Three men and a flush

Frustrating five-time flush

Pump five times if you want the toilet flush to work, PEGGY LOH is told in Horror Hotel. But this is not the end of her nightmare yet...

THAT whole afternoon, I was not to get any rest. How could I when there were three strange men in my hotel room – from the Maintenance Department?

When I enter a room, I would always first check to see that switches, locks, lights and the flush work. If anything is faulty, I would quickly ask for it to be fixed.

Well, the flush didn’t work this time, so I called Maintenance which sent a man over. I heard him tinker around in the toilet but after a while, he radioed a colleague on his walkie-talkie — probably because he failed to fix it. He then left and a second man came. I heard him use the shower to fill the cistern to test the flush mechanism. Then he told me that it was OK.

But when my roommate came back to use the toilet, the flush still did not work! So I phoned Maintenance again and a third man came along. He struggled for some time and then told me he could fix it but that it would take more than an hour!

Seeing my disappointment, he quickly reassured me that the flush could still be used. “Like this,” he demonstrated. He pushed the lever down in consecutive actions – once, twice, three, four, and on the fifth press, a full flush gushed out! So each time we used the flush, we had to “pam lima kali!”

It was a strange coincidence that within the same week, I found myself staying in the hotel again. This time, I had an upstairs villa with a tiny balcony and a sea view. As always, I checked and found a faulty lock on the balcony door. Then, while waiting for Maintenance to come, I realised that the air-conditioner was blowing warm air instead of cool!

When I told someone at Reception, he offered to change my room. In the second villa, I found that the locks of the bathroom windows were broken. At my request, the bellboy came to open the third villa and waited while I checked. Everything seemed fine but after he left, I noticed that all the bolts on the wooden window were missing!

Aware of my misfortune with rooms, I was relocated yet another room. It was close to 11pm when the bellboy opened the door of the fourth room. I was left standing outside as he failed to turn on the lights because everything was fused!

Finally, I accepted the fifth room even though it did not have a wardrobe or bedside lamp. I was not surprised that though the Hot Water switch was on, the water remained cold. I cringed to see a badly stained sheet under the bedspread but I bravely ignored it.

I fell asleep from sheer exhaustion but at about 4am, I felt something moving on my neck! With a swift reflex, I reached to swat it and in the dim light, saw a small black insect! It was impossible to fall asleep again.

Oh, how I longed for the three “Cs” — comfort, cleanliness and convenience – that are clearly not high on this hotel management’s list of priorities.

This article was first published in The New Straits Times, Travel Times on 7 June 2008

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