Operation Complete

Authored By Brian

I awoke to rain this morning at about 8:30am. At least, I thought it was rain. But then I remembered that it seems to be raining every morning when I wake up and yet the ground is never wet. Just then, the sound of a toilet five floors above me flushed and once again it sounded like rain. Plumbing was apparently an afterthought in this building so most of the piping runs on the outside of the building near where my window opens. Every time someone runs a sink, flushes a toilet or takes a shower, it sounds like rain. It might even be soothing if someone would just let the water run consistently. But then the old couple two floors up starts yelling at each other again and it’s apparent I’m not going back to sleep.

I had worked out an entire plan for how I was going to leave today. I was going to get up and give them the 150€ I had pulled last night and tell them I had to talk to the girl who rented me the room and negotiate with her. When I came back, I was going to pull another 50€ and say that we had agreed I would pay the 200€ for the week and she would pay the rest, plus they could rent the room out.

Well, I’ve still got sweaty armpits and shaky hands because I’m now at an Internet café logging on to make a lastminute.com reservation for a hotel tonight and they’re not even awake yet. I left 200€ and my keys on the “desk” and quietly shuffled my belongings out the door, down the stairs, onto the street and straight away to the Metro. I had no idea for how they were going to react and given that I’m basically alone here, I didn’t want to take the risk. The fact that they seem to be into some shady dealings didn’t help sway me either.

Sometimes you have to let your survival instinct take over.

I realize that I sound like some kind of primadonna who can’t handle a little adversity here and there. Or a geek who is incapable of going without a net connection. Far from both actually. The stated mission of the first phase of my trip was to “work abroad”. I have certain requirements in order to make that happen that weren’t fulfilled at this place. I am looking very forward to time in Southeast Asia and South America where conditions will be far less fancy than western Europes’ worst. But this is not that time.

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