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Sunday, 23 October 2011


I never thought I'd write these words but I really wish there was a Formule 1 hotel nearby we could check into for a couple of nights - anything other than the unsettlingly weird Wira Guesthouse we've just dumped our bags in and fled to the nearest bar from. It seems an ageing gentleman found himself with a few redundant rooms in quite a large council flat, presumably after his children grew and fled the nest and his missus either left him or died - or perhaps both. One assumes at which point he thought, "Hang on, what if I put six beds in each room, name each after a continent (or a country for ante-rooms), and then charge people to stay there, all the while providing the absolute bare minimum in terms of facilities. Yes, that will work." And it does, kind of. We had to pay extra for "bedding" - our foam mattresses bend upwards at the corners because the elasticated sheets are too tight, the cases to cover our malformed, inadequate pillows are far too large and completely the wrong shape for their lumpy contents, and we find ourselves having to tip-toe past six sleeping strangers to get to our dingy quarters - quite arbitrarily named "Sweden". The room puts me in mind of Sweden in much the same way Idi Amin does, ie not in the slightest. It costs a euro to hire a towel should you wish to bathe - Chris circumventing this charge by drying himself off with a bath mat. There's that ingenuity again. Paul has decided he's keeping his, reasoning that one euro is a fair price to be paid for a second hand towel. The place is clean though, and right opposite a handy U-bahn station so I suppose things could be a lot worse. We're here for two nights so there's plenty of time to see if indeed they can be.

A report on our eventful evening meal will follow in due course.

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