it all go wrong/right?
It definitely wasn’t the little shop down a pretty dodgy looking alley that temped in any unwitting tourist under the guise of We’ll fill any bottle with wine for 1 Euro. In fact, I can barely even remember that experience so it definitely couldn’t have been that.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur of... well, blurriness, until I heard the three little words that can simultaneously strike fear and a childish sense of excitement into even the most responsible adult.
Spin. The. Bottle.
Spin the bottle? I’m twenty four! I don’t need to participate in some hormonally driven game of debauchery in order to have a drunken snog with somebody who’s almost good looking if you’ve drunk a bottle of wine and kinda squint through your right eye.
Then again, I was in Italy, the land of romance. In Venice, one of the most romantic cities in the world so surely that can justify and any eventuality of pursuing
romance marriage a night of entertainment until one or other party check out the next morning.
But this was not like any normal schoolyard game of spin the bottle. No sir-ee. The conventional bottle was replaced by a full grown man. A full grown naked man at that.
How would that work, I hear you say? A marble floor, and olive oil... lots of it. After sharing this with my colleagues back home when I felt that the staff room conversation with starting to stagnate, there were various mutterings about “chafing” and regular intervals and many of them are probably still trying to figure out the logistics behind this feat. Let’s just say it’s one of nature’s miracles. Nevertheless, as with the official rules of spin the bottle, no exceptions to could be made, therefore I shall omit the following section and leave it up to your own imagination. (N.B. for the more liberal readers I would like to point out that I do have some standards. Some, not many mind you. For those who are of a sensitive disposition, why the hell are you reading my blog anyway?! You should know better by now!)
So I shall end this post on the following note:
To my parents, who will undoubtedly read this; I’m sorry; I’ve disgraced the family name once again.
To everyone else, it’s the Venice Fish. That’s V-E-N-I-C-E F-I-S-H.