Continued from Rome Day 2 Part 2.
After a long day of sightseeing, I made it back to the hotel and spent the next few hours writing up this diary and resting. Eventually, made plans with my friend A to meet her and her roommate(she had moved from hostel to house where the family rents out rooms) for drinks. Before meeting up with them, I had to get some dinner.
Spy photo. While dining, this guy came by and tried to hard sell some wood carvings. I saw another guy hustling similar products at another street corner later in the night. It’s apparently a whole syndicate running the same scheme.
After dinner and some more diary writing, it was time to meet up with the girls at the bar that they were hanging at.
My friend A’s roommate is a Korean girl who lives in Germany and speaks German. That’s interesting. One of the first questions that I had to ask her was if she’s ever met an Indian person with a thick Indian accent who spoke German. I’ve always wondered how that would sound because both languages have such strong accents. She didn’t know of an Indian who spoke German with a thick Indian accent though.
We sat in the sidewalk seating area and just drank and chatted for a while. Then we decided that we wanted to go to a real bar. Our waiter recommended an Irish Pub, of all things, to recommend to us. Sure, why not.
Unfortunately, the bars here in Rome also close at 2AM like they do in Austin. Most of the stores have closed as well so you can’t buy alcohol. We were looking to keep on drinking and we asked the bartenders if there were any other way for us to keep on going. He mentioned that there were these member’s only drinking clubs that serves alcohol until 8AM. The membership is free, and there is one a couple blocks away.
These member’s only drinking clubs have no signs, but the bartender said to look for a light like the one that they have(in picture below), and there’s a buzzer for us to ring. When we ring the buzzer, someone will open the door and let us in. Sounds a little crazy and fun, so we were all for it.
On the way to the secret bar, we also ran into these girls from Mexico(I had met them at Fiddler’s Elbow) who were here for some sort of tourism training. They were a fun bunch and also knew about the secret bar, so we confirmed the secret bar’s existence. I do have to say, if you’ve met one rich privileged Mexican from Mexico in your life, you’ve met them all. They all speak and act the same. The girls also mentioned that it was Mexico’s Independence Day(It’s actually not Cino de Mayo), so that meant tequila shots.
Holy crap! It works! A guy opened the door and we told him that we wanted to drink. He said that we needed to be a member, but it was free to join and we just had to fill out a really short form. Sure, anything!
Even before ordering a drink, we asked the bartender if we could buy cigarettes since we had run out. He said that everything was closed, except for this self service machine around the corner. Then he said that we couldn’t buy it because we didn’t have this Tessera card(I guess ID card). Then he thought about it for a second, reached into his wallet, and handed me his Tessera Sanitaria card to use. Talk about trusting a complete stranger!!
The machine had English language option, but was still very difficult to use. True to form, I accidentally pushed the wrong thing and I got this printout instead of actual change returned to me. Asshole!
After getting some cigarettes, we happily returned to the secret bar.
When we got back, the bartender had short little forms waiting for us to fill out. It was essentially name, birthday and some sort of area code. I just put down my zip code.
Rome, as seen from the crack of dawn.
To be continued at Rome Day 3 Part 1.