Picture the scene. It’s late at night and the hotel is all but deserted. It’s like something from an Agatha Christie where you expect to trip over a dead body as you head down the endless corridor, its miserable brown and swirly carpet scuffing beneath your feet.
You press the button and the door swings open, releasing you into the cold, wet night. You cross the damp, bleak car park and hurtle through the revolving door. Once again you hand the code card to the boy behind the desk. He looks menacingly up at you, swipes his Teutonic-perfect blond hair from his eyes, sighs and places another in your sweaty palm. Retreating, you find the elevator, go to the third floor, cross the walkway and slip quietly down the spiral stairs, the only route back in. Once safely in your room, you slide the card home and bingo! It doesn’t work AGAIN. Will you give up and let them take your money? No, you won’t. You are strong; you are British; your upper lip has never been stiffer – and nor for that matter have your hips. So the cycle begins again. You grab your key and head back down the corridor, resolve your new best friend.
‘Give up,’ said Martin.
‘Never,’ I replied. ‘They know these things don’t work. They just want to take our money and think we’ll be too embarrassed to make a fuss.’
Armed with the knowledge that Martin had already decided that all was lost, my determination redoubled its steely grip. The boy child at reception was not going to win. I was back on the trail.
‘Listen,’ I said, my best expat voice rearing its ugly head as I approached the desk, ‘This is my third circuit. You know and I both know that the tokens from the machine and the tokens you are replacing them with are never going to work. Now, I could run around in circles all night and I am quite prepared to do that, but why don’t you save us both a lot of trouble and just give me back my money?’
Two more circuits and twenty minutes later, that’s just what he did. Surely it should not be this hard to watch a pay-movie?
The name of the hotel? Not telling. Wouldn’t want to spoil your fun!
Sleeping People Lie is OUT NOW on Amazon in Kindle and paperback and is available from Walkers, Waterstones and all good bookshops.
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Best selling author of The Thinking Tank