At Sun Moon Lake: A traveller’s nightmare - A Month in Taiwan - CycleBlaze

January 4, 2019

At Sun Moon Lake: A traveller’s nightmare

The phone rings, waking me from a deep slumber.  Before answering it, I quickly look at my iPad and am alarmed to see that we’re being charged a $150 damage fee by our hotel.  I answer the phone, and it is a Booking.com representative calling to tell me of the issue.  I’m very confused and say there must be a misunderstanding, because we just arrived a few hours ago and are still in the room.  I state that I will speak with the hotel manager and then call back.

I step outside the door and am confronted by a very angry trio.  Their spokesman is an old man of color with an enormous Afro, sitting in a wheelchair.  They are outraged that we are sleeping in the town’s schoolhouse.  I ask which of them is the manager, and they say none is.  That man is no longer in town either, and they’re furious at him too.  

They’re especially angry because the girls basketball game is supposed to start, but it can’t commence while we’re sleeping in their school.  I look around, and am startled to see that I’m in the middle of a small gymnasium.  A girls basketball team, in uniform, is sitting in the bleachers and spectators surround them.  Everyone looks very angry.  It feels like things could turn violent at any moment.  Obviously we’ll have to leave immediately.

I close the door and explain the bizarre situation to Rachael, who is now awake, and tell her to start packing up.  I call back the Booking.com representative, who is confused too but agrees we should leave.  He says we will not be charged for our stay, and that they will probably write new policies for how to manage situations like this in the future.  I tell him that I hope we can find somewhere else close by, but am doubtful.  We are in an isolated area in the middle of the Great Plains, Oklahoma perhaps, and miles from nowhere.  Rachael and I are both exhausted, and I’m afraid we may end up driving all night or sleeping in our car.   I tell the agent that when this is done we may ask the company for compensation, and we end our conversation.   Rachael and I quickly finish packing up open the door to leave the room with our belongings.

I wake up again, this time at our room in Laurel Villa in Sun Moon Lake.  It’s apparently time for us to think of returning home, alright.

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Andrea BrownThis is a variation on the stolen bike/passport/handlebar bag/backpack dreams that plague us when we travel. Oddly we never have collision/flat tire/biting dog dreams, which would be far more realistic. We haven’t had a Booking.com dream yet but seeing as how you use them and AirBnB nearly every night I can see how it would be very relevant. The basketball team was a creative touch. Well done on the dream, sir! And Oklahoma is supposed to be nice this time of year.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownYes, I was tickled by the basketball team also. I’m hardly a sports fan, so I’m surprised they made it in. Oklahoma was a surprise too. You’d think there would have at least been rain. I was sure some of the nuances would be gone in the morning, so I wrote it down immediately.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyThe amount of detail that you captured is impressive!!

I'm so glad something similar didn't happen to us when we slept in the Simms gym. A few people had mentioned that the night shift custodian wasn't fond of surprises and I was fearful that somehow she would see us before the school officials alerted her of our little slumber party.

I suppose dealing with an angry custodian would still be better than waking up to see the girls basketball team and a bunch of riled up spectators ...
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2 months ago