Real Life – Rome, Italy, Europe

Things that occur in the movies are not meant to happen in real life. Movies are enjoyed purely because you can laugh at the things on screen knowing they would never happen to you. So when what I saw on film happened to me, I felt entitled to scream at Fate.

It began in Rome. My boyfriend and I were doing as the Romans do – exploring the city, turning down small cobblestone streets – when we were suddenly upon such landmarks as the Trevi Fountain, statues of the Gods, and other sites I had read about. At that point, our camera died. So we set off to the stores, managed through a series of complicated hand gestures to get what we wanted, at least the Italians assured us that was what we wanted. The day was long over by the time we managed everything. We headed back to our hotel, to the seventh floor, the top floor, where our room was located.

We settled in, me chucking things around and sitting on the bed, as I watched my boyfriend plug the camera into the new adaptor, then into the wall. There was a brilliant flash of sparks before the entire room plunged into darkness. The hallway lights went out, the day already night, so we could officially see nothing.

A few things occurred at once. I fell off the bed trying to get over to where I had last seen my boyfriend to check if he was alright. Said boyfriend groaned as he started singing nonsense. He was fine.

Several doors banged open as a flood of Italian voices echoed in the hallway, occasionally with some German and perhaps English. For several moments there was a lot of confusion, then a louder group of Italians stomped into the scene. I realised I better check again to see if my boyfriend was alright.

"I definitely don’t think that was supposed to happen."

I agreed.

We both came to the same conclusion almost at the same time. We tried to get moving in the darkness as the voices got louder and the crazy splashes of torch lights were added to the muddle. I may have been dizzy from the shock or the shear absurdness of what was happening, but I could have sworn I heard the distinctly phrased “Bloody Australians” being repeated a few times as the voices echoed around, but I may have been imagining it.

As I tried to get away from the extremely evil Bedcovers of Doom, sadly losing said battle, a group of five Italians crashed into the room. What a sight we must have made, me lying still wrapped up in the bedcovers on the floor and my boyfriend lying still, next to the power socket, looking dazed.

They were very professional and only laughed at us for about a minute before going into the back of our room, their torches lighting up the room. For a few minutes I tried to figure out where they went before an "Ah Ha" moment was had by the Italians; the room and hallways were once again flooded with light, the noise of everyone else quickly faded.

The Italians left laughing as they went. I was left to stare at my boyfriend who was staring at the wall like he had never seen one before.

The next day was no less eventful; we found out later that our little accident had blacked out the entire seventh floor, complete with more than twenty rooms. We had even blacked out the elevators with people stuck in them for the twenty minutes that the incident had taken. Stupid Australians indeed.

We made ourselves scare that day; we went sightseeing. When we returned to our room, my boyfriend suggested we try the plug again. I promptly called him an idiot. He took no notice of me and insisted it was a coincidence. I promptly suggested that the exact second he put the cord in the wall, the entire seventh floor had blacked out. He ignored me again, went over the socket and plugged in the camera. Our room, the hallway, the entire seventh floor and the elevators were encased in darkness.

We bolted, ran down seven flights of stairs, through the lobby, out of sight on a couch that was hidden by a half wall. The urge to laugh hysterically was strong as we watched another group of Italians running up the stairs to the seventh floor. They soon came back down, a lot faster than before. We exited the hotel, and didn’t return until much later. I had seen Just Married for the first time a month before; I remember laughing at the absurdity of the situation, never thinking it might happen in real life.

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