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Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Retirement Humour, Retirement Living |



It was dark. Jan and I were groping…

“Honey, I can’t get it in.”

“Dear, try again. It has to work.”

“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. It won’t fit.”

“It’s so dark here. I don’t know how you can see what you’re doing.”

Whew! The key card works and the door to our Barcelona hotel room swings open.

We’re standing in darkness. Luggage up to our knees.

I’m groping again…

“Gary you need to insert the key card in the wall over here to turn the lights on.”

Suddenly it’s like the Las Vegas strip– lights are shining everywhere! Spotlights recessed in the ceiling. Pot lights in the closets. Contemporary-style lights mounted on the wall. Small adjustable lamps for reading in bed. A brass light over the desk. Even the round mirror in the bathroom– that enlarges your pimples to the size of hubcaps on a car– is lit up!

First things first. Turn off the lights! Electricity here in Barcelona is probably more expensive than the chocolate bars in the hotel bar fridge.

I find a row of six toggle switches on the wall near the room door. You can also turn the lights on and off using the row of six toggle switches on each side of the bed. Or, you can use the six toggle switches inside the bathroom, near the sink. Another set is at the shower. Also over at the desk; and beside the dresser.

Grrr. Synchronizing the lights is as complicated a college marching band halftime show.

Ouch! The lights are off but in the darkness I smacked into the king size bed. It’s one of those contemporary beds that’s down maybe ten inches from the floor. That night I learned a whole new meaning to ‘climbing out of bed.’

Who designs these hotels?

The bathroom was the size of a convention centre, with about as much seating! You could sit on the toilet. You could sit on the bidet. You could also sit in a chair– but you’d have to fall down into it! To get up I looked for a wall-mounted lifting device, you know like the ones you see in hospitals.

There was a phone beside the toilet; even a phone beside the shower!

I gave up trying to turn the shower on.

I counted six shower jets coming out of the wall; two shower heads mounted at different levels; a handle to control the intensity of the water flow; and a dial that regulated the water temperature.

The shower doesn’t have a water drain. No, it has a tile floor that streams the water like one of those infinity pools. I didn’t know whether I should shower or swim lengths. There was a shelf of shampoos, conditioners, body soaps, you name it. All that was missing was: how to turn the shower on!!!

A shiny silver waste basket was underneath the granite bathroom vanity. When I used my toe to press the lid up, the can slid across the slate floor. Thankfully the hotel Egyptian cotton bathrobe softened my fall!


It was our wake up call.

It was dark. I groped for the toggle switches on the headboard. The lights in the shower turned on; the lights in the closets turned on; the lights near the door turned on. All I want is a light beside the bed to turn on.


“I’m coming!”



I slipped on the decorator pillows scattered on the floor.

“This is your wake up call. Have a great day.”

Ten minutes later the phone screams again.


I don’t even bother with the lights. I trip over the same heap of decorator pillows.

“This is your second wake up call. Have a great day.”

Yeah right!