Sunday, June 10, 2007

Splinter, Is that You?

It doesn’t matter how luxurious the hotel, there will imminently be a gamete of noises that start squealing, clucking, barking and wrestling starting and continuing at all hours of the night. This is not uncommon to find in 3rd world countries so I had come prepared. I have found that the (orange, of course) ear plugs that I brought with me to be the savoir of my attempt to get somewhere close to 6 hours of sleep (and for those of you that know me well, you are well aware of my passion for getting a full nights rest.)

Inevitably through the night, I have fallen into the habit of not only removing but throwing these helpful, but somewhat uncomfortable ear plugs all over the room. Sometimes within the bed’s frame, other times they will be completely on the other side of the room. This spastic (but involuntary) action that takes place at some point throughout the night creates a morning or mid night ritual of scouring my hotel room in attempt to locate the plugs.

It is in these site excavations that, depending on the quality of establishment, I find some of my more adventurous stories (as sad as that is to say).

I have had the honor to have come across items ranging from pregnancy test (no worries, it was negative), underwear and fortunately ball point pens - which & I know this sounds a bit extreme, are equivalent to gold in this country. It seems as though every encounter I have involving the action of writing something down (i.e. receipts, phone #’s, e-mail address etc :) becomes an out right battle to either protect or attempt to “borrow” the sacred pen.

It was in the early morning hours of this past Sunday I was awoken to yet another one of these inescapable noises. Not surprisely I couldn’t quite place what the hell it was that was the source of this commotion, but I really didn’t care considering the current time and the looming 6AM wake up call I had. After a few feeble attempts of slapping around my bed in the pitch dark, I angrily crawled out of the bed to locate my flashlight. For those logical thinking folks that are still following along at home, you might be wondering why a simply flick of the light switch might do the job. Well this unfortunately wouldn’t do much good as power outages mysteriously strike the guest portion of the hotel but not the main office where the staff is chillen’..ummm.

As the beam of my flashlight swung across the room I took faint notice that what I had come to realize was some sort of chewing noise had now fallen silent. After following my standard operating procedures for attempting to discover the plugs I had come up empty handed. So I lazily flashed my torch under the bed and to my wondering eyes appeared not jolly St. Nic, but 2 giant African rats swapping spots on a buffet table which included a used condom, ½ eaten piece of ingella (the dirty sponge looking material that was served with most Ethiopian dishes).

A word to the wise, when first surveying a prospective hostel/guest house to determine whether the potential spot was suitable do a quick check under the bed.
Not surprisingly, The Bahir Dar Hotel in Ethiopia does not win my recommendation. Especially room 18.


Blogger Devo said...

Reminds me of a certain room I stayed in at Purdue after a night of drinking Keystone Light. And was that picture a shout out to my dog? Hope all is well.

July 16, 2007 at 1:52 PM  

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