horizontal at last

That was some long-ass travelin’.

Our trip to Barcelona took us through Amsterdam, on KLM. The flight was surprisingly efficient – we departed ten minutes early, and landed almost an hour early. Ed managed to snag a couple of seats across the row from me, so we each had a luxurious 42″ or so of room to wiggle around in. I probably only slept for an hour total throughout the 9-hour flight, but by the time we landed in Amsterdam I felt much more alive than usual (even when taking the Nokia-shaped bruise I have in my right ass thanks to an armrest that was bolted down).  Still, the layover in Amsterdam was difficult because:

  • The non-UK part of Europe has Coke Light instead of Diet Coke and it’s not the same
  • The chairs were hard as fuck
  • We were tired
  • So tired
  • Zzzzz

A 4-hour layover isn’t enough time to leave the airport and explore, so we had to stay put. Eventually our flight to Barcelona was called, and two hours later we were in the enormous shiny futuristic and apocalyptically deserted mega mall they call the Barcelona Airport. There were men with guns but no customs to go through, which was weird. We gathered our bags, Ed grabbed his conference badge (I am hella jealous that he’s attending the Mobile World Conference and I’m not – I’M the mobile nerd in the family, damnit), and by 5pm local time we were in our hotel room.

Okay, poll time – have any of you ever stayed at a hotel at which you needed to insert your room key into the wall to activate the light switches?

We collapsed into our (nice but only partially furnished) room. I had to pee, so I went looking for the bathroom .. but the lights weren’t working. I tried a few other switches, and nothing – our room had no power. This was disconcerting, because I really enjoy the luxury of electricity and sort of take it for granted. After Ed confirmed my wtf, he went downstairs and said we had no power. Front desk was confused, and said they’d send someone up. They did, and an unamused lady schooled Ed in the apparently-common-knowledge-to-everyone-but-us world of room key in wall slot equals power. The lady seemed to think Ed was somehow mentally deficient for not knowing this, but we both agreed that in all our travels (we so worldly) we’d NEVER encountered a system like this. And it’s not just us – Ed met a coworker on his way back from a water run who had the same issue with the not knowing. What gives? Is this a common thing that people know about but I somehow went like 85 years without ever encountering?

I need to sleep now. Tomorrow is my first full day in Spain, and I plan to figure out the deal with the bidet. Oh, and our flight sadly did NOT have USB available, so please enjoy this letter I wrote on parchment using my own blood as ink.

i have misgivings about this journey, but our george donner claims he knows a shortcut. what's the harm in trying?

i have misgivings about this journey, but george donner claims he knows a shortcut through the mountains

3 thoughts on “horizontal at last

  1. My first time seeing a room where you used the key card to get power was in Saudi Arabia I also had to get assistance but there they assumed I was a dumb Western woman who obviously wouldn’t know any better without being told by a man

  2. This kind of room threw me for a loop the first time I went to Germany, but they’re pretty normal there. I’ve locked myself out of my room assuming I had the key for room when it was in the lightswitch too. Yay travel?

  3. Yes, in Tulum, Mexico, we did find that you could use other types of cards to keep the lights on if someone else needed to take the card key with them. GVPL library card worked well! Have fun!

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