It was Maureen who suggested it. She said she’d found affordable (as in ‘cheap’) accommodation very close to the Conference and if I was quick I could snap up a bargain. So not wanting to miss out, I phoned the Quest Apartments in King William Street and they told me I could have a one-bedroom apartment or a studio. Given the studio was cheaper, I went for that option.
When I walked into the foyer I was overcome by a smell like when you’re in a hospital and you’re walking behind the dinner trolley as the food is being handed out, only thicker. It alarmed me because these apartments don’t have a kitchen, there’s not even a mini-bar in my room.
The Receptionist gave me the key to my room and after waiting ages for the lift, pressed the button for the first floor. The lift started to move and it went up and it went down but the doors never opened on the first floor. Eventually it stopped on the second floor and two chaps walked in and I said, ‘I think this lift is broken. It won’t stop on my floor’. One of them said, ‘Did you swipe your card over the sensor?’ And of course I hadn’t. Because no one had told me to do so.
Some time later I arrived in my room that was small but adequate but what did alarm me was the high step from the living room into the bathroom and my problem is that I feared that if I had to get up in the middle of the night I just might forget there was a huge step into the bathroom and fall flat on my face and break my nose. I asked Maureen if she had a step into her bathroom and she said, ‘No, my flooring from the living room to the bathroom is completely flush’.
Later that night I arrived back from dinner and as I was heading into my room I was overwhelmed by the smell of curry. I went into my room and then I heard yelling. And the yelling between two men went on and on and on for about 40 minutes and by then I’d had enough. I went out into the hallway to work out where the noise was coming from and it was from the room next to mine. I knocked on the door and an Indian man came to the door with strong curry smells instantly wafting into the corridor. I said, ‘I’m in the room next door. Do you think you could stop yelling? It’s late and you’re being really loud.’
‘Very sorry ma’am. Very sorry’.
So with that sorted I went to bed but lay awake wondering how it was possible to make curries in such a small kitchen.
I made it through the first night and had arranged to meet Maureen in the lobby at 9am to head out for breakfast before the start of the conference. At 8.30am I thought I’d better get into the shower so I stripped off and went to turn on the taps. Well the hot water tap was fused rock solid hard and I couldn’t budge it, not even a little bit.
Emerging from the bathroom completely starkers I then picked up the phone and tried to ring reception. There’s a little button on the phone that you press and Reception is supposed to answer. But the line was dead. I then ran around, in the nude, trying to find the phone number of the Apartments so I could call Reception from my mobile. I couldn’t find anything in the room with their number on it. I then googled the Apartments from my computer. Finding the number I phoned and when the Receptionist answered I said, ‘The phone in my room isn’t working. I pressed the button but it didn’t work’. She said, ‘Oh, you don’t press that button, you dial ‘9’.’ More information that was kept in the vault.
I then told her I couldn’t turn on the hot tap to have a shower. She said she would send up the maintenance guy. I quickly dressed as I didn’t want the handyman walking in thinking this was some kind of a scene out of a low-budget porn movie and he arrived quickly with me dressed but looking less than perfect. He tried to turn the tap but said it was broken and that he’d go back down to Reception and get me a key to a different room.
I phoned Maureen to let her know I would now not be ready by 9am as I had a few issues going on and then started packing my things for the move. The handy-man returned and handed me a key and said I could go and shower in a room at the end of the corridor. I asked, ‘Am I being moved into that room?’ And he said, ‘No, just have a shower there and when you go out for the day we’ll fix the tap’.
I was beyond arguing and so gathered my shampoo and conditioner and hair brush and clothes and keys and i-phone and when the coast was clear I hurried along the corridor smelling curry all the way, to the room with a working shower. I washed my hair while wondering how people could cook curry for breakfast, towel dried myself, threw on some clothes, then when the coast was clear, scuttled back to my faulty room.
And Maureen gave me not one ounce of sympathy. She thought the whole thing hysterically funny.
If you’re looking for budget accommodation in Adelaide, do try the Quest Apartments but book Maureen’s room on the 8th Floor, not mine on the 1st floor next to the yelling Indian cooking curry.
82 King William Street, Adelaide SA
08 8217 5000