1. November 2010

The nightmares finally stopped

So I spent last week near Frankfurt - really near, our hotel was in Offenbach, about 500m out of Frankfurt - learning tons of important stuff I need to know to take over the world.

Every day was filled with laws and statutes and jurisdiction and luckily tiny bits of food in between. Too bad though, that I did not really have time to relax. There were 7 of us plus another 7 plus a very active host who had devised a group-building and entertaining evening program for every evening we were there. And we all know that whoever leaves the group will be eaten by lions, so what was I supposed to do?

It was exhausting. I am a very avid dreamer. I guess this is my way to digest life and to mull things over. Normally, I like dreaming as my dreams tend to be quite entertaining. But that week: total crapfest. Every night, I woke up from nightmares about a maze of rules and regulations, not exactly sweating but bolting upright in my bed.

I need time off by myself to digest things. I also need time to write about stuff to clear my head and BOY WILL I NEVER AGAIN PICK THE CAMERA OVER MY LAPTOP WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING A TRAVEL COMPANION. Yes, the hotel featured an Internet station in the lobby, but do I go down there in my PJs to write about my day? Just found out: no.

At least I managed to actually use the wellness and fitness area of the hotel. In the hotel description, I was promised that I could keep up my training for next Sunday's 16.5 km run around the Rursee, but when I inquired about the features of the newly opened wellness area, my favorite reception desk clown told me:

Reception guy: "Well, there is a sauna, a relax room and some fitness."
Cati: "And what exactly do you mean by "some fitness"?"
Reception guy: "Well - stage wait - best look for yourself."

So I looked for myself and found a spinning bike and a cross trainer next to the relax room. Luckily, no one wanted to relax while I turned up MTV and experimented with different sweat levels. Exercise clears my head, but I had to squeeze it in between class and dinner before a city tour through historic Frankfurt or between dinner and an extraordinary team meeting. So no time for me to use the sauna and relax.

But more about reception guy. When we first arrived, the following occured, with slightly different protagonists. You'll see the point, though.

Cati: "Hi, I am Cati Basmati and I made a reservation for a room until Friday."
Reception guy: inquisitive look on his face "Cati. Is that your first name?"

I was tempted to reveal that it is actually someone else's name, but that I like to borrow it for traveling. Which would have caught him off guard and lead to uncomfortable silence, so I refrained.

Reception guy was always eager to help and so I approached him after the first night to inquire about the combined cooling/heating fan in my room which kept me awake most of the night. When I first realized that noise, I was almost asleep and suspected my next door neighbor to take a very long shower. Like hours long. From 2 to 5 in the morning. I was not amused. Luckily, I did not knock at his door between 2 and 5 in the morning but went to reception guy first. I told him that the fan was surely broken and he promised to send a technician up to my room during the day. Fine with me.

Alas, don't trust a guy who doubts your first name. The next night, I was mad at the fan - lucky next door neighbor - and resolved to being the first person of the group to complain and change rooms. And do ugly things to reception guy, like performing my Take That: Never Forget choreography right there in the lobby.

So I went back to the reception first thing in the morning and complained and asked about another room. Which of course they did not have. As of course they were booked out. Until the next day of course. But then...

How to solve problems the seminar host's way: when I casually told her and participant Klaus-Dieter about fan from hell, she offered to go up to my room to see whether she could find out how to make it stop. And of course: it had stopped. Before we even entered the room. She may have supernatural powers and her fierce aura had arrived on the fourth floor minutes before we stepped off the elevator. I heart Iris.

Last but not least: the blue plastic couch in my room. With no arm rests and not at all facing the TV, it was larger than my bed and occupied the center of the room somehow. Actually, it was placed along a wall, but it hovered about and sang in a mocking tone that it was larger than my bed and super ugly. And it did that every time I looked at it. I admit, it was very convenient to display my choice of wardrobe for the week, but the room had a closet, so why WHY WHY WHY did I have to share my room with it? I have no idea.

Back to the nightmares. They are officially over, as I dreamed about something totally unrelated to the seminar and family friendly last night. But I learned from that experience. Next time, I will take my laptop. I will make sure to make room for myself, even if that means affronting my colleagues or the other participants. AND I WILL NOT SHARE MY ROOM WITH A BLUE PLASTIC COUCH.

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