Bridge Holiday in Luxor - January 1996 - Difficulties with Roommate
I booked the bridge holiday to Luxor, knowing that I would have to take pot-luck on who I shared a
room with, but thinking it was bound to be okay. The group organiser met us at the airport with the tickets, and she told me I would be rooming with Win. I knew a Win who I had had a good time with on the Sorrento trip a few years previously, so I was greatly relieved. She is a short, rather plump lady with a very good sense of humour, who carefully saved her money over the year to be able to splurge on a bridge holiday. But when various people started arriving and I didn't see her, I got a little worried. Finally I asked Pauline, our leader, "Is everybody here?" and she replied, "Yes, I think
I have seen everyone now. "Well that is strange," and suddenly I realized my mistake. There were two Wins - the sweet and pleasant one I had been expecting and Irish Win - who was one of
those I had been most hoping to avoid. I don't know what I looked like, but I felt just awful, and told Zaib - my bridge partner who had a single room, "The person I'm rooming with isn't who I thought it was. It's a person who is very loud." I was being polite. Just then I noticed that Irish Win had arrived, and I wondered if she had overheard me. From anticipating such a lovely time, I suddenly was dreading it.
Win is a pretty woman, with a strong Irish accent, who is obviously quite well off. From previous
encounters, my impression of Irish Win was somebody who was not only loud, but who was drunk most of the time, and rather abusive, and certainly not "proper" as the English would think of it. I
hesitate to use the word "common" but I must admit that would sum up what I was thinking. That makes me sound like a real snob. A lot of people might have thought of my other friend Win as
being common, because she was so obviously poor and from a working class background. At least I didn't have to play bridge with Irish Win because I remembered her a being an awful player. I should be ashamed of myself for judging her so harshly on such a short acquaintance, but I did, and this story is supposed to be honest, if nothing else.
Finally we reached the Hilton almost at the end of the sector of Luxor called Karnak, and right on the Nile. We dove through some gates and up a tree lined avenue, and were deposited outside a three story hotel in white stone. We went through big glass doors, continually manned by a doorman, with an armed security guard just outside.
The lobby was open with couches interspersed here and there,. and the decorations were very large
wall hangings in bright colours. There was a big fountain in the lobby itself went up for three floors. We were offered a fruit juice drink, and we discussed whether the water would be bottled, and
decided being the Hilton, of course it would. So we drank it.
I stuck with my roommate and thought I might as well find out the worst straight away. Win's friend Fran, who was having a single room, said, "Why don't we ask if your room can be next to mine. So Win thought this was a good idea. When we finally got to the desk, she told this to the man, who looked through the available keys and found none of them near each other. So he sent off someone to see to it, and we were told to wait in the lobby. Eventually the man came back with two
keys 230 for Fran and 232 for us. We wre very pleased with the room,. and took off our shoes and Win put her bottled water in the frig. I started unpacking and suddenly realised there was no balcony.
"What, NO Balcony?" she shouted. "We have paid good money f or a balcony. We have been promised a balcony and by God we will get a balcony." First we went over to see if Fran had a balcony and sure enough she did, although it was a poor excuse for one not being big enough to put one chair in - let alone sun bathe in.
So Win called down to the lobby. "This here is room 238 and we were promised a balcony and we haven't got one. So what are you going to do about it?" The man promised to find us a room with a balcony and would come up as soon as he could. So 10 minutes later, he came and knocked and said we could have room 244 which had a balcony. So we gathered our bits and put our shoes on, and went to find 244. But it had a double bed. "I'm not sharing a double bed with you," shouted Win I don't even like the idea of sharing with a man but I'm certainly not sharing one with you" I agreed and I decided I'd sleep on the couch. The man looked vastly relieved, and said he would get me some pillows and blankets. "You will not sleep on the couch," Win shouted. "This is your holiday and you've paid good money for it. " So she got back on the phone and eventually, yet another man came up with yet another key - and we got a room with single beds, and a balcony. By this time she realised that she had left her water in the first room, but I don't think even she had the nerve to call down again to ask then to come and let us back into the first room to get her water. I was so tired and tense about the whole roommate situation, that I was just pleased when we were finally able to unpack and settle in.