A Policeman a Big, Friendly Policeman
pop quiz: you'll need to be a child of the 60s to get this one, for days when you 'watched with mother'
So there we were locked out of our hotel on the streets of Mayrhofen ski resort at 2am in the morning, after a great night at the Altitude Comedy Festival, in T-shirts and jeans.
Several Hours Earlier...
Checked into the Hotel Perauer where we were given one of those keys specifically designed NOT to be taken out of the hotel; a chunky hunk of metal weighing a couple of kilos. Knowing we were going out and would likely be very late back, we asked whether the reception would be open all night; “But, of course” was the reply. Checking again, we asked, “Do we need a door code or anything?”, “No, No, it’s fine” was the reply.
So, it being a really warm day, off we went in T-shirts and jeans, leaving our room key on reception.
Walking back to the hotel it was a bit chilly, but we had our beer coats on so it was OK. Approaching the hotel we noticed it was in darkness, not a good sign. Tried the door – locked. Tried the door bell – no answer. Tried to phone the hotel – no answer. Spent the next 20 minutes or so banging on every ground floor door and window – no answer!
Walked back to the venue of the late night session of the comedy festival, the Hotel Strass and managed to get the doorman to let us in. We outlined our tale of woe to the lady on reception and asked if we could have a room, “No, we close at midnight”. Much pleading ensued, but her mind was not for changing, we asked if we could sit in reception all night, you guessed it “No!”
Back on the street, beer coat wearing off, thinking – we’re in a ski resort in T-shirts, we could freeze to death.
Down the road was a sign for the Polizei, let’s try it. The Polizei station wasn’t open, but there was a buzzer/intercom; we were surprised and relieved when it was answered and the voice at the other end spoke English. We again outlined our tale of woe and were told to wait a few moments, the intercom went dead!
So we waited, and waited some more, thought about buzzing again, just as we were about to give up two polizei-men came out through the door.
They informed us that they had not been able to get an answer to phone calls either, but they knew where the owner lived – all hail the small town where everyone knows everyone! – and would go around there to get someone to let us into the hotel.
They advised us to go back to the hotel, so off we went. After several minutes sitting on the hotel wall a jeep pulled up and out jumped a young man, looking rather dishevelled and not very communicative. He told us to follow him, he unlocked a staff entrance, pointed us in the direction of the hotel reception, re-locked the door and left. We retrieved our room key from reception and made it to bed!
The next day, despite the weight, we took our room key with us!
- If you leave your hotel room key in the hotel, make triply sure you will be able to get back in.
- Hotel receptionists are not nice people.
- Polizei-men are very nice people.
- There are some quantifiable advantages to being in a small town where everyone knows everyone else.
- Don’t go out in a ski resort, no matter how warm it is during the day, in just a T-shirt and jeans.
pop trivia: “A policeman a big, friendly policeman”, from the signature tune of Camberwick Green’s PC McGarry Number 452, a ‘Watch with Mother’ from the 1960s.
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