After days of tenting, sleeping in a car, and paying through the nose for cheap hostels with no bathrooms and bed bugs, Camping Village Roma was a 5 star resort. There were three beds, a fridge, air conditioning, a private shower and clean sheets in the room. The hostel offered parties at the bar, a swimming pool, a mini-market, beach volleyball, a friendly staff, a restaurant and a poolside bar; not to mention, we had Internet almost whenever we wanted. It was close to all of the major attractions and there was a bus that stopped outside of the gates. If I had to recommend any hostel in all of Italy, it would be Camping Village Roma; for the price, it was unbeatable. The best part was that our roommate was an Aussie with lots of friends and a great attitude. He took us to the Spanish Steps Pub Crawl and showed us that you can have just as much fun in the streets as the pubs as long as you have a stash of rum and a few Aussies.
Mark was a 35 years old, which was a treat from the recent high school graduates usually in the room with us. He welcomed us to go out and party with him the next night and we gladly took him up on his offer. He was only there for two days before us, but he had friends from the Contiki bus tour that he was doing. It was nice to go out with a group of people since all of our evening time was spent going to bed early.
The Spanish Steps Pub Crawl was Mark’s choice and we were all his little minions. There were twelve people that went with us that night, eight of them were Australian and four of us were Canadians. We met by the fountain at the bottom of the Spanish Steps at 9:00pm. Each one of us already drank substantially before going to the Steps. There was an open bar for an hour in a pub, which was about a minute walk from the fountain. The problem was that there were so many people on the crawl that it was almost impossible to get a drink. Luckily, Mark brought his bottle of rum and we all had turns taking shots as we waited. By the time we got one drink at the bar, we were too drunk to care. We were also too drunk to realize that the pub crawl group was going to the next pub. We lost the group and two of the Australians that were with us.
“Ten people are enough to have our own party. Let’s go to a store and get some more liquor,” Mark said.
We somehow all understood what he was saying although it came out a little more like this: “Ten peoples a good party. More store liquor.”
Drinking in the street with a bunch of Australians was far better than drinking in a crowded bar. We did draw a little unwanted attention with our rowdiness and we were soon accompanied by eight local men. Although we were a group of ten, there were six women and only four men. One of the men approached Mark, the biggest man in our group, and started to say something in Italian. He was progressively getting louder and we didn’t know what to do.
Mark was Superman in his drunken state and he had no problem speaking up, “Hey, what’s up man? Is there a problem?”
The guy began yelling at Mark and waving his hands profusely.
Without missing a beat, Mark raised his voice and began moving his arms excessively as he shouted, “YOU HAVE REALLY NICE HAIR.”
The man had no idea what Mark was saying, but context is everything. We were a little surprised that in Mark’s drunken state he could still think of something so clever. We, all of the English people, began to laugh excessively. This enraged the man even more, but we could not stop laughing. Mark continued, “And your SHIRT is really nice too.”
At this point, I was almost rolling on the ground from laughing so hard and all of the women had followed suit. The man shook his head and made a disgusted gesture with his hands. He and his friends began to walk away. It was one of the funniest things that I had ever experienced and I wished I had of thought of it.
We congratulated Mark on his hilarious victory and He loved the extra attention, especially from the single ladies. We decided to call it a night after our achievement and we headed for the hostel by bus.
Despite Mark’s heroic act, he still ended up back in our bungalow alone. We laughed about the evening and began getting ready for bed. Within five minutes, we heard a loud thump in the other part of the bungalow that was attached to us. People that had been drinking with us were staying in the adjoining bungalow so Mark decided to go and check it out.
He ran outside and up the steps.
BANG! BANG! BANG! Mark knocked loudly, but no one came.
He tried the door and it was unlocked. “I’m coming in,” Mark yelled before entering.
Their bungalow held three people just like ours. One of the men had passed out standing up and he hit the floor; that was the big bang. Mark laughed before walking over to him and trying to wake him up. He shook the guy about five times before realizing there was no sense. He couldn’t let him sleep like that on the floor so he picked him up and put him into bed on his side.
He then looked in the bathroom to see where the other two people were. The bungalows were nice, but there were not too many places to hide.
He found one of the men throwing up in the toilet and the other in the sink. We could hear his laughing from our side of the bungalow.
“Looks like you have everything under control in here, Mates,” he said before walking out.
When he came back, I said, “Is everything okay?” He explained what had happened and we had another good laugh before calling it a night.
The next day our new friends were ok, but not without humiliation.