maandag 1 augustus 2016

Sweet dreams!!!???

I am leaving in about 11 days for my very longed for trip to a spot that I never imagined to travel to. Thanks to working at an international educational hotspot where lots of people come and go and then are spread out over the whole globe I do end up going to very exotic places.  That is very nice side effect but still there is also a downside to it.  Close friendships are rather surrealistic. As a result most of my close friends or at least who I wish to call close live not close by. Most of the people who know me very well and know my dark spot I might end up seeing not that many times in a decade. 

I miss many and very good friends who have moved away made me feel 'empty and lost'.  I feel mostly like the one who is left behind. That my Christmas card is destinated to go global is surely a nice side effect as well but it is hard. Especially when it comes down to sharing the good and the bad times.  But hey, next week I am boarding a flight to travel to that one spot that hopefully will help me to relocate my zen spot.   Because it is very urgent and I am about to get myself checked in to a psychiatric ward. Yes, believe me that is how bad my mental state is at the moment.

And it even got worse when today shortly after taking one glance at the weekend press I had wished to read up on due to having attended a very nice hen do in the UK (Yeah, I go the distance for my friends) I had a total meltdown. I was about to lighten that bunch of papers and to throw it over the hedge.  The fact is that I am not that handy with matches and I also try to keep our neighbours at peace with us.  Instead I tried very hard to push out all my emotions but the harder I tried the harder my mind went in overdrive.   Not one single article I came across made me put things in perspective.  Nope, I was about to ask for political assylym after my first cup of George Clooney coffee and I am very serious.  It was that bad.   What had triggered it?  Well to be honest that was not even a news article. Not it had been certain words spoken with so much conviction this weekend that I wondered where the world had come to.  It was like that what happened over the weekend was just the tip of the ice berg.

So what happened then? Well, as mentioned I did head out for the UK last weekend for a hen do. No, please do not get carried away it was nothing in the sort of dressing up in an onsie and having cans of Pimms (as much as I love that drink I can only have it after 7 and in the perfect setting so not while walking over the streets and hiding them in a paper bag) for lunch and having gin and tonics in dozens for dinner.  Nope, this lovely bride to be had wished for a rather quiet and stylish hen do. As a result Stallie had to dress up roaring twenties style and pretend to be lady Sue Suspender in a murder mystery. Yes, you can let your imagination get carried away! It is allowed but I won't be posting any pictures on here for you to enjoy.

It was such delight to end up with 18 ladies dressed the part and have fun.  Yes, many outrageous funny, or at least accorrding to us, selfies were taken with our smart phones.  The bride to be was a very happy princess and every time when she saw most of us she almost started to cry.  Certainly she was not your ordinary bridezilla but rather a very sentimental and happy girl who still carries her heart at the right spot.  Lots of emotions passed by that evening.  I started to let my fence down and I felt rather relax.  Our carriage heading back to the hotel even arrived before the Cinderella hour and I was ready for my bed.  Glad that we got to create many new fond memories that I plan to cherish for a long time.  'I can't stop the feeling' by Justin Timberlake made for once this Summer so much more sense and I almost danced into my hotel room.  Picture perfect night, ladies and gentlemen!  Nothing to add!  Well you know what happens sometimes when you are holding on to perfection... Yeah, exactly.....

One moment I was dancing the Charleston and twisting my legs in funny positions and the next I was blocking my hotel door and even did not dare to go to bed. Now I call myself a frequent traveller and I have never ever in my life felt unsafe in a hotel.   Okay there was once this hotel in Turkey (remember N?!)  where only men did hang out in the hotel lobby and we were told to put our suitcases as an extra security tool in front of our doors for just in case. In general I have always felt very safe.   Well, things were about to change soon...

The moment I arrived at my hotel door there was a guy hanging out in the hallway and he asked my friend and me to party along with him.  We both politely declined and then got into our seperate rooms.   Not sure why but my body and mind suddenly went into a mode that I had not experienced ever before.   So I locked my door and put the chain immediately in the lock as well.  These are actions I normally do shortly after brushing my teeth and turning of the lights. In most cases I even forget to lock my door.  Yeah, I trust the hotel to take the security seriously.

