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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Rome alone

It is now 10:39pm. We are in Rome. To update yesterday's Tuscan update, here's our status: Phone: Still not working. Laundry: Still not done.

Needless to say, things didn't go as planned. We arrived in Pisa yesterday at 1:20pm, which is 20 minutes after the mobile phone store closes for a 3-hour lunch. So we stuck around for 2 hours and 40 minutes, waiting for the store to open. At least we got lunch at a kebab place near the Arno river, and had a long chat with the very chatty Egyptian proprietor. It was pretty interesting. We can now say that we know 2 Bush supporters in all of Europe.

When the mobile phone store finally re-opened, we discovered that the SIM card that we purchased would not work on our French cell phone. And, since we'd already opened the package and the SIM is registered with the Italian authorities in my name, we couldn't return it. So we lost 10 euros. If you know any Italian criminals who would like to purchase a mobile phone SIM that is registered in my name... well, that's probably not a good idea, is it?

We are now trying to contact folks in Paris, to see if they can buy a recharge card and e-mail us the secret code. We'll see.

On the way back from Pisa, we hit a little rush hour traffic, and we arrived in Rome around 10pm. Italian drivers really are very aggressive, to put it very politely. I avoided killing several suicidal Vespa riders, mainly because I didn't want to damage our Renault. I must say that at least a couple of them really deserved it. You, out of the gene pool!

Also when we arrived, we discovered that there is only one washing machine for the 94 apartments in the entire hotel. It was, of course, busy last night. And this morning. And this afternoon. And earlier tonight. We just threw our first load in a few minutes ago. We also discovered that the washer and dryer do not work at the same time, which also helps to explain why the @#$%#$ machine is never available.

The other reason I picked this hotel, in addition to the "laundry facility," was the availability of a broadband Internet connection. It was not working last night. Or this morning. It took two trips to the front desk, a call to England, another call to India, and two and half hours before we got the #$%#$%#@ connection to work. Grrrr.

At this point in the morning, it was pretty late, and I still had to do research on cat litter for my interview today. So Doreen very bravely went off to Rome alone, while I stayed in the hotel room alone to do the homework I never had a chance to do because of the @$#%#$%# cell phone store, the $%^$%@ traffic, the #%$^#@ laundry, and the #$^%$^$@ Internet connection.

Well, at least the interview went well, and Doreen made it safely back from the big city. We'll post more adventures as soon as we are able to venture out in something less revealing than a fig leaf. I predict this will be in 4 days, at the rate we're going.