It’s been a few days since our first hot showers, and things are busy. Friday night, we joined Darrell, Alexandra and Judy for a tour of some catacombs under our city. When we got there, the women in charge explained all the different price levels we could opt for, and we took what seemed to be the best buy for our money. One up from the basic. For five euro, we’d get not just the tour but wine and food, too. As we descended we were lead to a sort of detour, veering away from the steps leading to the tombs, into what I would describe as an EST meeting room. I knew we were doomed. An EST meeting room with little plastic thimble-sized cups for our wine, lined all the way down two long tables. We filed in and endured what was essentially an info-mercial about some wine that some guy recreated from an old recipe by Isabella dei Medici. They passed around, one at time, six small bowls of spices or nuts and had us each take a whiff. All of these went into the wine, which has medicinal attributes. We finally got to taste it and it was pretty much Manischewitz—according to Judy who has, apparently, had it. Man O Manischewitz was that stuff sweet. It would’ve been great over some vanilla gelato. But instead, we had it with our “food,” which was a cookie.
At one point, Judy said something about the bowls of spices making her hungry, and how one bowl of stuff looked like the bones of one of her dead relatives. Fred got the giggles (first time I’ve seen this happen since 1989, seriously) and had such a terrible time stifling himself that the whole table shook. People looked around to see the cause and found him, chin on his chest, the heel of his palm on his forehead, trying his best to disappear. Then Owen got them, then Henry and I. Judy, the cause of the giggles, noticed too, and kept at it.
In the meantime, while we’re sitting around huffing cloves, all the other suckers who paid only three euro, traipsed by our room, all the way down to the tombs… errggghhh….
Finally, we excused ourselves and bolted down there only to find them to be completely boring. Just caves, on the walls of which were hung some amateur art, like a little show. Fred wasted no time emailing Trip Advisor when we got home to make sure no one else suffers like we did. Hah! L’chaim, y’all!