Well, seems that man who had invited us for a 'party' decided that he was going to use the hallway for exactly that.  But not a fun party. He started to yell and used very foul language.   While I tried to take off for the land of dreams I was forced to follow along a 'conversation' between a man and a woman that I can only describe as being very abusive.  I had goosebumps all over my body.  First I did think they would settle their argument quite soon but that turned out not to be the case.  No, the moment that they did seem to quiet down the volume went up again.   Doors were slammed, knocking on doors, shouting, loud cries and many more sounds that kept me awake.   Now, I guess that you would have called reception and asked for 'help'.  Well, my brain was screaming out SOS and my body was in lock down.   I have never ever before in my life called reception.  When I need help with something I do prefer to go down and see them face to face.  So I felt reluctant as well to do this but this time there was no way that I was opening my door while the heat was on outside my room.

So why did I not called them?  Well, you know Stallie and at exact that moment her brain went in overdrive. I pictured the security guard coming upstairs saying the following words to our aggressive drunk guest:'Sir, would you mind calming down we just had some complaints.'  'Complaints?  Who complained? I bet it were those ladies that refused to come and have a drink with me.' I pictured him then starting to knock on my door and yelling at me that I was 'white trash'. He had used those words numerous times before and they are still echoing in my head.  The idea that 1 security guard wasn't able to keep 1 hostile guest in check was enough for me to abort my intention to call reception.

Yes, I did not understand why at this moment nobody else had called yet.  My friend was the only one who I knew was unable to call the reception due to the fact that her phone was not working.   Still the hotel seemed to be fully booked. We were surely not the only people trying to sleep.  Well, you know how it goes you just keep low at such moments and hope that it does pass as soon possible.   So I then decided to get my Kindle out and tried to dive into Outlander, part 3.  In the hope that fierce and determinted looking men in kilts would help me to ignore all the action that was going on.   For once Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall seemed to be outwitted by 1 very loud drunk English man.  Normally those two can take on every Red Coat.  Not this time and they had to get the white flag out.

There I sat then in my 'sweet bed' (I am serious that is what the beds are called at this hotel chain) wide awake and my heartbeat went wild, my skin did not cool down either, my brain was all over the place....By now it was close to 3.30 and I wondered if I would even dare to sleep.  I was scared to even sleep.   Still I did finaly managed to close my eyes and I did fall asleep.   Rude awakenings we all know what they feel like and that was what I experienced about 3 hours later. Yes, I did have a headache and no that was not alcohol related.  Stallie felt and looked also like a zombie. This was rather due to my biological clock that got messsed up since having a son.

Over breakfast I found out that my friend was not a happy camper either due to what had been going on.  We then both went up to see the receptionist. Now at this stage of the story I need to point out that this friendly person seemed to be a very hardworking man who had to do more than cheking in&out guests and settling bills.   This was a individual who did not seem to take it easy, seemed to be rather on his own most of the time and so he mastered multi tasking.   But still dealing with complaints comes along with his jobdescription as well. Or am I already wrong to assume this?

So we went up to see him and told him our nightly adventure. And as expected he did then wonder why none of us had called.  Now I was not hoping he would offer us a free night. Nope, that was not what I was after. I wanted him to take us serious.  We told him in what room the loud and aggressive sounding guest was staying.  By the way, this guy had the 'do not disturb' sign out in the morning and that had made me almost scream and knock on his door very loudly.  But I did restrain myself and did try to tell myself that ladies do not behave in such ways.  The message we tried to get across was that we had not felt safe and that we wondered what they were going to do about it in the future when it would happen again to other guests.  At this point some other people were standing next to us and overheard us taking.  'Oh, we did hear that as well going on.', was their input.  I then did wonder:'So at least we are not making this up.  So why did you not call then?'   They did hang out with us for the rest of the conversation but not made any active contribution.  Not that they looked like happy bunnies either but they kept rather quiet.

