Recently, I found myself in Cork in Ireland. Beautiful place and well worth a visit if you have never been. Its weather (we don’t have a climate in these parts; we just have the weather. Indeed, we spend a lot of time talking about the weather and if we didn’t have it to talk about, then this would a quiet place, let me assure you!) is balmy; never too hot and never too cold. For a man from northern climes it is well-nigh perfect; this does not mean to say though that, from time to time, it does not get hot, because believe me, it does and I happened upon one of the weeks in the year when it was hot, hot, hot!
So I am in my bedroom which is on the top floor of an old hotel in the city centre. All of the heat that has built up during the day has been trapped by the building which, to be fair, has been designed with that very thought in mind. There is obviously an intricate series of diverting pipes and heat condensers in the building to ensure that all of this ambient heat has been funnelled precisely and exactly to room 414, which, by the most unfortunate of coincidences, happens to be the room that I am occupying.
‘Now, let me add some colour to this already colourful story. Room 414 is at the front of the hotel, which just so happens to be on McCurtain street (and, if ever there was a funny name for a street, that surely is it!). Let me also share with you that McCurtain street is where it’s at in Cork of an evening.
I have a number of choices.
- I can shut the window to keep out the noise, then attempt to sleep in a sauna.
- I can open the window and be kept awake by passing traffic and revellers (oh – and it’s still a sauna).
- I can remonstrate with management and tell them just how hot the room is.
I chose the latter. My arguments were persuasive and I am personally convinced that the person on the other end of the phone truly believed me when I told her how hot the room was; how uncomfortable I was; how noisy the revellers were and how smelly and loud was the passing traffic. I congratulated myself on the force of my arguments and waited to hear from her about my upgrade to an air-conditioned suite facing the river.
Except I didn’t. Instead she said she was sorry. So I mumbled something about being sorry to bother her and it really wasn’t that much of an issue and I was a grown man after all and why should something so trivial bother me? And she was a very nice lady and that was that.
In future, I think I’ll just tell her what needs to be done to make my problem go away and what I need to receive from the hotel by way of compensation. And I will be very specific about it too!