The South West….past the Stones of Henge, past the Yeovilton RNAS Museum…. a hotel…..
I had to help in an engineering show at one of our major customers over the past 2 days…. Not much to say really as it isn’t something that would interest people unless they are into the specifics of what I do… which people only tend to be out of necessity….
My boss booked the hotel… Well, he booked his, but there were only a spattering of rooms available in the area, so when his hotel didn’t have a room for me, they called up another hotel and booked me in there. No worries. I arrived…. the only car in the car park…. it was getting dark.
Now I don’t know if it was because I was tired, hungry and generally “out of sorts” (pain killers), but when I turned up at the reception, the owner greeted me polite “helluuuooooo“…
The conversation went a bit like this….
Me “I have a reservation….my name’s Luca…”
Him “…sss Black, yeesss… I know… Hotel XYZ called through and made a reservation for you……”
I felt like I’d stabbed him in the back – this was obviously not my (or my bosses) first choice of hotel – and he knew it. I was going to be sleeping with one eye open….
I felt a little uncomfortable (but as I said, I was tired and dazed), but it could only get better.
I filled in the paperwork and blanked at my registration. At my pause he just quipped “Just put the car type and colour – that”ll be fine… for example, something like ‘Black Fiat’ will do…..”
I found my company fuel payment card with the registration on it… I just couldn’t put the type and colour down… especially as I did have a black Fiat…. How long had he been watching me?
So…NOW it could only get better….
“Will you be wanting dinner?” He asks… (This reminded me so much of the Little Britain guy….)
He knows I’ll be joining my boss at the other hotel, I know it…
“Erm, no… I’ll be eating out tonight…”
There’s that feeling again…
In my dazed state I was lead to my room… through a myriad or passages and stairwells…. and to my room ( a very pleasant room I must say). I was wondering if I would needs GPS to get back out again. The owner past me over my room key, but didn’t let go once I had hold of it. He pulled it back from me and with a fixed stare told me that on the key fob there was a code to get into the hotel “should you get back late from your meal…”
He held the key until I had eye contact and acknowledged this key information, and only then was I begrudgingly left the key. He backed out of the room and scurried of down the labyrinth of stairs and corridors…. picking up the bread crumbs I had carefully dropped…bugger.
After a quick shower I head out to meet my boss. I left my room and carefully took account of the route through the hotel. There were a few open doors that I glanced though during my walk…. and behind each door was another set of random stairs… I got the feeling that when this hotel was made there was a 3 for 1 deal going on stair cases – and the guy paying for the building wasn’t going to miss out on such a great deal…
After finally escaping the hotel I drove off to meet up with my boss, another colleague and another engineering guy. The meal (at the hotel my boss was staying at) was fantastic… but it had a bitter taste of guilt… damn my hotel owner…. I had a feeling I would need to check my car brakes before going too far… It was stormy outside, and I’m sure I had been followed…
Never mind though – I returned to my hotel and found the main hotel door still unlocked… Had he waited up? Where was he? I just made straight for my room…although I’m sure some doors and walls had been added….with a sprinkling of new stair cases…
After a very pleasant nights sleep I washed up, had breakfast, paid up and left. I noticed on my way out that I wasn’t imagining it…the place really was a loose collection of odd corridors and stairwells… very strange.
When I paid up, he wasn’t there, so one of the staff took my payment. Where was he I wondered? Well… it was light out now, he was probably hidden away in the dark until night.