When my friend had ended her story I then kept my fingers crossed that the nice looking fellow would come up with some sane sounding reply.  The four of us looked at him and he must have felt that the pressure was on.  'I am sorry.  But what do you want me to do about it?  This is Britain.  It is out of my hands.'  And then it happened... right there in a hotel lobby in Yorkshire I lost the plot.  I wanted to jump across the reception desk (would have broken my personal record high jump by doing so) and plaster the guy against the wall and strangle him.

My innerself was screaming:'WHAT THE FUCK!!! (pardon, my French) I CAN NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU JUST SAID.  ARE YOU EVEN SERIOUS?  IS THIS WHERE THE WORLD HAS COME TO?  DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE IMPLYING?......'  I went in total over drive and was so angry, upset, sadd, dissapointed, furious and some more negative sounding words.   Why you might wonder?  He had said sorry. Yeah, he had but he should have sticked to that one word that had been the safer option.  Because it were all the other words he had used.  Those made me furious for so many reasons.

It seemed like he was passing on an other message and a very negative one. One that I am trying to stay away from whatever the cost is.  But now this person had expressed that I was to suppose to give up and settling for this situation.  That this was normal in nowdays society and that he as an individual could not do anything about it.  So that I had to get used to feeling unsafe even in a hotel where I paid for my service.  That 1 drunk person has got more power than a whole hotel and the management. That Britain is a nation where people like this are common and that I better get used to it. EXCUSE ME!!!!???? COME AGAIN!!!! 

On top of that I had just started to read Bill Bryson his newest book about this 'small island' called 'The Road to Little Dribbling'.  It is the sequel to his best seller 'Notes From a Small Island.'  The people who know Bryson his work know what makes him such a well received author. His witty writing style and story telling can make you LOL numerous times.  The UK he so skillful describes that is what I am after and have already experienced, that is the nation that I love and hate, that is what I think of when I hear the letters UK.  Bryson nails again in this one and had already gotten under my skin before the hotel incident. But now I was in serious doubt and did wonder if all what was going on in the world (yes including Brexit!) was something I had to get used to and was the new 'normal' and most importantly 'out of my hands'?  It was like this hotel receptionist had 'killed' Bill Bryson his vision.  And not just that nation but to me he did even question an other human being who once said:'Ask not what your country, ask what you can do for your country.'  Bryson even mentions this fellow in this book and so that is why that receptionist got so much under my skin.  This is one of my mantras I live by and do strongely believe in those words.  After all fear is a bad councelor. 
ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
Read more at:
ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
Read more at:

I felt defeated and on my train ride home the lack for sleep did kick in and I did wonder if this was the summer that I had to exchange my Bill Bryson book for a survival guide after a nuclear disaster.  Fear after all is an excelent salesperson.  A certain Republican nominee who is running for president masters this skill masterfully.  Many others seem as well to be able to spread fear into our evereyday society like a very aggressive form of cancer.  I see, hear, read and experience on a daily basis what fear can do and it seems that yesterday a friendly but rather helpless sounding hotel receptionist had already given up.

WELL, I REFUSE!  I STILL DO.   That I did already dare to tell him that I felt unsafe in his hotel was already one step further than I normaly would have taken on this road.  As a result I did then decide that I had to give Bill Bryson a hand and that I could not leave this great nation with some extra help and I did then decide to buy the newest Harry Potter story.  So before jumping on the Eurostar I got my hands on copy of the recent published 'Harry Potter and the cursed child'.   That the story deals with a thirty something Harry who is close to having a burnout and wonders if he has made the right decissions in his life I forgive the author for.  JK Rowling ('We've got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That is who we really are.')  and Bill Bryson (That's the trouble with loosing your mind; by the time it is gone, it's too late to get it back.') that should do the trick and will surely make my mornings more magical than reading the newspaper, don't you think?  Reading a newspaper should come with a healh warning.  And next time when I travelling to the UK I book a room at Hogwarts. I already now where platform 9 3/4 is located. The rest should be child's play during my next journey. 


PS: In case you wonder if there will be any further action concerning the hotel with the 'sweet bed': Yes but that will mostly take place on paper and won't be directed to the nice hotel receptionist who seems to need a hand because I do believe him that he can't fix this on his own.

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