Aiming to be happier families.

THE GOVERNESS DIARIES – Series 1, Episode 10 – Troo de door, torn right

[If you’re just checking in, and haven’t yet read the preceding episodes of THE GOVERNESS DIARIES, click on the link to the right under ‘recent posts’, where you will find them. If some of them are not there, you will find them in ‘THE GOVERNESS DIARIES’ under ‘categories’, just scroll down to whichever episode you missed.]

So the day finally arrived when it was time to leave Italy and head back to the UK for the last 8 days of my contract. The contract was supposed to be until the 31st August but Vladimir used a loophole to breach it by giving me more than 2 weeks’ notice. Basically the reason was that they would move into their house on the 23rd August and would no longer require my services. That was before they decided that they wanted to keep me on, but the contract and pay would then change on the 23rd.

On the 14th, the day before we were due to leave, I asked if we would all be flying together (I had my ticket) and was told that “We don’t fly, the driver will arrive tomorrow at 9:00am to drive the car and we will leave to the train at 10:00am. We stop in Paris and will be in London on Thursday.” He then realised he needed to give me my booking for the hotel so he went to get it.

At this point, it dawned on me that my flight was only at 2:50pm. I mentioned this to him and he was all confused (his secretary had booked the flight).

So the next morning at 9:50 am the taxi arrived and took me to the airport to sit and wait five hours for my flight (no apology was offered – second mistake). Fortunately, before I got in the taxi, I asked if he had paid the fare or I would have arrived at Pisa airport and not been able to pay. (I had no euros left) Travel expenses, food etc. were part of my package.

While I was sitting in the airport, Vladimir called to ask if I had made it and then said, “Oh yes, by the way, when you get to London, perhaps you should also look around (town) as we will give you car to use. Our friends stay in (town) also and you can bring their children to school as well.” (!) – (Third mistake).

As Murphy would have it, my flight was delayed and I finally left Pisa at 5:15 pm. At this point I was getting a little peed off. When I got to Gatwick I would have to catch the express to Victoria Station (I had no idea how to do this) then get to my hotel and book in. Hair back to Victoria and catch a train through to pick up ‘English clothes’ from a friend’s house as I only had shorts and t-shirts, and then get back to the station before the trains from my friend’s stopped running. This also meant having to go to London Bridge instead and catch the tube through to Victoria (I am not fond of tubes as I do not yet have any sense of direction in London.)

On the plane I met a women with a mouth full of marbles – that was until she filled it with wine, and then the marbles rolled off down the aisle and she became my best friend who told me, “Just you stick with me darlin..g, I’ll get yer…err…yoo too Victoria.” – she did too.

And now for my hotel……

I got out of the taxi with my 20kg suitcase and dragged it into the lobby, where a man in a turban was hiding behind a counter. I presented him with my booking and he gave me a key saying, “troo de door, you be torning right and going down de stairs, room 5 yeah?”

So of I went, troo de door, torning right and going down two dam flights of stairs…. no room 5 yeah?” Back I went up two flights of stairs, torning left and troo de door. My 20kg suitcase went with me.”

Me:           “There is no room 5.”

Turban:    “troo de door, torn right down de stairs”

Me:           (patience wearing ever so slightly) “There is no room 5.”

Turban:    “yes.”

Me:           “no”

Turban:    “Down de stairs”

Me:           “yes”

Turban:    “yes”

Me:           “no….” (teeth grinding) no room 5”

Turban:    “yes” (then seeing my face) “I be showing you yeah?”

Me:           “yeah”

He got up and came to the door then turned around saying, “troo de door, torn right down de stairs”.

Me: “Ah, through door, turn right, turn left and down the stairs.”

(if you went through the door, you could see stairs going down on the right in front of you, but there was another door on your right immediately inside the door and stairs going down on the left)

Turban: “no, troo de door, torn….” I think my face shut him up as I carted my case down two more flights of stairs, along a dingy passage and into a room that smelt like mouldy bread. I had no time to think about that as I needed to get back to Victoria so I rushed off.

My friend met me at the station and we went back to his house where I had supper, packed some clothes and he took me back to the station with directions on how to do the tube thing.

I arrived back at 11:50 looking forward to a bath and bed. No such luck. There was only a shower, The bathroom (no light bulb) was covered in mould and the outlet from the toilet was wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent it from leaking. I stuck the waste bin in the doorway to keep the door open so I could find myself in the dark, showered and went to bed.

