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A weekend away in Scrotland

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Let me tell you about our weekend away in Edinburgh

Let me begin with the hotel. We booked in at a one star hotel. Hell, why not? We figured that we’ve stayed in two star hotels plenty of times and they were fine. Anyway we were only there for a cheap one night away and after the amount of walking and drinking we would do all we’d want in the end would be somewhere to crash.

One star is one star for a reason. The water was interesting. It appeared to come out of the taps clear, but once you’d filled a sink with it, it turned out to be a stale urine colour. This is not conducive to wanting to clean one’s teeth in it, but hell, I’m not daft and I presume it’s something to do with the mineral content of the water in the area. Just in case, I make sure I don’t swallow any of the water. I don’t really want to take amoebic dysentery home as a souvenir. Although even dysentery would be an improvement on some of the things you see in the windows of souvenir shops in Edinburgh.

The shower was equally interesting. There was a sticker on the wall close by that read “Very hot water.” Someone had inserted a word with a  waterproof pen and it now read “very little hot water.” They were astute graffitists, these people. I climbed in and switched on the shower. It missed me. I moved to the right to be under the small trickle of water and the dribble hit me square in the middle of the head and attempted to burn through my skull. I guess there were so many rooms in the hotel that they had to divide water pressure up evenly between them all. We got a better shower in the rain outside. I can only assume that they were trying to make up for the lack of water by increasing the temperature tenfold. I spent an interesting ten minutes showering by having to move around so that I could get the bit I wanted to wash beneath the dribble of boiling water.

The railing that ran up the side of the wide stairway was loose. I only discovered this when I slipped slightly on a step and grasped the railing to stop myself toppling backward. I’m damned convinced that if I hadn’t let go again, I would have gone back down the stairs bouncing on my head, with a completely detached railing on top of me. Once I righted myself, I tested it. If you pushed gently, it leaned outwards at almost 45 degrees and pieces of plaster dropped down the stairwell. I shook it gently and saw it actually come out of its socket at the bottom. For the rest of the night I walked up the very inside of the stairs.

Then there were the smells. Oh boy, the smells. You just would not believe the smells. When we checked in, the lobby smelled normal. We were directed through the maze of corridors to our room. The moment we left the lounge area and entered the stairwell, I was assailed by a smell that would have floored an elephant at ten paces. There just really is no way to describe it. It curled the nose hair. Mrs Moosehunter suggested that it smelled uber-musty, but that doesn’t do it justice. The only thing that took my mind off this smell was passing through the fire door at the top of the stairs and into a stretch of corridor, where the smell changed entirely. This was less acrid, but much more heady and intense. It smelled like a family of weasels with terminal flatulence had set up home under the floorboards. I rushed to the next fire door to open it and get away from the smell and discovered a whole new smell. This was much less eye-watering and I began to wonder whether it had been done deliberately, so that the smells would gradually build in intensity as you left your room and made your way downstairs. I was tempted to explore the whole hotel to investigate other nose-curdling aromas, but on my one attempt to find a shorter way down to the lobby, I got horribly lost due to the size and complexity of the hotel and the managements’ decision to close bits of it off and seal up doors (another worrying sight.) On my own, deep in the bowels of the hotel, I was expecting to bump into two little sinister looking girls or a boy that kept saying ‘redrum’. Freaky.

