plan for the worst
The worst vacation in the world
Marie Lund wanted to save money on her vacation trip. It must be a bad idea.
Three thousand five hundred kroner for one night in a family room! I scream in shock.
It’s a warm evening in May, and I and I are sitting in the garden planning a summer twentieth century pandemic.
It’s too late to book of course, the whole kingdom is on a Norwegian holiday. But one doesn’t stop procrastinating just because someone in China was a bit reckless with a racket.
I can’t think of the economy
I continue. «Three thousand five hundred for two adults and two children in the Thun Hotel! I am Ota! » I say Ota in such a way that small drops of saliva come out of my mouth and land in the Ola glass.
“Maybe that’s the price,” Ola replies nonchalantly, as if the aforementioned sum were a layer between pocket waste.
Not hell, I think. Fifteen minutes later, I Googled a family room in a cute little mountain lodge in the heart of Rondan National Park for nine hundred dollars. Spartan, but cute. Ola is skeptical and talks about detours, hard mattresses, noise and bed bugs.
“The bunk beds are very comfortable, and you can probably sacrifice a few extra miles to get a great view. And at less than a third of the price, I object.
“You should never think about finances when you have young children on a trip. Always plan for the worst,” advises Ola in one last attempt to manipulate me with his charming hotel comforter wishes.
“But one must not take away from them the adventures that life has to offer,” I answer and press the command.
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The driving in the mountains is a lot further than I expected, and everyone in the car is pumped more than I expected. The younger one slept, hanging the night’s sleep by a thread, and the older one asked every two minutes if it had been so long until we got there.
Then at last we see a beautiful large palace bathed in the evening sun revealing itself before us.
This is not where we will live. No, a friendly local says and points in the opposite direction. We will live in a rustic barracks-like building on the shady side of a valley.
“It doesn’t look so bad then guys,” I say to raise the mood on the set while unloading the car. A positive attitude is important when traveling.
Our room is of a lower standard than the pictures and we do not have a private bathroom. By the way, I was familiar with the latter, but the communal bathroom should look as if visited by monkeys, I did not expect that. The floor is wet and sticky and above the blue vinyl are wet clumps of dope paper as if they were gray tints in a shallow sea. Along the edge of the pelvis is an unmarked beige rim and the mirror is covered with cracks resembling bursting blood vessels.
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Pizza wanted here
I returned before Ola had a chance to look inside. The group’s blood sugar should rise immediately and the site promised pizza. While the men find a vacant outdoor table at the front of the building, I sneak in for a quick exchange of words with the receptionist about the condition of the bathroom.
It’s the guests’ responsibility to keep the bathroom clean, and a young jazz fan can tell me in lame Norwegian. She’s just there to serve pizza and sell bedding for a couple hundred kroner range. How much do I want? I should have four then, I answer angrily.
For 1,700 kr we have now invested in a simple room with bunk beds that we have to make ourselves, with access to the bathroom which we have to wash ourselves.
“Look, boys, the sheep roam free here,” I say with false enthusiasm, as I join the others at the table.
“Yes, they are so free that they just hang out around the table where we are going to sit and eat pizza,” notes Ola. I looked down and discovered that my left foot was resting in a tower with dry stool. That’s too much, even for someone with low shoulders and a lot of good intentions.
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Like a labor camp
But it will only get worse, much worse.
During the night, the neighbors will hold a feast of squabbling through the paper-thin walls and the children will wake up sixteen times. The sink in the room will make the most disturbing falling sound in world history, and the light from the window will spoil the brain’s experience at night, even with towels placed on top of the curtain. I would wake up dizzy with a throbbing skull, flabby stomach and fuzzy red dots all over my stomach.
It can neither be called a vacation nor an adventure. I paid one thousand seven hundred crowns for what felt like a night at a work camp.
So folks, unless you have nerves of steel or very tight finances, listen to Ola’s good advice the next time you’re planning a vacation. Save yourself from couples therapy, trauma, and stress talk by being a little pessimistic on behalf of the family.
With ambitions low, no expectations and thinking about the worst cases along the way, there are good chances that the vacation will be great!
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