The next morning I was up early as I had no idea when the Russian brigade was arriving and they could call at any moment. I went to the front desk and asked Turban about the Wi-Fi so I could look for somewhere to rent in the meantime.

Turban:    “Wi-Fi is £5 per day.”

Before I left Italy I had Googled my hotel and their hotel to see where they both were and it had said Wi-Fi in all rooms – no mention of an extra fee. I told Turban this. I also said that the room was disgusting and the toilet had a plastic bag outlet.

Turban:    “You be moving room today, we did not ave single room awailabil so you move today to single room.”

Me:           “Wi-Fi?”

Turban:    “whole hotel is having Wi-Fi”

Me:           “Is whole hotel a health hazard?”

Turban:    “I give you Wi-Fi £5 for whole stay”

I then went to the “breakfast room”. Breakfast consisted of ‘help yourself’ orange juice, cornflakes and milk. While you were eating this a Russian woman brought 2 slices of toast and tea or coffee. The breakfast room was troo de door, torn right down de stairs.

After breakfast I messaged Vladimir to ask if they had arrived but got no reply. Towards lunch time I walked to their five star hotel and asked if they had checked in yet. They hadn’t. I then walked to Boots at Victoria station and bought a ‘meal deal’ (no lunch or supper available at my hotel.)

When I got back to my hotel I asked if my room was ready. It was a new guy (no turban) and he gave me the key informing me it was across the road. I carted my 20kg suitcase, my 7kg suitcase (English clothes) and my 4 kg laptop up two flights of stairs, out the door, down five steps, across the road, and then up 4 flights of stairs to my new room… or should I say, walk in closet.

There was a single… no make that a child’s bed with bedside table at the end of a narrow entrance. What I thought was a cupboard turned out to be a little cubicle with a shower basin and toilet. It was so small that if you dropped the soap, you either had to go out of the cubicle, and turn around to pick it up or end up with your head down the toilet. If I sat on the toilet, my knees were against the door, and I am not the biggest person in the world. To top it all, the bathroom smelt awful.

I put my suitcases down, clambered over them to get back to the door, which wouldn’t open because the suitcases were in the way so I climbed back over, stacked everything on top of each other, mountaineered over them and went back to reception.

Me:           “Seriously?”

New guy: (smiling) “It is small yeah?”

I decided to go for a walk. Later that night I got a message from Vladimir saying they had arrived and to meet him at their hotel at 9:30. Fortunately it was before I decided to have a shower only to find that no water came out of the hot tap, or he might have got a mouthful. Back to reception I went. New guy was gone and Turban was back.

Me:           “I have no hot water”

Turban:    “yes”

Me:           “whatchootalkinabout, yes??”

Turban:    “there is being no hot water”

Me:           “I think I just said that… did I just say that?”

Turban:    “yes”

Me:           “and?”

Turban:    “you go back”

Me:           I go back?”

Turban:    “Yes.”

Me:           and?”

Turban:    “You go back, I check.”

I went back and waited for him to come and check. He didn’t come. I checked. Water came out. I had a shower… almost. It ran dry after 5 mins. … I had a cold shower and went to bed very unhappy.

The next morning I got up. No water. I went across the road and new guy told me that the boiler is ancient and when too many people use the hot water, it loses pressure. I asked him if he really felt safe smiling at me when he told me this. He laughed and said there wasn’t much he could do as he just worked there but I should try again in about 10 minutes…. I got a 10 min shower this time.

I arrived at Vladimir’s hotel just in time. “Hello Deni, how are you.” he said.

Me:           “Not good,” I said, “my hotel is a dump and there is no hot water. “

Vladimir:  “You have electricity yes?”

Me:           “Yes?”

Vladimir:  “Well at least one of the services is working” (4th mistake)

Katja came down with the children then and she asked if everything was ok so I again said no. She frowned and said. Maybe you should come to shower here. (yes right, I will just walk through London in my pj’s and come for a shower). She decided that I must come to have breakfast and lunch at their hotel.

Then they said they had to organise stuff at the house and they left… Was this where I became nanny and not tutor anymore??

Scenes from our next episode in which…..

Vladimir runs out of mistake allowances…

Nikoli gets a taste of Deni’s wrath

Lina shares her frog soup with me … and … I find out about the spy.

(Insert Monty Python music here)




7 April 2013 - Posted by | The Governess Diaries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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