Monday, 28 April 2014

The red round bed Hotel in Tororo – Rock Hotel

On a recent road trip back home to Tororo, we sought out a place of lodging in town that would be acceptable to the entire party travelling with us. 

Our basic check list was for a place that was close to the town’s main street, clean and hygienic, good food and quiet. Little did we know that this would be a tall order even though we had pretty much decided to manage our expectations from the get go. 

So here is how our hunt went with a kick of humor Tororo style, at one well known hotel in Eastern Uganda I hope you enjoy.

None of us had ever had the opportunity to stay at Tororo Rock Hotel before and after this visit I was sure I would never visit again. As we pulled into the gate, the security man flagged us through and we proceeded to the parking area in front of the hotel. We were greeted by deafening music which did not even allow us to hear each other speak as we walked through the front doors of the hotel which had cables dangling in a crisscross manner against the wall to the DSTV dishes at the front.

My Cousin: “Hello!”

Female Receptionist: “Hello, welcome to Rock Hotel.”

My Cousin: “Thank You, why are you playing loud music outside – do you have an event or something…?”

Female Receptionist: “No, we only have discos on Wednesday and Saturday nights at the hotel,” she said with a smile on her face.

My Cousin: “Ohh...” (As she looked outside in shock at how unbothered the staff was by the loud music playing)

My sister: “We would like to look at your single occupancy and twin rooms.”
My Cousin: “Oh and family rooms.”

Female Receptionist: “Okay, he will take you up to look at them.”

Male Receptionist: “Follow me.”

We followed him through dimly lit hallways with walls that could do with a coat or two of paint and as we swung around the bend we were greeted by a male Caucasian foreigner with a firm voice that weighed heavy with displeasure.  As he saw the male staffer from the reception, he immediately turned around and began to engage him in conversation;

Foreign Occupant (Male): “I do not have water in my room, is there a problem.”

Male Receptionist: “No sir, I will sort it out after I finish here.” 
(With that response, the white middle aged gentleman went off in haste in the opposite direction to his room to wait patiently to be assisted by the staff of the hotel.)

We brushed that aside and did not think much of it as we waited to view the rooms so that we could get a place to stay as dusk was fast approaching. After climbing an elaborate flight of stairs, we got to the single room and looked around for a bit. The room was sizeable but old fashioned and basic, carpeted but pretty dimly lit and with tiny bathrooms. It also did not help that the entire hotel had not been well maintained, so in summary it was nothing to write home about.

My Cousin: “Why is it so dark?”

Male Receptionist: “The lights are off.” (His turning on the lights did not help the situation at all so he headed for the windows only to be cut short midway.)

My sister: “No, it is okay. Let us see the other room.”

Now for a hotel of its stature and history I was disappointed but we did not check out just yet, we asked to see the family room (double occupancy rooms that open from one room to another). 

These rooms are often favored by families that are travelling with their 1 or 2 small children in the group, as was our case. As we went up a stair case, we passed a by a room with an open door and the occupant stormed in our direction towards the door as he had seen the male hotel staffer ahead of us.

Ugandan Occupant (Male): “Sir, there is no water coming from my shower.”

Male Receptionist: “Okay sir, let me finish with these people and get back to you.”
Our party began to giggle and whisper among ourselves as we exchanged looks of shock and disbelief.

My sister: “Sebo do you have a water problem?”

Male Receptionist: “No we do not madam.”

We all shook our heads at this receptionist who was either in denial or there must be some trick he had up his sleeve to keep the water on or off to regulate the customers’ usage - but we did not have time to find all of that out.

All these assumptions and mental pictures I was drawing up were brought to an abrupt halt when the male receptionist opened the door of the family room and let us in. We walked in and it was pretty much the same arrangement as the previous room even matched by the dimly lit ambiance. However, this time he headed straight to the windows and drew the curtains only for one of the windows to be frost covered – or so we thought, until we walked closer and realized it had not been cleaned properly.

My sister: “What is that?”

The receptionist frantically attempted to use his hands to wipe the smudges from poor cleaning off the windows to no avail until he finally simply drew the curtain. At this point my cousin could not hold her laughter in anymore and burst out in giggles. Now aside from the 2 beds and a door that opened into an adjoining room so as the male receptionist used the key and started to open the adjoining room, we were both keen and hesitant on seeing it because silently each of us wondered what could possibly be any worse that what we had seen. But when he turned the door knob all our mouths fell open as we walked in.

My cousin: “A red bed!”

My sister: “Eh, who would want to sleep on a red round bed, is this even standard for a hotel?”
Me: “So how does an adult sleep on it – probably across in the center so that they are sure not to fall off in the middle of the night?”

Male Receptionist: “It is for couples, this is where the parents would sleep and then the children….” (He was cut short by cousin as she said)

My Cousin: “And the pink walls, hihihihi…ehhh, so what you are saying are my husband would sleep here. Hhhm!”

My sister: “Maybe it is the lover’s suite.”

We all burst out in laughter and walked out of the room all the way down the stairs past the reception and out the front door with no hesitation. It is safe to say no one slept on the round red bed as we did not check into the Rock Hotel.

Only in Tororo.
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