Everybody knows my name at the recreation centre

We have been in the hotel nearly two weeks. In fact I realise it is 12 days. My situation is slightly surreal and I have lost track of the time. I thought it was Friday until just now, so last night I forced the kids to finish their weekly homework even though they both insisted they still had another day.

I scored a major victory yesterday in getting my car. It was widely predicted this would take months, but they were actually quite efficient. I have bought a Toyota RAV4 that bounces through the potholes like Beyonce, but unlike her, is very white and shiny, so I get a lot of looks driving along. I think a nice coating of spray-on dust is in order.

I also managed to get hot water in our hotel which improved things dramatically. Get this for a conversation, Kafka meets Melanesia:

  • Me: We really can’t stay in the temporary rooms any more. We have to move to deluxe rooms. We’re in economy rooms and we have no hot water, it’s solar only in that wing.
  • Receptionist: What room are you in?
  • Me: 240
  • R: That’s an economy room.
  • M: I know. We want to move to deluxe rooms like we were originally allocated so we can have some hot water.
  • R: Is there no hot water in your room?
  • S: No. It’s been cloudy.
  • R: I’ll get the maintenance boys to come and check it out.
  • S: There’s no need. I already know the reason. It’s cloudy.
  • R: What room are you in?
  • S: 240. But we’re supposed to be in deluxe rooms, adjoining.
  • R: …240. That’s an economy room!
  • S: I know.
  • There’s no booster in the economy rooms. Solar only.
  • S: I know. That’s why we want to move to deluxe rooms.
  • R: You want to move to a deluxe room?
  • S: Yes. Please.
  • R: I’ll check. What room are you in?
  • S: 240.
  • …240. But that’s an economy rooom! You’re booking says you are suposed to be in a deluxe room! They have hot water.
  • S (internallly): AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

This has been going on for about a week. (The real reason is that they have had back-to-back conferences and all the bigwigs have been taking all the rooms.) But finally, yesterday, we got hot water. Gotta take your victories where you can.

There is still no sign of movement from our landlords on various issues that are preventing us from moving into our house (in particular, the lack of any water) and so it is entirely possible we will be moving back to POM this weekend because that particular, vital aspect of our deployment has gone very pear-shaped. I was nearly ready to tear my hair out yesterday in what I thought was  frustration, but after a hot shower I realised that it was actually because my scalp had become a breeding ground for green slime.

In brighter news, I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons with the kids in the afternoons. Cody is an orphaned halfling called Wicket Sticks whose family owns a dungeon entrance, and Erin is a human princess called Lucy Allison, whose family run an international fashion empire. I have a range of personas ranging from Miggs the Morose (a Dwarf) to Boris Boon the Pompous Paladin. All good fun until everyone nearly got killed by giant ants.

Things are weird.


3 thoughts on “Everybody knows my name at the recreation centre

  1. Good! Do they call you mckleinzie – and is that mckleinzie, the rambler or mckleinzie the harrier – or Southern Steve the wandering vagabond?

    Did you get a rambler or a harrier

    • I drove behind one today – dazzling white and shiny, like an advertisement for whitening teeth or sheets – and with “Coca Cola” on the spare wheel cover. In Semaphore Road it looked very out of place so I can see how some grime might bee needed in Lae.


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