Panic off Piazza Unita
Why did I do it? Why did I choose such an upmarket boutique hotel? I must have been having one of those New Labour/Cool Britannia fantasies. Did I think that was me, cool, sophisticated, cosmopolitan, techno savvy, mostly black and white? When did I care about Franzolini’s sofas or Anad’s “deep set” chairs? Does minimalist design mean there is none? Did I think that on the next table the merry widow would be waiting? No doubt wearing state of the art, life balanced kit.
The hotel must have been chosen after lunch but my five days in Trieste were spent in the oh so of the minute ,“Urban Hotel Design”. The name alone should have put me off. What kind of name is that anyway?Just off the main square, 100 metres from the sea,this was so right. Or was it?
Of course I had no idea how the television worked. The coffee machine might as well have been a nuclear reactor-whats wrong with the old kettle and tea bag? For a change the shower was easy peasy but the basin plug, I pushed it in, I pulled it out,oh my god, ,I failed to put it back, score ,guest nil -plug five. Light switches ,some seemed to work all the lights some none. And the safe. No way hose, I decided it was more secure if I strapped my credit card under my arm. For five days I walked around like Nelson with one arm strapped to my side. Which of course made swimming difficult.
Then there was the breakfast. Munching away on my muesli and in they came. The tutti frutti, the cogniscenti, the classicos. Young, great well cut hair, flashing smiles, shirts with two buttons open, slim hipped, trousers gracefully tapered to the ankle, shoes with endless erotic toes. And that was just the girls. I hid behind my guide book ,felt every second of my nearly seventy years and wished they would go away.
But no it was all Chou Mario, Ecco Guispe, Basta Toni, Bon journo senor Benito. I started to slide under the mainly black and white table. Men were kissing men, women smooching women and then they changed partners. Had I taken my pills, I was throbbing, my anxiety levels were rising. I waved at the waitress.I was drowning, I needed help. All I could think of doing was ordering more expressos. By the third I was popping, I was dying. On the fourth day the waitress came over, she could see my distress. Would the senor prefer to eat his breakfast in the kitchen. Si, the senor would.