Elevation Leg 1: 2001, North America

Jun
18
2009

Checking in to the Hotel Fabulous

Barcelona. Production rehearsals.

It was 7am by the time I got back to the Hotel Fabulous and having spent a total of under five minutes in the place when I dropped my bags off yesterday, I was essentially seeing it for the first time. I've stayed here before, but in the intervening time the place has been 'done up' within an inch of its life. It is indeed Fabulous with lobby flower arrangements bigger than my house and so forth, but it has the scent of a place that has been wildly over-consulted.

When I arrived, being somewhat knackered, it was all I could do to remember my new room number, but I did manage to get there and went to close the curtains and put out the lights so I could get to bed before the sun go too high in the sky. It was at this point that I realised I might have checked into the Hotel Complicated as everything operated from a central push-button control panel which I was unable to find. On discovery (in a drawer next to the bed) it turned out that the buttons were labelled in the tiniest font available and being in the state I was in I could barely see, never mind read. I promptly turned into Mr. Bean and amid my flailing, the window blinds were going up and down, lights flashing and I was probably also summoning cleaners and ordering room service at the same time. Somebody, please...

On waking up this afternoon, I noticed that the little welcome gift bowl of strawberries that had been placed in the room, had white mould growing on them. When I called the personal concierge person and tried to explain, she said 'You are very welcome, Sir'. I guess neither of us knew the Spanish for 'mould', or perhaps this is normal in Barcelona, the home of Surrealism.

Back at the stadium our rehearsal was a bit of a shambles, but we have plenty of time, so happily no-one was stressing. The band left me to do another night's programming and we'll regroup tomorrow.

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