So I have to tell you about one of my nights in Rome that began simply and then went annoyingly.

There I was, searching the Vatican for some sort of late night convenience store to satisfy my beerly cravings when the heavens decided to open up and rain down on me. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem had I been a little prepared for it, but it was starting to feel like someone or something was seeing if they could break me – and in the Vatican no less. Oh the delicious irony…

The people I was with were like ‘what’s the big deal? Who cares?’ which only served to annoy me more, because my camera was in my pocket along with various other things in my wallet that I didn’t really want getting wet. Plus, maybe I’m alone in this, but I don’t enjoy having squishy shoes, especially in the midst of a backpacking trip.

As our desire for booze outweighed our concern for getting wet, we ran through St. Peter’s Square and the giant puddles there, through the tunnel to Trastevere and eventually found a store that was open and did have some delicious Peroni. Life is good, right?

Not so pretty when you’re puddle hopping… okay it’s still pretty.

Well on top of having to run all the way back in what we would later find out was a freak of nature down pour that the locals were going ‘WTF’ to, I decided to head off on my own to a nearby pizza place after changing into sandals. My annoyance and wetness called for something greasy and awesome on top of being alone for a while. It was here that I ran into a little snag.

It seems that in the deluge, my camera was okay but the contents of my wallet – not so much. Did you know that Euro notes run when they get wet? And did you also know that many businesses won’t accept them if the colours run? Furthermore, can you guess whether the establishment I was at accepted it or not? THIS WAS WHY I DIDN’T WANT TO BE IN THE RAIN.

Totally worth the headache…

I gave the guy what money I had and told him I’d be back with the remainder in a few minutes, I just had to get it from my accommodation. He sighed and accepted the fact that he’d probably never see me again, but then laughed and had his faith in humanity restored when I did in fact return. A Margyle always pays his debts.

But the problem remained – I had like 40 Euros that were unusable. A patron at the pizza place suggested I take it to the bank to exchange it but… I didn’t feel like doing that. So I tried to pay with it when I was in Ostia Antica the next day – still no luck. The guy at the counter turned more snobby and rude than any Parisian I’ve ever met and I had to find a different bill. How the hell was I going to get rid of it?

Luckily, I went to dinner that night with some friends living in Italy and they used it to pay – the waiter looked at it for a second then shrugged and took it. I wonder if he still would’ve accepted it had it been his tip and not going to the owner…

Vatican Museum – even in holy places, especially there, watch out for rain!

Even still, when they say a little rain never hurt anyone, don’t believe them! It almost did to me… even though it really didn’t and I’m just whining about a minor inconvenience that worked itself out. Go life?

By Mike

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