Hello again my fans. It’s me again. The story continues.
I woke at around 10.30 a bit worse for wear. This travelling can knock you for six. I got out of the Queen Size bed and did the usual SSS. Now that’s out of the way, we can continue our saga. In the exorbitant price of $225 per night for this hotel that resembles a flea bitten prison block, I paid $20 for breakfast. I walked along the corridor and found the room that breakfast was being served in. Breakfast consisted of bagels, jam and muffins. There were two coffee machines that served up some sort of hot stuff they apparently called coffee. ‘$20 for this’ I thought. They’re definitely having a laugh!!! I would have been better off going next door to have the $4.99 special. I took the elevator (lift) down to the lobby (reception) and walked through a sea of bodies. I’m beginning to think that this hotel doubles up for one of the platforms at Penn Station. Out side was just as busy. I’m going back to my room for a bit I thought to myself. Getting back to the elevators (lifts) proved to be quite a challenge. I had to show my key card twice the hotel security before I reached the elevators (lifts) where I was confronted by the biggest black man I have ever seen. He must have weighed 200 kilos. His jacket looked ridicules on him. The sleeves ended half way up his arms and the front of the jacket was open because it couldn’t do up, revelling an enormous belly that any English dart player would be proud of. His trousers could have easily been used as a parachute if he ever fell out of an aeroplane provided of course that the plane could take off first. ‘Key card’ he demanded in a squeaky high pitched voice. How is it that great big men have such high pitched feminine voices? I showed him the card and he nodded. I smiled and nodded back to him. ‘It looks like the diet is going extremely well?’ I said. I got the feeling that the sum total of his vocabulary amounted to ‘key Card’ as he just looked straight through me. Back in my room I decided to check out of this palace. I phoned down to the lobby (reception) and asked for them to send up a Christian to collect my luggage. The young lady on the other end of the phone told me that Christian was not on duty but Earnest would be there in about 20 minutes. I am now convinced that you have to be very lucky if you find someone in the United States who actually listens to you when you speak to them. As I had nothing to do but wait for Earnest to turn up, I settled myself in an old but comfortable arm chair and turned the TV on. After 15 minutes of being glued to the box I had a revelation. American television doesn’t show programmes anymore. They show adverts interspersed with programmes. These programmes last for three minutes followed by seven minutes of adverts. Earnest turned up after 30 minutes worth of adverts and we both went down in the elevator (lift) past fatso, who’s voice now sounded like it could break glass. At the lobby (reception) the line (queue) to check in and out looked like an invading army. ‘I don’t do lines (queues).’ I told Earnest handing him a five dollar bill. Next thing I knew I was at the check out desk. Amazing what a few dollars can do!! I paid the $225 plus tax, mustn’t forget the tax must we? ‘I’m meeting a ship here at the port at around 3 this afternoon’ I told Ricardo the Hispanic desk clerk. ‘I need to store my bags for about three hours.’ ‘No problem sir. That will be $4 per bag’ he said quite nonchalantly. ‘You’re kidding?’ ‘You’re going to charge me $12 to store my baggage for a couple of hours’ I asked in jaw dropping amazement. ‘Yes sir, we do’ was his casual reply. ‘Sir’ I said politely. ‘I’ve been all over the world, and this is the first time ever that a hotel has asked me for money to store bags.’ ‘That’s our policy sir.’ I handed him the $12 and received three tickets. Before leaving I asked the him if it would be appropriate to make a recommendation. ‘Of course you may sir.’ He said with a smile. ‘We always welcome all our guest’s comments.’ ‘Well’ I said ‘Not only have you missed a trick by not charging for bed the bugs, I strongly suggest that you change the name of your hotel from the Hotel Pennsylvania to the Hotel Transylvania because you’re all a load of blood suckers!!’ I turned and walked out before I got arrested. I hope that they don’t take exception to my constructive suggestion by setting fire to my luggage.
Outside I was still seething. I needed to calm down. I walked a couple of blocks and noticed a sign above Bennies Deli announcing ‘chicken soup that your mother made.’ That’s just what I need. A plate of good old fashioned Jewish penicillin. I still had a couple of hours to kill before I could board the ship that would take me down to Rio. Macys was only two blocks away so I checked out the store. All it did was reinforced my hatred for shopping. I took a slow walk back to pick up my $12 baggage. After a 15 minute wait they turned up and thankfully Ricardo & Co didn’t destroy it. Outside I found a tiddlywink cab driver who said he was from Ding Dong Ping Pong somewhere in South East China took me to the port where my baggage was immediately taken by the Silver Sea staff. Well I thought. This all looks promising. I handed my boarding papers to the desk and had my photo taken and told to follow the signs to board. A few steps along and I got a glimpse of ‘The Silver Whisper’ my new home for the next 26 days.
Well that’s enough for you to get on with. I’ll fill you in on the next part what life is like on a luxury cruise liner. Keep an eye out for the next thrilling instalment of ‘Delboy does de World.’