Friday, 27 September 2013

Rescued by a Ramada Receptionist

I am exhausted.  I cycled from Brighton to Crawley.  And there were HILLS along the way. My left pedal is making an unearthly sound. And now my cell phone map has directed me into a maze of traffic round-abouts connecting motorways and highways.  These traffic puddings are so busy, I don't even cycle them anymore but try to scamper across the individual on or off branches without becoming road kill.  I am not going to cycle on a motorway, that I have decided.  But I can't see any normal roads going into the general direction that I have to go to get to my hotel. The town with my hotel is not far; I just have no idea how to get there. This is probably the low point of all my travels so far.   Sitting on the side of a giant traffic circle with motorways above me and frantic cars EVERYWHERE.

Then I see it.  A Ramada Hotel. Just up the embankment over the next traffic circle branch. I fight my way over that branch with my last strength and then pedal-squeak my way into the Ramada driveway.

A little while later I restrain myself from verbally assaulting the first receptionist, after she tells me that she has never heard of a town that is maybe 3 miles away.  Honey, you have the wrong job!  What is worse: She gives me that look.  You know the look that says "That's it.  Move along. No further information forthcoming". Also known as the Homer-Simpson-look. Is it just my imagination or do I hear 'Duuuh' from somewhere.

Then steps forward the second receptionist of smaller statue with a shy demeanour and a Mexican or Spanish accent. He asks me again for the name of the hotel I am hoping to stay in and starts typing on his keyboard. He mentions to his Simpsonesque co-worker that he is going to print me a map.  Fighting off a loud-mouthed Ramada grounds worker vying for his attention, he receives the results of his efforts from the printer.  He proceeds to explain to me in detail how to use the map (It's a Google Map), and then also gives me a page of those Google turn-left, turn-right instructions.  I thank him profusely, insist that he keep the tip (helping wayward cyclists staying in other hotels is NOT part of his job description) and when I have hopped on the bike and have squeaked a few revolutions away, he comes running after me down the Ramada driveway because I have forgotten one of the sheets with the turn-right turn-left instructions.

THANK YOU, not only for providing me with excellent directions, but more importantly for treating even a scruffy & tired cyclist like a human being and for giving said cyclist hope that there is some good Karma floating around England somewhere ;-)

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