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I must be in some kind of mood today, because nothing would give greater pleasure than listing my pet peeves about travel. Actually, quite a few things would give me more pleasure: a flute of Cristal (how is it that I have never tried Cristal champagne?), having the cash to buy a penthouse in New York with a wraparound terrace and – this may not fit in with the high-livin’ theme – taking a hike on pine-scented trail in the mountains. Only the trail can’t go straight up because I get tired.
Now back to the crap.
Things I hate about hotels:
1) Hotels that hang newspapers on my doorknob and slip the bill under my door and maybe even a little note about express check out under the door. People! I’m trying to sleep. And this wakes me up. Everytime. Leave me alone.
2) Alarm clocks that shriek on at 5:30 a.m. – set by the previous guest.
3) Hotel corridors with loud slamming doors and early birds lugging suitcases down the hall at 6 a.m. shouting, “Henry, are you coming? Did you call the cab? Do you have money to tip the bellman?” People! I’m trying to sleep!
But I hate the non-sound-proofed rooms more than I hate the loud early birds, because really, who is awake enough to be considerate of others at 6 a.m.?
Let me interject here to say what I love … those gracious old hotels in Germany and the Czech Republic (and elsewhere no doubt) with two sets of doors so that there is a little sound-buffering entranceway. And it looks nice, too.
Things I hate about airplanes:
1) Middle seats should be abolished. Completely. Has anyone ever actually requested a middle seat? No! Unless they’re very very weird, or perhaps have a phobia of aisles and windows. Personally, I have a phobia of anything that isn’t a window seat on a long haul flight. I think it’s reverse claustrophia.
2) Confusion. Sometimes I’ll get on a flight and the attendant will say, “Can I put that bag up in the overhead bin for you?” Or, “You can’t find room for your luggage? Here let me find a place for you.” So then the next time I get on a flight I start handing my hand luggage over to an attendant, and she (true story) gives me an angry look and barks, “That’s your own responsibility!” Fine. Just let me know the rules. Don’t toy with me that way.
Things I hate about subways:
1) I have only one resentment, really, at least for the moment … I mean aside from the muggings and the people hitting you with briefcases during rush hour, and the people with rotting bandages sitting beside you in New York (true story) and the police taking away your passport on the Paris metro (true story). No, what I really hate is that nightmare screeching the trains make when they turn a corner or brake into the station, killing your eardrums and giving you long term hearing damage. Toronto – I’m talking about you ! Aren’t there decibel controls?
Okay, that’s it. But don’t worry – I’ll have plenty more things to gripe about soon. Enjoy the long weekend and long live Queen Victoria. Oh, right. She, um, passed away. Enjoy the holiday anyway.