Most of the time, this blog’s content comes at the expense of my sanity. That’s why I write about travel so often. After nearly missing a flight due to spontaneous arts and crafts and then actually missing a flight for taking too long to drink tea, I’ve come to regard any travelling with trepidation. This past week—in which I encountered many situations that could’ve resulted in my being stranded in the wilderness of Detroit, Michigan—didn’t disappoint.
The first instance was 9PM, Monday night. I’d flown to Detroit for a conference and arrived at 5PM—I attended 1.5 out of the 3 days—and the venue closed at 6, so by the time I made it there, all I could attend for the day were the afterparties. The three people I knew from my university were tired, so I showed up alone to a 7PM event downtown to mingle with other conference attendees. There, I met a mid-30s-looking local and we stuck together for most of the event.
9PM, there was supposed to be a conference-sponsored bar crawl, but when I announced I was leaving, two strangers vehemently suggested I not walk alone in the dark through downtown Detroit lest I get kidnapped.
Internalizing the logic behind staying cautious and evading murder by strangers, I asked the guy I’d met an hour ago to walk with me to the bar crawl. (I imagine it’s like how you’d ask a stranger to watch your stuff because you’re scared of strangers stealing your stuff.)
Miraculously, I was not violently dismembered—if he’d been a shady character, probably he’d thought I’d be too easy—and my friends took me back to their hotel room with them to sober up. Originally I’d planned to crash with them, but that morning they’d texted their place was the size of an Austin apartment bedroom. I slouched into the single cushion of their room and overstayed my welcome until 1AM.
Me: You can check into a hotel past midnight, right?
Friend 1: Yeah, should be fine.
I chalked my paranoia up to trauma from my last travel misadventure, when United overbooked my flight and departed early. Turns out it was foreshadowing.
When I arrived at the Courtyard Detroit Downtown at around 1AM, the front desk lady winced.
Front desk lady: Ooh, about that… We ran out of rooms for the night.
She printed out a piece of paper.
FDL: Bring this to the hotel across the street and see if they can accommodate you. See that black door in the corner? Go through there and walk through the skybridge to Tower 1.
I blinked. The heated lobby air felt like sandpaper against my eyes. And then I started walking because when I’m tired you can basically get me to do anything, including begging random businesses to house me for the night.
Several minutes into walking the sky bridge, I came across an unmanned front desk. I called the front desk, and FDL picked up, telling me no, I was at Tower 3 and needed to keep walking toward Tower 1. I’d turned to continue down the hall when a cleaning lady approached me, brandishing her mop. I didn’t react, probably because this was all beginning to feel like a fever dream.
Cleaning lady: *pointing at escalators* Go down.
Me: But the lady on the phone—
Cleaning lady: No. Down.
Had I even told her where I was going? Regardless, I felt like it’d be impolite not to listen considering this was a large open space and she could see which direction I took, so I followed meekly. As we awkwardly descended on the escalator, I thought back to high school English. Specifically, the hero’s journey, in which the wise wizard figure guides the protagonist through the beginning legs of his quest. Or maybe the lady was the hero figure and I was one of those dumb villagers the protagonist tries to protect before the villager dies a stupid death anyway for not watching his step.
I stepped very carefully off the escalators and discontinued that line of thought.
She dropped me off at a set of doors, and from there I found myself in what looked like a hotel lobby. I began walking toward the closest position of authority, the front desk, and was intercepted by an Asian couple. The man, who was drunk, directed me to floor three, but since I am not an auditory learner, I continued toward the front desk to ask.
Front desk man: This is the valet. Check in on Floor 3.
Drunk man: Youuuu didn’t trust me?? You wanna go to the valet instead??
Drunk man: Are you Taiwanese.
At this point, my friends saw the picture of the hotel paper I’d texted and began calling hotels. Friend 2 said she’d stay up until I found a place. I walked up to the front desk and ran through my arguments for letting me stay the night, the most convincing one being “… Please?”
The front desk lady, however, took one look at the sheet and put me into the system. It finally clicked that the hotels were part of the same company. I trudged up to my room, informing my friends I was okay, and opened the door.
Two beds to myself. I shot them a pic.
Friend 2: Can we trade rooms?
As if. I’d earned the right to relax here for the next three hours.
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Also, I decided my goal is to have this humor blog show up when you search “funny blogs to read when bored and on the toilet.” I will also accept “popular personal blogs to read,” “sarcastic blogs about life,” or “best personal blog sites that waste your time.” Thus, I’m including all of these phrases at the bottom of every post until at least one comes true.