vendredi 13 février 2009

Blown out of bed

Never let someone else make your travel arrangements.

This is a lesson I learned a long, long time ago. However, this week I needed a hotel in the UK for one night and didn’t have time to trawl the net for something decent. As time ran out, I called my head office and asked the travel desk to book me a room somewhere.

Now, I should have found time to do this myself, I should have created time to do this. I have enough experience of what the girls at the travel desk consider to be ‘quality accommodation’ to realise that this would be a shit hotel.

After all, these were the same people who had booked me into the Glasgow hotel that rented my room out by the hour during the day. That had booked me into the Newcastle hotel where the toilet in the en-suite overlooked, and was looked in at by the passengers on platform number 1 at Central Station.

They have booked me a flight to one airport with a car waiting for me at a different airport. Instead of a hotel in Charleroi, they booked a hotel on the rue de Charleroi in Brussels.

And their pièce de résistance? Well, once a colleague and I were travelling on the same day, but to different destinations. They managed to book us aeroplane tickets, car rental and hotel rooms for the right places, but all in the wrong names. I had been booked on his trip and he on mine. At the airport, when the error became evident, we simply shrugged, swapped work files and went off and did each others’ work for the day. Ridiculous.

So all this brings me to last night’s hotel. I’ll say this about the hotel – it embodied everything that is wrong about the British hospitality industry. The people were friendly, but the hotel was dirty, poorly maintained and decorated horribly.

I had to take down one of the pictures on the bedroom wall and turn it round, so offensively ugly was it.

And then, this morning, I was woken by my next door neighbour coughing. I say coughing, but it sounded like a tuberculosis ward from back in the days of Florence Nightingale. He stopped coughing and he walked to the bathroom. Yes, I could hear this amount of detail.

And then he farted. It was a long, loud, low, clatter of a fart. But it wasn’t just one. Over the course of the next few minutes, the farts next door came and went with alarming regularity. Each as loud as the last. Each as thunderously rumbling as the last.

A single match, and the hotel would have gone up in flames.

Fearing for my life (and my lungs) I jumped out of bed, raced through my morning beauty routine and got out of the room as quickly as humanly possible.

As I shut the door behind me, I heard the click of the next door neighbour’s key in the lock. We were both leaving at the same time. I would get to see the source of the coughing, the farting and the elephant steps.

I turned and there she was. Yes, ‘she’.

A petite blonde with a tailored suit and a fancy trolley bag.

I mean really. She didn’t look like she had it in her.

"Cold morning, isn't it?" she said, in a way-too-cheery-for-the-hour-of-the-day voice.

"Yes, very cold," I replied. "And a bit on the windy side too..."

19 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…
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Henry North London a dit…

Merde Sounds like she has a heroin and smoking habit

Anonyme a dit…

That was hilarious,it wasnt by any chance in the centre of Brum was it.
I was once booked in to a hotel there that was just like that.The window didnt fit properly either and as it was winter there was a continual howl.And it was bloody freezing, I slept in my clothes ,I just felt nothing was clean in there.
No farty friends though.

Anonyme a dit…

Oh dear... I have to say though that it's harder to find a good hotel in England than here in the Netherlands or Belgium or Germany. The only time I stayed at a really good hotel in England was when they made double bookings so they had to transfer us and let us stay at the holiday inn for the same price as the cheaper hotel.

Maybe the people at the head office need a good training in providing-for-your-employees?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Henry, sounded real nasty. Real nasty.

VM, the hotel was in Lichfield, but sounds as nasty as the one you stayed in. Sometimes hotels just need to be knocked down and started again...

Marjolein, alas they have received a whole load of training in 'not exceeding the budget'.... regardless of quality!

Daryl a dit…

Oh. My. GAWD. Is the head of your corporate travel group named Patty? I swear to you when I worked in advertising our office manager took travel classes and started issuing tix for those who visited clients across the country .. trouble was she was totally inept ... not a single trip ever was booked properly. She once sent someone to Detroit via Denver ... and I made the mistake of asking her to do plane tix for a vacation .. me, Husband, sister and The Aunt. At the airport we discovered she put us all on the same Flt NUMBER but she put 3 of us on it MONDAY and The Aunt's tix was for WEDS. How/Why no idea .. none .. thankfully the Airline desk agent sorted it out ... so I am sure your person is Patty or her clone .. god help you

Alan a dit…


A Lewis a dit…

And being a bit more refined than me, you said nothing...right?

aims a dit…

Oh Lord sweetie!

I started laughing hard at the 'decorated badly' bit. Dear God. And now my sides hurt. Truly.

Only you - only you.

Honey - your book would be a best seller.

Victor a dit…

I don't suppose the blonde woman had left a coughing farter behind in the room she departed?

Anonyme a dit…

OMG that was one of your funniest posts ever! I've been LOLing and LMAOing right the way through it.

You are the best.

tornwordo a dit…

You lie! Hilarious nonetheless.

cb a dit…

Love farts. Love fart humor! LOVE girl farts!!!! Tee hee!!

Swearing Mother a dit…

Lichfield, eh?

For an extra couple of quid they could have booked you into Moor Hall or even New Hall in Sutton Coldfield.

Either of those places are definitely unlikely to allow farting, far too posh.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Daryl, sounds like quite the disaster...and not unusual, either! There's no solution like booking your own travel....

Alan, true. Too vile.

Lewis...I said nothing. Exactly.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Thanks Aims...I must get writing again...

Vicotr, I don't think so, but nothing is impossible...

Rob, I thank you - you have such impeccable taste...

Torny, alas no lies. Sorry.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CB - girl farts = fine. Kweefing = not fine. At all.

Sweary - and possibly both too posh for my corporate budget. Unfortunately.

Anonyme a dit…

HAHAHA! Love it.

Louise a dit…

(typing while laughing hysterically)

1) You need a husband to make travel arrangements for you!
2) How do you know petite blonde was alone? Maybe she left some thug in the room.
3) What was on the artwork that was SOOOOO bad you had to turn it? That's a great one!
4) Once I was staying in a hotel in which the couple next to me decided to have sex at 2 a.m. My guess was that he was a jerk because he probably yanked her out of peaceful sleep. The bed crashed against the wall for all of 2.5 while she faked pleasure (I know the sound of fake, trust me!) until he blissfully climaxed and she faked a terrific orgasm. I was dying to see them the next day, but it wasn't to be. Which is why your blog is so fun because ONLY YOU would be so lucky!