We did, however, add our own brand of madness to the hotel. On Saturday night, Mrs Moosehunter bought a bottle of cava to celebrate. Late on, after much walking, when we were very tired, I tried to open it. Despite heaving on the cork until I thought I was going to have a hernia (or possibly follow through with the effort), I couldn’t get the damn thing open. Mrs Moosehunter took a go and had equally little success. So there we were for thirty minutes, alternating with the bottle. If the adjacent rooms were occupied they must have thought we were doing unspeakable things with all the heaving and grunting. In the end… voila! The top half of the cork broke off. Bastard. I admitted defeat and resigned myself to going down through the palace of smells to the bar for drinks. Not Mrs Moosehunter. This is not a girl who admits defeat easily. Instead, she began hacking at the remaining cork with her car key, determined to drink it and not waste it. When she finally managed to put a hole through the cork, it exploded out of the hole and she tried a glass of cork-filled flat cava and announced that it tasted like crap. Ah well. Just as well I brought two large whiskies up eh? As a finale to all of this episode, I can only wonder what the hotel staff thought we’d been doing the next day, when they discovered the bathroom sink. Mrs Moosehunter has long hair, and strands do tend to come out of long hair when you brush it. Thus the sink had several strands of hair in it, covered in soggy lumps and fragments of cork. Behind the sink sat a glass full of bits of cork with a teaspoon in it. Further investigation would have revealed fragments of cork in the bed (you can’t spend thirty minutes opening a bottle in just one room – you have to be comfortable!) Then there would be the neighbours’ complaints about all the grunting , straining noises and swearing. If you were in that hotel in Edinburgh this weekend… we were the freaks, I’m afraid.

And there’s more…

In a bar nearby, sheltering from rain that threatened to wash people away, I stood up at our table and my rear jeans’ pocket caught on a radiator next to me. There was an unpleasant fleshy tearing noise and a clonk that suggested I’d broken the radiator mountings. Mrs Moosehunter was concerned that I had torn my jeans. In fact, what I thought I’d done was tear my buttock. My eyes were watering and several tough-looking Scotsmen were watching with interest as I clutched my ass and made whimpering noises. I’ll remind you that this bar is not a tourist trap. It’s a local bar in the backstreets and its clientele appear to be tough. Mrs Moosehunter reported that in the ladies toilets there was a sign that asked men who used it to leave the seat down. Anyway, we finished the drink and left because the rain had died down.

Princes Mall is (surprisingly enough) a shopping mall on Princes Street in Edinburgh. The pub called the Royal Mile is (surprisingly enough) on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. We were in the pub. We drank scotch. Mrs Moosehunter made use of the facilities while I finished my drink and we left to go shopping. As is almost always the case, my bladder held its silence until we were halfway down the 45 degree slope between the Royal Mile and the shopping area and then sent me urgent messages telling me that I should have gone in the bar while I had the chance. So we move downhill at a rapid rate with me straining all the way. In the rain. We get to Princes Mall and I examine the sign to find where the public conveniences are. I’m on the very top floor. The gents is on the very bottom floor. Arse! I finally find my way round the escalators and reach the toilets, only to find that they cost 20 pence. I rummage in my pocket, hoping I’m not going to be too late, and find that I’ve got very little change and no 20 pence coin. Shit shit shit shit shit. I move from foot to foot, gradually attracting the attention of everyone sat in the burger restaurant next door. I look at the queues in the two adjacent shops. No good. I’d have pissed myself twice by the time I even got to the counter. A woman nearby opens her purse. With the pleading eyes of a homes waif, I ask if she has a 20 pence coin. She rummages and smiles. She holds it out to me. I give her my shrapnel change and take the coin from her and… drop it. I then have to scramble under a table in McAssburger’s for the coin. I get the coin and charge to the machine. I insert the coin and force my way through the barrier. As I’m opening the door to the toilets, I see a man behind me blithely walking through the barrier. The coin was unnecessary. Arse arse arse arse arse. I disappear into the toilets and sigh with relief. While in there I am surprised and a little perturbed to note two young Russian men in blue uniforms enter the gents’ and start to point at things, laughing and talking away in Russian before making notes on a clipboard. I left as fast as I could before I became a statistic.

I’m sure there will be more to say, but we’re tired and stressed and it’ll get posted eventually.

Signing off.

Moosehunter.

Written by SJAT

August 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm

One Response

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  1. […] – Well I know how you found my blog, mr Searcher. Likely, my old Moosehunter post on Scrotland was not what you were looking for. You might prefer the later travelogue of Scotland? The main […]

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