Every now and then, when one of the guys in my team is in vacation and I have to cover for them, I get to spend a week in this small ass village at the end of the world. Like last week. From what I know, there is only one decent hotel and that’s where I stay. The hotel itself is not that bad, the building is relatively new, 3 stars, the studio-type room I usually get is big enough, “free” internet (the hamsters pushing the bits are a bit worn out though).
But that’s not what I want to talk about, I want to talk about the breakfast. You can have breakfast in the basement, where the mess hall is. The second you go through the door, you are intercepted by a member of the breakfast Police, as I like to call them. It consists of 2-3 women which take care of the whole breakfast area, the food and so on. So right after you get through the door, someone suddenly shows up: “What is your room number?“. Without exception, this messes up my morning for several reasons.
First of all, I don’t like people who don’t give me peace in the morning when I am not even awake yet. I like to sit at my table undisturbed and drink my coffee/tee without someone annoying the shit out of me with stupid questions. Secondly, they check you up so that you don’t come there and eat your food if you didn’t pay for breakfast. So guilty until proven innocent, very nice. Anyway, I tell them my room number and I try to move on. Wrong move!. “Please leave your backpack over there!”. So you can’t take your backpack with you because, like the thief you are, you might steal food. I am not kidding, that’s the real reason, they even have a thingy on the wall saying so. You are not allowed to take an apple or another roll with you when you leave. The fact that I pay additionally for breakfast seems irrelevant to them. Besides, I don’t like leaving my backpack with the laptop and many other things out of sight but trying to argue with them is useless. I tried to do that at the beginning but then I just gave up. I just told myself that I will sue them if someone steals my backpack.
Like most hotels, breakfast is a swedish buffet where everyone takes what they need. Besides the fact that they put parsley on the scrambled eggs (yuck!) the food is good, coffee as well, fresh rolls of all kinds and so on. And everything is perfectly arranged. Much too perfect. Annoyingly perfect. Everything is lined up to the milimeter, the plates, cups, glasses. The slices of salami, ham and cheese are arranged in a perfect symmetry. Even the damned boiled eggs are arranged in a symmetric pattern. Someone over there has some serious issues, I would say.
In the end I would’ve gotten over it, a bit of order is good. But what’s incredible is that after someone got some food and went back to their table, a member (or two!) of the breakfast police shows up immediately. A cup or a glass was taken ? The rest is rearranged. A plate was slightly moved ? Then it’s moved back into place. A cheese slice is missing ? The rest is rearranged to keep the symmetry. The fork on the ham plate is not in the approved possition ? It’s moved immediately. I think they do that every 2 minutes or so, they come, they inspect, they rearrange.
I just usually watch them with fascination. It’s so stupid that it becomes funny. I actually can’t help it and, with some sort of sick pleasure, I do whatever I can to mess up the symmetry when I get some food: I take my cup from the back row, same with the glasses, I move the plates a bit, the salami slices, the boiled eggs, the honey pot. But in a few minutes one of them shows up and repairs my damage. All this is in stark contrast with the hotel I usually stay at in München. Over there nobody messes up with you in the morning, you can have breakfast in peace. Everything is arranged nicely as well but nobody has this sick obsession with perfection and symmetry, nobody gives a damn what you do with your backpack and so on.
With some luck I won’t visit this hotel in the near future!