Steemitbloggers Contest: Hotel Stories
This is my entry for the @steemitbloggers contest: Hotel Stories. I’m quickly scratching this out before a concert… so if it seems a touch hurried, it is!
As a musician, I’m often checking in and out of hotels at weird hours… and most of the time in the more populated parts of the world, this isn’t really a problem at all. However, there was this one time in the back country areas of France where I’ve had weird experiences year after year (hopefully, not this coming year!).
The first time I played for this festival, I was placed (probably because I was the most junior member of the orchestra and the least likely to complain) in a farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere with an owner of a bed and breakfast that spoke only French. With the coming and goings (due to rehearsals) at all sorts of weird hours, I never met the actual owner until the day that I left. To give an impression of the place that I was in, it was always pitch black when I arrived and left. The lighting was dull at best, and the decor was from the previous (not the 20th) century! It was old and silent, and there would be breakfast waiting for me when I woke up and there would be no one at all around to greet me in the morning or anything like that! Just an empty big old place, with a bedroom that was cold and frightening. Even worse there was no wifi, and I would be lucky to get the merest sliver of a mobile phone signal. Needless to say, it was pretty spooky!
Since then, I stayed at a different place this year in a different location (Ireland)… and just before going to bed, the owner told me that the place was haunted, and if I was “lucky” I might see the ghost of a French or British or Irish soldier. Yeah, thanks… that’s really what I need to hear just before going to sleep….
A different year for the same festival, a bassoon friend and I were put up in a really nice villa with lovely pool and the most perfect summer weather! However, they had neglected to tell us that the owners were away for the first day, and that there was no food for us there. The nearest town was quite a long hike away, and the nearest house was nowhere to be seen! So… we survived our first day pooling and rationing out the small scraps of food that every travelling musician stashes away in their travel kit!
This last year… for the same festival in France. My bassoon friend (female) and I arrived at the hotel that we were staying at. Actually it was more like a motel. Anyway, we arrived after midnight, as is usual for this festival. We check-in after the day’s rehearsals and dinner and festivities are over…. However, it appeared that other musicians had checked in before us (they didn’t play everything in the program, and so they finished work before us) and one of the rooms that they were supposed to take had a defective door, and so they had just taken one of our rooms instead! Anyway, when we arrived, there was no one at the desk… and only one key. Well… that was going to be a problem…
…so we ended up calling the owner… who had to drive in from wherever they lived. We tried our best to explain the situation (with her not knowing English, and us having the worst French imaginable), however, for over 30 minutes… she just couldn’t understand what the problem was. There was a room for the two of us! Let’s just say that the organisiation of the motel was haphazard at best… and she didn’t realise that the problem was that we wanted TWO rooms. She kept asking why we would want two rooms… Yes… not all late night arrivals that arrive together are illicit rendezvous…
Anyway, now that I think back… that wasn’t the first time that that has happened to the two of us. We also had one time in Germany when we were staying at a bed and breakfast and the owner was so apologetic that he only had two single rooms and would it be possible for us to spend the night apart!