I have the good fortune to be in Sweden on business this week, and it’s great for the people here because I’m saving folks right and left. I’m staying at the quietly luxurious Elite Park Avenue hotel in Gothenburg. On my first day here, overcoming jet lag, I walked for a couple of hours and really enjoyed the scenery, buildings, atmosphere etc.
I was pretty unconcerned about losing my way becuase I had my trusty iPhone with me. When it came time to head back to the hotel for something to eat I looked up the Elite hotel and found I was only about 15 minutes away.
When I got the hotel it had the Elite logo and the same Bishop’s Arms pub, but did not look at all like the same hotel I had left a couple of hours earlier. I thought I must have come in from the other side, so I walked around the block and it still didn’t look like the right hotel. I was very confused. I always keep the hotel folio they put your card in to remember the room number whenever I travel, so I pulled this out from my pocket and was astonished to find that I was standing in front of the Elite Plaza hotel, but I was actually staying at the Elite Park Avenue! So I looked up my real hotel in my iPhone and set off in that direction.
When I got about a block away from the hotel a very tall Swedish man was walking in the other direction and he started talking to me in Swedish asking directions. I started to explain that I did not speak the language, but he kept repeating a phrase and I recognized it as “The Bishop Arms” (with a Swedish accent of course). So I was able to direct him to where I was just coming from and felt very knowledgeable (even if the fact that I knew the hotel was due to my original gross misdirection).
When I finally got to my hotel I waited in the lobby for two men (and their luggage) to use the small elevator. I thought I’d catch the next one. Well they had a real problem with the fact you had to insert your room card before you could get the elevator to work. When one left the elevator I finally walked into it and put in my card and hit the button for my floor. Then he came back and they both started to try and hit their floors but it didn’t work. So I ran my card in the slot again, and they were able to hit their floors!
So it’s a good thing I came to Sweden, otherwise that guy might never have found the bar, and those two other guys might never have gotten to their rooms!