There was a guest book in the apartment we stayed at in Rome. The first page had a note from the apartment rental company asking guests what they thought about their stay. The remaining pages were filled with comments left by guests in various languages.

Partway through the guest book I found this entry, which I copied down in my notebook. I have edited it a little bit for clarity and spelling.


October 14 – 18, 2005

You want me to say something about this place, well it stinks. It smells like 9000 cigarettes were smoked in here yesterday. This entire city stinks, the streets are so fucking narrow they trap the car exhaust and you can’t get the smell of diesel out of your nose. Plus, all the dog shit.

I went out last night and walked around. I had to dodge a patch of vomit and I stumbled into this woman. She smelled of perfume but I don’t know how good it was. She jabbered something at me in Italian. She had a hot ass.

I said I was sorry and she started speaking English. She asked me if I was American but I said Canadian (I’m American). It worked and she warmed up. These people have no gratitude, not for WWII or anything.

When she asked me where I was going I lied and said just buying cigarettes. I was keeping my options open. No use, because she said her boyfriend was at this bar nearby, but she invited me in for a drink.

I should have known better but I followed her down a little alley and into this dank little place called (as far as I can tell from the sign), “BAR”.

Started drinking with her and her boyfriend and a couple of other people who didn’t speak much English. I just kept drinking (they have a great drink here made with crushed ice + sugar + lime juice + vodka, mostly just vodka but tasty).

Next thing I know I wake up and I’m outside and it’s morning. I’m laying in the alley with no clue how I got there. There’s a dead pigeon right in front of my nose. Its head is crushed and the beak is squished out of its face, barely attached to the skull by a few strands of nerves and tendons.

It stank. But not as bad as this apartment.

Paul R – Ypsilanti, Michigan

P.S. If you find my wallet it’d be great if you could mail it to me at [address deleted].

Life, politics, code and current events from a Canadian perspective.

Adrian Duyzer
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