Love on a Balcony: Arriving in Turin
By John P Brady
The plane landed at Aeroporto di Sandro Pertini, 16 km from Turin, in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. It had been a late flight, so when the airport bus arrived in the centre of town, it was already midnight. It was midweek and the city was deserted. Eventually a taxi came into view and I asked the driver per favore to take me to the only hostel in Turin.
It was 2 km out of town and when I arrived, the owner seemed alarmed to see someone at his door after midnight. Had I not booked in advance, he may have turned me away on general principle. The deadly silence of the place did not bode well for excitement.
It was pointless to make a return trip to the city that night. The combination of an easily perturbed hostel owner and a deserted city centre, contrived to make the first night of the trip a night in. I retreated to my dorm, where a Chinese guy and an Italian slept. There was a balcony with good daytime views of the mountains but otherwise the room was as basic as hostels get.
I lay awake that night unable to sleep, partly due to the heat and partly due to what happened next. The door to the dorm room opened and a girl walked in tentatively, looking to see if the occupants were sleeping. She walked to the balcony and had a brief glance out before rushing back out of the room. I wondered what she was up to.
Seconds later the door opened again and she returned, this time with a young Italian guy in tow. They talked not altogether quietly as they strolled towards the balcony door. They went outside and nothing was heard of them for a few minutes. I wondered if there was a passage out of the hostel from there, but I soon realised there was none, as I began to hear some unmistakable sounds. As Frank Black put it: “Ugh, said the man to the lady; Ugh said the lady to the man she adored“.
When they had finished, again they strolled casually through the dorm staring suspiciously at everyone who slept. They were returning from their mission.
Back to the Gaff
Scandalous Narratives of Contemporary Ireland
Back to the Gaff is a book by new author John P Brady, which describes the excessive and outrageous nature of Irish night life. Meet an array of eccentric individuals who populate the bars of Dublin, living lives of decadence and abandon. Their frolics inevitably lead to a trip ‘back to the gaff,’ which in Dublin-speak means gravitating towards someone’s place of residence where the depravity continues.
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