A Funny Thing Happened in Italy

Masseria Provenzani - photo by Margie Miklas

I thought it might be time for a little humor, and I have a funny story to tell from my recent trip to Italy.

Travel is fun yet flexibility is a necessity. If you can’t be flexible, you may end up having a miserable time. It really all boils down to having a positive attitude, being able to make decisions, and some coping skills.

You may recall that this past spring I traveled to Puglia with other travel bloggers, Victoria De Maio and Susan Nelson. Susan and I actually went on one of Victoria’s small group tours. See PostcardZ from Victoria for details and photos.

Masseria Provenzani in Puglia Photo by Margie Miklas

I really enjoyed the masseria experience and would highly recommend it.  Since I was traveling for five weeks this trip, I had to bring hair color with me and apply it while I was at the masseria.


So one evening after our group returned from our excursions I set time aside to color my hair. I waited the thirty minutes after smearing the black goo all over my head, and went into the bathroom so I could rinse it out and shampoo my hair in the shower.

Imagine my surprise when I turned the shower handle and nothing happened. No water came out. I checked the sink handle and there was no water.

Great, I thought. Now what? I knew I couldn’t leave these chemicals on my hair very long, and certainly not all night, so I had to figure out a way to get some water.

Masseria Provenzani - photo by Margie Miklas

A masseria does not generally have a front desk or anyone on site to handle problems at night. Nothing is around since this is out in the countryside of Puglia.

Photo by Margie Miklas - Olive trees in Puglia

Did I mention that it is 11:30 at night? I went outside and saw no activity anywhere. Of course not…most travelers were sleeping at this hour. I decided to wander around the property and see if I could find a hose. Can you believe that I came up empty? Not a hose in sight.

I remembered that the owner and his family actually do live on site so I wandered around to their rooms and saw a light on. Yes, thank God Italians stay up late! I peered inside the window and could see a man inside sitting at a table. So I knocked and when he answered the door, he found me with my soaking wet black head.

In Italian I tried to apologize for bothering him at this hour and explain my dilemma. ”Scusi Signore. Mi dispiace ma non ho acqua.” Excuse me, Sir but I have no water.

He nonchalantly replied, “Si.. è molto difficile.” Yes it is very difficult.

I had heard of some problems on another day with no water so I wondered if they shut the water off at night when they have to irrigate the plants…I really had no idea. All I knew was that I needed to have some water one way or another.

So I pointed to my head and said, “Ma devo dormire e non riesco a dormire con la mia testa come questo.” But I have to sleep and I can’t sleep with my head like this.

Fortunately his wife was now standing next to him and she seemed to understand my problem with some amount of womanly compassion. She bought out four one-liter bottles of Italian drinking water, the kind that is served at a table, and gave them to me. I was thrilled and took them, saying “Grazie mille. Lo apprezzo. Buonanotte.” Thank you. I appreciate it. Goodnight.

Grateful for the water, I went back to my room and started pouring it on my hair trying to get as much of the chemical out of the hair. I already knew I wouldn’t have enough water to shampoo my hair. I was mainly interested in getting as much of the hair dye washed out. So I used three and half bottles and saved the remainder just in case I needed it in the morning to brush my teeth. By now it was after midnight and I needed to get to sleep. I wrapped a plastic bag around my wet head and placed a towel on my bed pillow, and that was how I slept during the night.

I awoke at 5:30 am, tried the water and it still was not working. I went back to sleep, praying that by the time I had to get up for the day, the water would be back on.

That’s exactly what happened. By 7:15 am the water was back on and I took a long hot shower, shampooed my hair, and was grateful how things turned out. The entire event made for lively conversation with my travel companions during breakfast.

As the Italians say, “Boh.” I never did find out why the water was off all night, but it didn’t matter. It was a new day and I was in Italy.

Have you had a funny experience happen during a trip? I’d love to hear about it. Please  leave a comment.

