(This true story is based on the original text from October 2014, that I had written in German language. With the translation I also added some details that got lost in the first version.)
One of the countless displays within the hotel
I met quite some people in my life who would be delighted to go to Disneyland, but be assured I have never been one of them. Theme parks, amusement parks, all that sounds like a nightmare to me. I would probably get drunk, beat up Mickey and end up peeing into some fountain. But as we know, the universe loves irony.
In October 2014 I spent some time in Portugal (again) and on my way home, I had to catch my connecting flight to Leipzig in Paris. My flight in Lisboa left in the morning already and I arrived in Paris before noon, but it made no sense to leave the airport, so I waited bravely for a few hours for my connection. When the flight was finally ready for boarding, the responsible airline decided out of the blue rather not to fly. Without any informations, the flight was cancelled. For hours the airline company chased the passengers from one counter to another, it was spoken about alternative flights to leave Paris, but in the end it turned out that none of the passengers would fly anywhere that night. The fight about the morning flights started amongst the passengers, the first airplane flying out did not have enough seats to take all. I managed to get promised a seat, because I told the woman behind the desk, that my cats were home alone. Which was true, my cat sitter had left my place in the morning and had no time to return.
It was after midnight already, close to 1am, when finally someone gave every passenger a hotel voucher. We were told that whole Paris was booked already, and a bus took us on a quite long ride, spiting us out in front of a huge Disney Resort Hotel. The reception was closed already, bar and restaurant as well. Two people were called to check us in. I asked for something to drink and some food, I got a small papercup with water and some candy instead. And a keycard to a room that I wasn’t able to find for quite some time because the place was huge.
It was so late at night and the bus for the morning flight was going to leave at 5am, so I decided not to go to bed at all. Instead I took a long shower, to find out that my only clean t-shirt was a bandshirt of NON/Boyd Rice. How naive I was, when I bought it and thought that DISNEYLAND CAN WAIT (1). After the shower, I went exploring.
The whole place seemed to be made out of plastic. Completely air-conditioned, the windows would not even open. Huge glass displays filled with Disney figurines everywhere. I started to feel trapped and went outside, passing by a vending machine with water and more candy. I had no small cash and starred longingly at the overpriced small Vittel bottles. I did not dare to drink water from my bathroom, not in plasticland. Who knows, maybe I showered with recycled urine of other hotel guests. With candy flavour. In a place like this, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out. The reception was closed again, of course, no one to change some money.
I had a few crumbs of tobacco left, which I forced into some paper, to pretend to be a cigarette. Smoking, wandering around, I was quickly caught by two security guards. One huge black guy and a tall skinny white fellow, both in uniforms.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? – What does it look like, I am obviously smoking! The guards seemed to have problems to process this information. It seems no one ever smokes at night in Disneyland. Next they asked me, almost with an impending voice, do you have a problem!? – Well yes, actually I do have a problem. I need food, a strong drink and now also obviously tobacco. Both of them looked at me with regret and shook their heads. I raised my eyebrow and replied: Well then, Disneyland clearly sucks!
*squeal* WHAT???? NO!!!! You are going to see Disneyland tomorrow, how can you say that? (The big black fellow suddenly spoke in a very high voice) – I HOPE NOT, with some luck I am out of here before dawn. – BUT, but, you’re a girl! Every girl loves Disney!!! *squeal*
Did those guys look at me? I came from the forests & mountains of Portugal, and although I had showered, my fresh shirt did not really smell fresh after mingling with my dirty clothes a long hot day in Paris. I wore army boots, an army jacket and I roll my cigarettes myself. All in all, that doesn’t sound very girlie to me. Also, I am not 12 years old. A few minutes earlier they seemed to want to arrest me, to squeal like happy cartoon pigs a minute later, every time they say Disney. The big black one with the more badly-fitted uniform even jumped into the air a bit when squealing DISNEY! DISNEY! DISNEY! *jump-jump-jump* I was not really sure if I wanted to listen to the song “People”(2) or “All Pigs Must Die”(3) first.
I wish the story would stop at this point. But it didn’t. I booked Etihad, I paid the price. Lesson learned. In the morning, the bus brought me back to the airport. The airplane did fly. Just not to Leipzig. I landed in Berlin instead and the airline company did not really feel responsible to get me to Leipzig, my booked destination. Most passengers gave up and took the train or bus on their own cost. But I was not willing to pay for that transfer. No one fukks around with me when I am that hungry and tired. To make a long story short, I ended up traveling in a bus with an Indian travel group, who did fly in from Paris as well, and needed transfer to Leipzig. I functioned as their translater and with a group that big behind me, no one ignored me at the airport anymore. The old German bus driver was very happy about my presence, because he spoke no English and all the continiously babbling Indian students seemed to scare the shit out of him. He has never been to a Disney Resort Hotel I guess.
All in all, I arrived home almost 20 hours after my planned arrival. The cats were fine, but very very hungry. Disneyland waited in vain.
(2) Boyd Rice: People (album: Music, Martinis & Misanthropy)
(3) Death In June: All Pigs Must Die (album: All Pigs Must Die)