HONEST REPORTS, DAY BY DAY FROM QUARANTINE HOTEL, HOLIDAY INN HEATHROW (TO SEE DAY EIGHT)
OR SECOND DAY TEST RESULTS
I woke at six after my hideous Hammer House of Horrors. Checked for my results but no because of stupid stupid WiFi.
By eight I was the proud owner of a spanking new negative result. This was actually sent out in the wee small hours but not received until a small flickering signal must have infiltrated my room. Yeah baby now I could go kick a little arse. I would now have leeway to see any changes when I asked questions. Now I could breathe and have a little fellow inmate feedback. (I would find that it was all the same as mine, all tales of misery bad food and WiFi, claustrophobia, insulting treatment by the ‘guards’ etc. However all I met were in couples or families and I was only the only solo at that point I believe except for fellow traveller from Mexico who I never saw again and later the older woman who I mention later. They were all horrified about me suffering this alone)
Exulted and completely over the top I wandered around my room singing ‘ Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree’ and doing a little jig then there was suddenly a knock. Surely not breakfast bag time yet?
It was, in fact, another engineer about the WileyFickleness who said that in fact there were four rooms including mine all around the router in the corridor that had been rebooted more times than I can count.
‘Well isn’t that odd that the four rooms closest to the router are getting no signal?’
‘Yes I’ll just reboot’
‘Er nooo. that’s been done and I’ve only just managed to get a signal’
‘Someone from outside called and complained’
‘Yes well I’ve done that for nine days now and nothing has worked so you’ll not fix it that way I can assure you’
Then the phone rang. Bianca at the desk suddenly was sounding very pressurised. Someone had called to complain from outside. Hence the sudden early bird action I guessed. She mentioned the moving my room thing which I quickly declined saying that had been offered before then confusingly wanted to pass me onto their provider again. No, no, no that’s also been done alongside all the techy stuff for all my devices. Do these people not communicate? The whole point of all this techy stuff is to have all your shit to refer back to? It clearly doesn’t work on oh so many levels. Everyone is shambolically passing the buck or getting above their stations to leave you to rot in your room going slowly mad.
Then Sophia the desk manager called she had known nothing about this she declared. Something fishy was going on, cages had been rattled by that call from the outside. I then compounded her anxiety by saying that people confined in this way could be made even more mentally unstable by this problem and I would be seeking a meeting with the general manager tomorrow. She countered with she would bring it up at her meeting today. ‘That’s fine’ I purred ‘I don’t want to cast the hotel in a negative light in these tricky times but I will be writing about it, so I really need to cast a fair light on the hotel which I can see has been commandeered by agents of the government’ Silence.
This conversation went on more as my thinly veiled threats included food quality and the no-cash policy. I reassured her that I would be speaking to the CTM manager on duty too for I have many bones to pick with them starting with calls to them whilst I was still in Mexico.( I was wrong about that, CTM just organises the ‘packages’ ineptly and rudely from a distance and seem to be mostly Indian whereas the ‘guards’ at the hotel run amok with power and are mostly Indian. I will go into this at a later stage) I want to speak to the doctor not the disease with that lot.
I’ll have a chat with ‘liaison Paul’ (DHSS) if he’s about, and to the medical team, I want to find Camillo who was the only one who respected the fact that food is part of health and finally got me proper dinners with salad and bowls of mixed vegetables alongside meat without curry sauce. My room now also abounds with fresh fruit and in just the two days of avoiding curry on everything with all sorts of artificial crap in them, fizzy drinks constant rice, no fruit or veg to speak of, my gut feels like its regaining its inner health and my mind has actually been lifted at dinner time. Thank you Camillo you are a star.
With these plans in mind, I also made a list. I want a financial breakdown of this huge bill. I want to see where all my money went. I want to drag back some of my self-respect and challenge this whole debacle, this fancy jail for wayward people who dare to travel.
I’m trying to catch up with my first days here but day three has become elusive. Due to my terrible depression, I wrote nothing and have been playing catch up. Although it nowhere near explains the misery of these long hours of insanity at least you can glimpse behind the curtain of one on these enforced stays as an epileptic, claustrophobic stress-ridden solo, now ancient, traveller.
For today my friends I have stopped cringing around, now I have that test result I can get back to being my old feisty enquiring self. I have been very browbeaten but always polite and always stuck by their bloody rules. Let them think they had put out my flame for they will see a forest fire coming to them.
Sadly now though having been up for so long I must admit I’m getting the fidgets. The day is gloomy so I’m going to have a glass of Pinot with my paper bag lunch.
Cheers my dears!
Interesting. Just went down to go outside and asked for G4S manager, the guy, Sammi, who came up to me but refused to give me his second name as he was the ‘duty manager’ told me he would get the general manager to speak to me. He was very twitchy about why I wanted names looking accusingly at my notebook and pen. Upon returning back he snippily said that he had told me that it would be half an hour. When I then asked for Paul the liaison he said he wasn’t in and wouldn’t be for two days. Now I had just seen a bloke going through asking for Paul and he said that no, Peter was in today and he would send both of them to my room. You remember the children’s nursery rhyme that includes the verse ‘Fly away Peter, fly away Paul, Come back Peter come back Paul’? Well those two dicky birds were always flying off the wall. They indeed are very twitchy what on earth could possibly go wrong.
Let’s see as now I’m back in my room. I saw another older lady outside the lift on the second floor and she was also returning keys that had been cancelled. She started talking to me and we were rebuked for talking even though I had made sure to keep a big distance from her. As I returned to my room I could hear her shouting ‘this is like a bloody prison!’. She was, however, also indignant about my mask exemption so it would seem that we would never have seen eye to eye.
Let us see if I have any visits.
Well I can report back nobody wanted to touch me with a bargepole. Not that day nor the following day. All their managers disappeared pouf! No sir names were known, no eye contact was made I was indeed now a person who could cause a shit load of problems and nobody should speak to me.
THE NEXT DAY. DAY TEN
OVER AND OUT FROM A PERSONA NON GRATA.