Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My personal introduction to "bomb sites"

People in Aviano were SO helpful We had new friends helping us look for homes. We were all tired around 3 pm, so we stopped at a bar somewhere in Roveredo. It had been a trying day, so I asked for an “aqua minerale”. I had already learned to love the tiny bubbles of the Italian bubbly water! I also had to relieve myself, so I asked where the “toilettes” were. They directed me to a room in the back where many men were playing pool in a small room (certainly not with regulation pool table dimensions!).

When I arrived at the room, I again asked about where the “toilette” was. I am pretty sure that all I said was "Toilette?". It is, of course, a universal word! All the men moved aside so I could work my way around the table. They motioned to a wall on the far side of the room that had a series of louvered doors that were one step up from the main floor. Since I REALLY had to go, I smiled and followed their instructions. Point of interest: smiling goes a long way in making yourself understood in a new language!. One of the men opened a door to one of the closets in the middle of the room, so I accepted his invitation and stepped up into the room.

Once I was in the room, I found myself in what we learned to call a “bomb site”. NOW what do I do, I asked myself. Since the entire room around the pool table had gone silent, I decided that I would not give them the satisfaction of having me leave without doing my business. I had on slacks, so first I had to figure out where to put my pants. Hmmm. So I lowered my pants and squatted with my feet on the footprints on the “bomb site”. I am still not sure if I was facing “forwards” or “backwards”. I figured the tinkle would just go down into the bomb site and not get my pants wet. Everything went very smoothly and all the tinkle went where it was supposed to go. (We later learned to appreciate the bomb sites since you knew it was going to be sanitary. You would not be touching ANYthing!)

The room outside was still silent. Creepy. Louvered doors. They could hear everything! Imagine! I was beginning to feel this was a real “set up”. The next problem was how to flush this thing. I saw a chain on a water container near the ceiling. As I stood up, I pulled the chain near the ceiling to flush the bomb site. Before I chose to pull up my slacks, the water came into the “bomb site” toilet and over the top of the bomb site and got the bottom of my slacks VERY wet. The water continued flowing past the bomb site, under the door and into the pool room, getting the entire floor of the pool room wet. Now, I was SURE it had been a set up!

I later learned to not only pull my pants down, but to also roll my pants UP! Still, no sound was heard from the men in the pool room. There I was, with the bottom two-thirds of my slacks as wet as could be. I just pulled them up, buttoned up, took a deep breath and stood tall as I exited the bomb site closet and stepped down into the pool room. As I did so, one of the men held the door for me. The men in the pool room were still silent as they stepped aside while I moved around the pool table to leave the room.

When I returned to the bar, everyone asked what had happened to my pants. I refused to answer, but decided that a Vino Rosso was much more appropriate than Aqua Minerale for that moment.

Again, isn't Italy wonderful?

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