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Thursday, March 18, 2021

On the Blink (My First Night at Hotel Gosford)

Deadset in the middle of Gosford (corner of Mann and Erina Streets) rises this historic hotel, erected in 1926. The internal elevator is just as an ancient, and is said to be a museum piece. I was somewhat skeptical on my first night here on Wednesday since the hotel is a cheapie with shared bathrooms. My concerns congealed when I realized, after checking in, that there was no remote controller for my TV. It was a steamy day, and my shirt clung to my back like a cheap shower curtain. I rummaged through all the drawers, peered under the bed, even teetered on a chair to examine the top of the clothes rack. It was a trifle dusty, but there was no controller to be found there. This could be a problem.

Table and chair for lessons and a fridge, but the TV didn't seem to work (Australia, 2021)
I rode the rickety lift two floors down to reception, where I reported my predicament. A great deal hung in the balance: this was my recon mission, and if the Hotel Gosford failed this first test, I would have to upgrade into something more expensive for the coming longstay. Thankfully, the lady at reception provided me another device, which she assured me would do the trick. I took the stairs back to my chambers, traversing some office space on the first floor. Something about the lift gave me a dodgy vibe, and I didn't completely trust it.

Rickety old lift at Hotel Gosford (Australia, 2021)
Returning to my room, I aimed the remote squarely at the TV, squeezed the on button. The set refused to respond, but just hung there, impassively.  Damn it, I thought.  I am not normally a complainer, but this was important. Something had to be done.

The second cheapest hotel in Gosford (the Ibis) cost at least $100 a night, or $3600 per month, I could survive without television for one night, of course, but how about the longstay (or the even longer stays which loomed beyond?) If the TV didn't work this time, what else might not work in the future? This was a dry run of the Escape from Oz which is due to begin in just a matter of months. It was a critical battle, one worth fighting for.

I was on my way downstairs again when I met a member of housekeeping on her rounds. I briefly informed her of my predicament, and she kindly accompanied me to my guestroom. After fingering the remote controller for a while, shuffling around the batteries, shooting from different angles, she surmised that the TV was on the blink. (That might, possibly, be why the remote was removed in the first place!) She promised to move me to another room, and new keys were delivered to me promptly. Five minutes later I had been transferred to a nearby wing, facing the Imperial Centre (behind the yellowed blind).


My new room, with remote controller and Indian snacks, at Hotel Gosford (Australia, 2021)
I performed a rapid once-over, just for the record. Air conditioner, check. Idiot box, working, and receiving both Newcastle and Sydney channels. Chair and table, comfortable enough. I didn't need them tonight, but I would once I started teaching here. Bar fridge, plugged in and chilled. Hopefully it was cold enough to freeze beer, but that was yet to be determined. 

Catching a little telly before bed (Australia, 2021)
Checklist compiled, I went out, because I had better things to do than sit in my guestroom watching TV! I ate some cheese tteokbokki and kimchi at the local Korean restaurant, then downed a couple of Asahi Dry pints at the Bon Pavilion. Later that night, just before retiring to bed, I caught on the news that there was a big storm coming in. Luckily for me, I had Alfie's raincoat to protect me on my trip home tomorrow.

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