Let me start by saying that this hotel was very prepared for the arrival of 161 diamond guests. We got off our bus, walked in the door from the street and were handed an envelope that contained the keys to our room. There was no line, no running of credit cards, and most importantly when it comes to keeping things moving, no chance for people to try and negotiate for an upgrade. All 161 of us were checked in and on the way to our rooms within 15 minutes, or about the same amount of time it took the one person in front of me at Mandalay Bay last month. As I went up to my room, I noticed a couple of our group had stopped at the front desk to try and change rooms. Old habits die hard I guess.
|View from the room. Either these people work all night, or somebody forgot to hit the switch.|
For a while I thought that the local people must have some kind of secret way to tell if somebody is French speaking or not, as I was almost always addressed in English. Eventually though, I realized that I just have that "fish out of water" look about me. At one point a Scottish couple picked me, out of a crowd of about 30 people, as the most likely to speak English and came over to ask me for some directions. I was briefly pained that it was so obvious I was a tourist, and I considered hauling out some of my French 11 vocabulary, but "Mon crayon est jaune!" didn't seem like it would fit the situation. On the other hand, if it's that obvious I don't speak French, it should probably be obvious that I have no idea where anything is in this town either.
|Place-des-Arts Montreal. Home of the Just for Laughs festival and perceptive Scottish tourists.|