Friday, May 23, 2008

“Is there any difference between our two rooms…?”

As mentioned several times before, I visited a friends wedding when I was back in Sweden which was very nice. To add to the context, I should mention that my friend is an active outdoor person and also very active in an association that engages in old Viking traditions such as boat building etc. So that means that many of his friends has similar interests and most guests at the wedding opted to stay for free in an old Viking style house that was available for any guests that were willing to stay there, bring their own sleeping bags etc. As you can understand, as a salaryman, I much prefer the comfort of a real hotel, heated, with blankets and pillows.

A fellow old friend of me and the groom had similar feelings as me and, as the only guests at the wedding, we booked ourselves into a nearby reasonable hotel. The trip down was relatively uneventful, drinking beer and wine together and visiting the local restaurants for another beer at the frequent changes and long waits for the connecting train. But we had plenty of stuff to catch up on, so it was more enjoyable than anything else.

So, we safely end up at the hotel and we check in to our separate rooms. It looks nice enough, a bit country, but that’s just local flavor. My friend heads up to his room on the second floor and I go to get settled into my room on the first floor. To my surprise I find out that the door is open and when I go into the room I first think there’s been a mistake of some kind. The room looks barren, there’s a small bed in the corner and the compulsory hotel furniture (desk and chair) awkwardly scattered in the pretty large and barren room. The view consists of the yard of the hotel with full insight for people that enter and leave the hotel.

I leave the room and head up to my friends room to share that bottle of Polish (or something) mead that he has given alluding promises of. I enter his room and see a very large and nice bed and a beautiful view of the neighboring lake and a beautiful sunset with no possibility of insight from anywhere. I should also add to the story that I booked my room a full week before him who just booked it the day before. As you can understand this annoys me a little and when we later head for the reception to order a taxi the following exchange takes place, and as always, feel free to act this conversation out with an old friend, relative or long lost lover:

Mr. Salaryman: (Devilishly friendly voice) Oh, and one more thing, by the way, is there any difference between our rooms (pointing at friend)
Receptionist: (Slightly defensively without any hesitation) Yes, he has a bigger bed
Mr. Salaryman: (Played amused surprise) I see, well, I’d like that too please
Receptionist: (Pretending to look through ledgers) We only have two rooms with such beds and they’re all taken…
Mr. Salaryman: Aha…?
Receptionist: (Defensively joking) Well, if it helps, I can downgrade him to a small bed?
Mr. Salaryman: (Gleeful) Yes, yes please, I’d like that very much!
Friend: (Jumping in, slightly nervous and worried about the turn of the conversation) Hey, wait a minute!
Mr. Salaryman: Well?
Receptionist: (Slightly scared) You’re getting a bit agitated about this…
Mr. Salaryman and Friend: (laughing) Well, ok, nevermind, thanks anyway

I had no intention of intimidating a poor receptionist just trying to do her job and both me and my friend thought I didn’t come out as aggressive but my friend jokingly suggested that I should’ve taken the conversation to the next level by suggesting that racial prejudice had played a part in me getting the crappy room since I have a non-swedish sounding family name and dark hair. But that might have caused the poor girl a stroke, so we didn’t pull through with that one, but in hindsight, maybe that would have resulted in even more hilarity.

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