There were several things that I should've paid more attention to as I ambled my way to the Kingsgate Hotel.
First, its name.
Why the King's gate, and not the king's room, or his palace, or something more grand? I pondered.
And then there was the cheap accommodation.
Unfortunately such thoughts weren't audible enough for me to notice as I raced across the Melbourne streets heaving my luggage trying to find... King Street.
Hmm, maybe that's why it has King in its name - it's on King street!
Surprisingly, the place wasn't too much of a walk from the station where I was dropped off.
Cool, now I can have a shower and get changed.
Before entering the complex I noticed an award plaqued on their entrance proudly showing an award they won back in 2002 for "Best Budget Hotel".
As I walked up the stairs to the foyer I saw my mate Chris waiting. When he saw me approach he put down the pamphlet he was browsing and beamed a big smile.
Is he smiling because the rooms are good? Or because he's just happy to see me?
"Ew, what's that smell?" he remarked after shaking hands.
"I need to get changed," I said and as we made our way to our room I told him the story of what had happened during the flight.
When I entered our room my initial reaction was a strange one. The room had two single beds, an old closet with a couple of drawers underneath... and a sink right in the middle between the two beds.
This is it??
"Whaddya think?" Chris asked.
Oh please don't tell me we bathe in the basin??
"Umm, where are the showers?" I asked more concerned about getting into some warmer gear.
"You just go down the hall, turn right, turn right again, go to the end, turn right again, turn left and then turn left again," he answered giving appropriate hand signals to each "left" and "right" like a policeman directing traffic.
Famous last words.
After grabbing my toiletries bag, a change of clothes, a towel and bar of soap provided by the hotel my body screaming for a shower.
Okay, right, right, left, right, left, left, right... easy.
Upon making my first two or three turns I thought I would've been there by now, but I found myself at a dead end!?
I walked back the way I came... or so I thought... and heard voices with what sounded like water lapping down from a shower.
Upon getting as close as I could to the noise I had successfully found the showers... the women's showers.
Ok, the men's changeroom HAS to be nearby.
And do you think they were??
I walked up and down the hall, looked around the corners at both ends and couldn't see any indication of a men's changeroom.
What to do, what to do?
Do I just walk into the women's changeroom and ask? I joked.
That'd be nice, but no doubt would more than likely see me thrown out of the hotel (unless they were Dutch tourists)!
What if I wait, and then ask.
It sounded like a good plan.
So I waited at a fair distance away from the door - at the end of the hall.
(Well I didn't want to look like I was keen or anything!)
And boy did those women shower.
What could they possibly be doing? I thought, waiting for what seemed like an hour, I could've found the men's changeroom by now, have finished AND eaten dinner!
Admittedly I was too far away to hear whether they were still showering, so after waiting an eternity I decided to walk past and sense whether they were still alive and maybe hadn't drowned.
The closer I approached to the door the more certain I became that they were no longer in the shower - there was no shower lapping noises.
I couldn't hear anything!?
How could I have missed them? I wondered, they would've either walked passed me, or I would've heard them walking up the hall in the opposite direction when I wasn't looking at the door!?
It didn't make sense, so to make certain that no one was in there I decided to put my ear to the door (no I wasn't going to go in... although it was tempting! ;op... Well, hey, by going in at least I knew I could get a shower if no one was in there, right?).
And then no sooner had I began edging my head closer to the door did I hear...
Followed by a sudden push of the door ajar...
Aw, my head!
The chic handling the door gasped and as I was rubbing my head she apologised profusely.
"Oh I'm so sorry, so so sorry, I'm really sorry..."
If there were a million different ways of saying sorry this chic said it.
"I'm fine I'm fine," I said rubbing the side of my head thankful that the damage wasn't that bad and that my reflexes were still sharp.
Now making use of their attention I asked, "Do you ladies know where the men's changeroom is?"
"Oh yes," said the overly apologetic woman, "you just go down the hallway, turn left, go to the end, turn left again, and then left again, and it should be on your right."
Okay, left, left, left, right.
"Thanks," I said as I began walking away with my new set of directions.
"Ew, what's that smell?" said the other chic, "Fiona, what soap did you use?"
"The one they gave us, which one did you use?"
I hurriedly walked to the end of the hallway and chucked a lefty.
After several minutes I finally found what I was looking for: the men's changerooms.
(Who said women are hopeless with directions? They must've been Dutch!)
And you wouldn't guess what.
The two showers both had occupants in them.
As there were no seats to sit on I decided to sit on one of the toilets and wait.
You should've asked one of the chics to kiss it better, you twit! I joked as I rubbed my head.
I wasn't thinking straight.
Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long for one of the blokes to finish his shower. As soon as he left I entered the vacant shower.
Aah, at last.
Unfortunately, though, I soon discovered that both showers shared a common drain. Even before I had switched my shower on soap and muck from the other bloke's shower was streaming through.
I quickly turned on my shower and began flicking his muck back over to his side.
And then it happened.
The worst possible sound that could be uttered on two showers sharing a common drain... the other bloke let out a deep guttural loogie.
I turned up the shower pressure as much as it could bear and created mini tsunamis towards the drain so that no loogie could ever make its way over to my side.
Soon the second worst sound ripped through the men's shower... he blew his nose.
By now, there was so much water on my side of the shower that I could've easily had a bath. Water eventually lapped over the edge of the shower rim and began spilling into the remainder of the changeroom.
I didn't care.
I didn't want to battle and dance around my shower with loogies.
No doubt the water was spilling over on his side too, and it wasn't long until he turned his shower off, dried and then left.
But I was still fearful of those loogies.
Have they been flushed yet?
I tried my best at showering, but doing so with one leg keeping the tsunami tidal flow was difficult.
Upon jumping out I looked around for my towel.
I couldn't believe it. My towel had fallen off of its hook. Not only that but the clothes I was going to change into I had left on the ground (there were no shelves in the showers) and they were now soaking wet. What was worse was the fact that I only had brought one pair of jeans - thinking that Melbourne was going to be warm this time of year (I know - silly Perth boy).
How the heck was I going to dry myself off with a soaking wet towel?
Don't worry... just dry under the hand dryer.
Okay, now how was I going to tackle this? Should I go out in the nutty, lock the main door, and then wriggle under the thing until I'm done? Or should I wrap the towel around myself, lock the door, and then dry myself the best I possibly can?
I don't know. I didn't care.
I walked out into the main changeroom area with my soaking wet towel around me and tried my best to lock the door. The wet towel didn't provide much cover, and what was worse was the main door wouldn't lock.
Okay, plan B.
I grabbed the only dry clothes I had left, which were the vomit stenched ones... see, when I went into the shower I put the clean clothes I was going to change into on the ground, took off my dirty clothes and placed them on top of the clean clothes, now the smart person would've probably swapped the two around (putting the dirty clothes on the floor), but remember: I was too busy creating tsunamis to keep Mega Mucuous Man from contaminating my shower space... anyway with my dirty clothes I made my way to the hand dryer.
I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do considering I couldn't lock the stupid door... and I definitely didn't want to get caught in any "strange" positions with the hand dryer while attempting to dry myself, and if things couldn't have got any worse today I soon found that the hand dryer didn't work AT ALL!
No, I lie... it worked, it just needed a hamster that was still ALIVE to run the stupid thing as the noise it was making sounded like whatever was generating the fan and heat had died a long time ago.
So there I was standing with a dripping wet towel around me, a change of good clothes that were also wet under one arm, and a change of dirty smelly clothes that were dry in the hand of the other.
What to do? What to do?
It's late. More later...
1 day ago