Poverty interrupted

Dear gentle, devoted, morbidly curious readers (and everyone who’s reading this because they Googled ‘Paris Hilton’, ‘nubile students’, ‘Swedish virgins’ and/or ‘Caligula’ and found this post), 

I’m writing to you from a bed the size of a trampoline, having just returned from soaking in a Jacuzzi, inspired by Caligula (or whoever his Etruscan cousin was), permeating with the aroma of four top-shelf bath, shower and lotion products, wearing a robe woven from the hair of 12 Swedish virgins, in the sickeningly opulent surroundings of a junior suite in a five star, luxury hotel on top of an achingly scenic hill in Perugia, Italy.   
Homies, it’s Paris Hilton moments like this that make all those demoralizing overnight train and bus rides (with drunks and people with tenuous bladder control, I might add) and nights in toxically filthy Romanian and Parisian hostels worth the misery.   

No.  I lied.  Even if those 12 Swedish virgins were in the room with me now, it still wouldn’t even remotely undo all that ass-pounding indignity and aromatic injustice – but, for the record, it’d be one hell of a good start, if you’re reading this Jesus. 

You guessed it, after more than three dedicated weeks of zealously snubbing my emails in favor of coffee, smoke breaks and quickies with their assistants, five days ago the Pitalian Tourism Office mustered a sudden and, quite frankly, astonishing level of motivation to fulfill my every desire, and then some.  In less than 24 hours they arranged for me to enjoy five straight nights of luxury accommodations, a chauffeured Alfa Romeo transferring me from place to place, lunch, cooking exhibitions, dinners and wine-tastings with local mayors and tourism ministers and an all around orgy of extravagance and indulgence that I haven’t enjoyed since seven reincarnations ago when I was the Marquis de Sade’s social director.  Soon I have to roll over twice to get to the edge of this bed, get dressed and meet the hotel’s director for mojitos and appetizers, after which I’ll be hosting a small wine and chocolate gathering in my junior suite comprised of local tourism representatives, travel writers and a gaggle of openly reverential and nubile students from Perugia’s International University.   

When one arouses themselves with titillating fantasies about what it’d be like to be a travel writer, this is the part where they’d orgasm. 

Sadly, there will also be plenty of the more familiar erectile dysfunctional travel writing reality this week, like visiting restaurants that I can’t afford to dine in and having meetings with people to learn about tours that I don’t have time to take. 

For those of you who are wretchedly jealous right now – and believe me, you should be – who might be hatching plans to quit your jobs and calculating exactly how much fresh dog turd you’ll leave on your boss’ chair, so as to enter the travel writing fray and scoop up some of this gravy for yourselves, please take into account that it has been nearly one and a half years since I was last enjoying this caliber of wretched excess.  In the interim, I have lived in an efficiency apartment in Romania that reeked of cat pee, taken 11 overnight, seatbacks in the upright position journeys, survived for months on end on college freshman quality food, driven a 1990 Dacia 1310 past every notable patch of grass in Romania and Moldova, endured extremist hermit-like solitude in an abandoned vacation village on Sardinia and attempted to be productive with suicidally unpredictable internet access, all the while being paid less per year than what I made working at Rocky Rococo’s Pizza as a cashier when I was 18.  Oh and I had no health insurance for most of that time and I haven’t been to a dentist in over four years.  That’s right people, get back to your desks and put the poop-scoops back in your “Break Glass in Case of Emergency” quitting day provisions box. 

That said, perversely, I still wouldn’t trade that year and a half for anything (except maybe that social director job – best reincarnation ever).  I suffered extravagantly, complained endlessly, endured repeated emotional and financial distress from drunken idiots ranging from Romanian gas station attendants all the way up to Tom Cruise and suffered 67 nervous breakdowns, but it was still way better than anything else I can realistically imagine doing. 

The fact is, I get up at 10am, or whenever I damn well feel like it (when I’m not sitting upright on a train or sleeping in an airport), I do work that I largely enjoy and I am constantly surrounded by new and interesting things.  Not too shabby – when it doesn’t suck buffalo balls… which is often.  

I apologize for the brevity and smug, self-satisfied air of this post, but I seriously have to get up and prepare for tonight’s lasciviousness.  More about how much I love my life next week and details of my encounter with Blowhard McFuckstick, bafflingly successful travel writer or prolific jackhole.  I’m truffle hunting with Mr. McFuckstick tomorrow and will provide commentary as events warrant (if I don’t “accidentally” shoot him in the face with buckshot).

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