Travel can be interesting when you’re dating. At the time, Mr Shit Date and I had been going out for a year and we went and booked ourselves a six-week European vacation. If I’m fair, the planning itself was probably the equivalent of around ten shit dates. Our travel agent was a large, young guy named Blair. He was the sort of dude who was really helpful when you wanted to know the best restaurants in a town but he was not so great with organisation, follow-through and other tasks one would normally assume a travel agent was actually good at.
In the lead-up to the trip I (Miss Shit Date) decided it would be a good idea to get organised and make a list with all of our accommodation to give to our families at home. Mr Shit Date laughed his arse off at his girlfriend’s organisation… until she picked up that there were two nights missing smack bang in the middle of the holiday. Without action this meant we’d have rough it with the birds. Did Mr Shit Date apologise? No, he went about creating his own list in Excel that was impossible to read and colour-coded. Yes, colour-coded!
Rome is the only place I have ever been told that my pre-paid hotel was overbooked. “How can they over-book a hotel?” I asked Mr Shit Date and the useless concierge. I assumed the hotel charges you for the night’s accommodation even if you cancel within 24 hours of your arrival date. We hadn’t cancelled. This wasn’t some comedy film à la Steve Martin and John Candy’s Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Where was our room?
It turns out our room for the night wasn’t at the hotel near the Trevi Fountain but in one across town in their sister hotel (AKA the one that nobody likes) near the Colosseum. But weren’t we planning to go the Vatican tomorrow? *Arrggghhh rolls eyes* The useless concierge gave us some meal vouchers to compensate us and said that our booking at the Trevi hotel would be fine from tomorrow night. We would later have trouble redeeming those meal vouchers but that’s a story for another day.
When our Roman holiday was due to finish we prepared ourselves to fly to Istanbul the following day. We wanted the concierge – a different guy this time who was an older, amiable Italian gent in an expensive Armani suit and a laugh that filled the room – to confirm our transfer to the airport. His name was Guido and he asked us for the transfer slip but I said “No! Couldn’t you just take a copy of the information?”
Guido looked unimpressed but remained jovial. He gave out a huge throaty laugh and then said with his hands, “How about-a I send you to Rio?”
Mr Shit Date got in on the action and laughed too. The joke became an ongoing one for us… Mr Shit Date would often jokingly threaten to send me to Rio if I got on his nerves. It was funny… sometimes.
But I got my own back. One day I was surfing ASOS and there was a woman’s white t-shirt available for sale in my size. And on it was emblazoned in big, capital letters: “I’D RATHER BE IN RIO!”