Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I really do try

I think we stayed here once. 

Glen reminded me a week or so ago of the occasions when choices of travel or accommodation do not meet with the expectations of spouses. I regret that in my case this is most travel and most occasions on which I am solely responsible. I have had some memorable failures – but not for lack of effort on my part and I really do try.

I scour the Internet and sites like tripadvisor looking for exactly the right place at exactly the right price.

An impossible task. 

I look at the pictures and I read the reviews. I look at the pictures carefully – enlarging them where possible to see if there are rats scurrying into corners or spiders nesting in corners.

I take all reasonable precautions - but I often choose badly because I am looking for value for money. Quality and little money are mutually exclusive.

Air travel is a bit easier because there are usually very few options and they are all usually awful.

So the outcomes are often unfortunate and lead to some hurtful remarks being made by my spouse.

They usually start with the plane.

I haven’t heard of this airline before dear – is it registered in Panama?

I need to go to the bathroom now – it sure smells nice - did you bring the rubber gloves and the plunger?

Did you choose these seats darling - or did you perhaps insult the person at check-in rather badly?

Or on the way to the hotel from the airport.

Do you think this area was recently carpet bombed or has it just not been cleaned up from the last war?

And in the hotel

Oh look they got the Foyer done by Al Qaeda

Nice carpet. Do you think they still execute people here or has it not been cleaned since – and I’m guessing here – 1943.

And the room:

Goodness we appear to have interrupted them in the middle of the demolition. Pop outside and see if they are still in the corridor dear – we could get them to move the wheelbarrows so that we can get into the bed- it is a bed is it not?  It looks more like a crushed crumpet with crunchy yellow edges – no it must be the bed – I can see the remains of a Doona.

Very Avant-garde. Exposed wiring and plumbing. It reminds me a bit of the Pompidou centre - but of course just a teensy bit smaller.

You get the rats out of the bath darling and I will see if anyone has died on the other side of the mattress as well.

I wonder if anyone has committed suicide in here.  It looks like the perfect spot – of course the window is too small to squeeze out of but I suppose they could have just let the rats gnaw them to death.

Ah now lets see - there must be a light switch somewhere – unless it used to be a cell and the light stayed on all night – yes that must be it - I can still see the initials carved on the walls – perhaps you could reach up and remove the light globe dear – no it won’t be too hot it's only about 2 watts – but don’t use the chair - it seems to have only three legs.

Undaunted I struggle on. I have recently booked hotels in Lapland, Jerusalem, London and Male. Can’t wait.


  1. :-) Trying to please a woman - are you mad? When ladies list the results of a search they do so by the stars, when men do it we list it by price. These lists never look the same.

    Good luck in London...

  2. hilarious. thanks for the morning laugh pp.

  3. Stop it!!
    I have enough trouble sleeping in strange beds
    (it was those reports on a Current Affair with the blue light that started it).

    Have you come across bedbugs yet?

  4. In regard to hotels I really think you should forget about Trip Advisor as a source of recommendations, the reviews are so diverse as to be practically useless. Half the people think a place is great and the other half think it's rubbish, so what are you supposed to believe. Plus the people who write negative comments are sometimes of questionable sanity. I read one review once in which the bloke wrote "I deliberately left a small speck of dirt under the bed and when we returned to our room the speck was STILL THERE", as though it was a massive indictment of standards of cleanliness in the place.

    I strongly believe that the only way to ensure you stay in a decent hotel is to trust the recommendations of a reliable, independent, professionally written guidebook. Rough Guides are the best but you could also use Time Out (avoid Lonely Planet). I always pick my hotel from the Rough Guide and I have rarely if ever had a bad experience. Of course if there isn't a guidebook for the place you're going then you're SOL.

  5. Great post! Such travels always create the most vivid memories

  6. Glen: Cate does it by the stars - she is only interested in 5 star hotels.

    lenny: Glad you enjoy it my boy!

    freefalling: Nothing like bed bugs - but I saw a scary report on BBS last night and apparently they are rampaging across the UK. And they are the size of kittens.

    viennese waltz: You are probably right. Although I must admit that my success rate is higher than my posts would suggest (I am prone to exaggeration).

  7. Christine: Cate can always remember the worst hotels!

  8. Oh my heavens! Love, love, love this post!

    Have you ever tried house swapping? Could be interesting!

  9. Marla: That would be too risky for me!

  10. Ever tried camping? You take all your own tent and bedding stuff and know exactly what the accommodation is like!