Grazie and ciao.


25 Responses

  1. dinahonke

    Funny now…, I am impressed with your calm response to the event. Thanks for sharing.

    • margieinitaly

      Thanks Dina…what else could I do? I knew I’d have to figure something out.and yes now it’s funny and a good story for my blog! Thanks for leaving a comment

  2. Elettrix

    No one talked about the man who didn’t understand the big problem you had? lol

  3. Jack Erickson

    Reading your blog, I started to see an episode of “I Love Lucy” w/ Lucille Ball dyeing her hair, expecting Ricky to arrive the next morning for a second honeymoon in Italy. She puts goo on her hair, no water, and can’t face Ricky until she washes it off.

    Then Lucy gets an idea, go to the barn where she’d seen cows drinking from a trough. As she approaches, cows, chickens, pigs start mooing, crowing, oinking. A light comes on in the house. A floodlight shines on the barn, Lucy with a towel over her shoulder, gooy hair, and she tries her mangled Italian to explain. The farmer is confused, calls the carabinieri, and a car with flashing lights shows up. Then the press shows up . . . flashbulbs . . . police flashlights . . . the floodlights . . . all shining on Lucy.

    A taxi comes down the road, it’s Ricky, he arrived early, wanted to surprise Lucy. He sees her . . . says something in Spanish . . . Lucy runs over to him . . . .

    Roll the credits.

  4. Un po' di pepe

    Mannaggia-I have to do mine at least every 3 weeks, so I feel your pain! I do it myself at home, but luckily when I’m in Puglia I go to Massimo my ‘parucchiere di fiducia’ in Orsara di Puglia and for €22 get a wash, cut, color and style!

  5. Torre Newman

    I checked into a hotel that came highly recommended by the local tourist office. The lobby was very nice, the breakfast room seemed to be nice and the room, upon entering it, also seemed nice. All was very clean. I go about putting my belongings into the dresser and the wardrobe. As I open the half of the wardrobe that holds the hanging items I am met with something very unusual hanging on the wooden rod.

    After I collect myself from laughter, I go to the front desk to ask that it be removed. I find that the nice lady who checked me in is no longer on duty and in her place is a very well dressed, distinguished looking gentleman.

    In my less than basic Italian I am trying to not be embarrassed and ask that a room attendant come to my room to remove the ‘manacles’ from the closet. Yes, there was a pair of handcuffs clipped to the hanging rod in my closet.

  6. imarancher

    When I got this fountain of grey white hair in the center of my forehead I assumed the rest would go fast but it never did. I still have dark hair and people probably think I left a touch of grey so people would think I didn’t color the rest of it, lol. When you live on a farm you are acutely aware of where the water comes from. I recently had a $702 bill for the damage that moles do to the electrical wiring to the well. There are many things that can stop a well. Such as an irate bull who once just walked over and used it for a bouncy toy. So when I empty a trough, I first make sure the other troughs are full and the water is running under full pressure. I used to have to lock up one of the stud boys as the minute he saw me empty one trough, he started emptying out the others. And that would guarantee that the well would go out! Life on the farm seems very similar to life at the masseria!

    • margieinitaly

      I think you are right, Bonnie..The masseria was a working farm with live animals…Thank you for your interesting perspective and also for checking out PostcardZ with Victoria!

  7. Paula

    Ha that is hilarious and certainly a story I can totally relate to!
    Up until recently I too had been dyeing my hair a dark “natural” shade, but this year decided to go lighter so that the grey coming through would not show up as much. It did help when I was in Italy this year for 4 weeks!
    I remember hiding a white towel at a B and B in Positano the year before because I got chocolate brown dye on it and was so embarrassed! The things we do!!

    • margieinitaly

      Thank you Paula for sharing your own story. I was hoping I didn’t get anything on the towel and I guess the plastic bag did the trick!😊 But your strategy of going with a lighter shade seems like a good one

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