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Living the High Life, with Guilt July 17, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in travel.

I’ve had this trait in my personality since childhood: don’t spend money. And when I do I often have a tough time enjoying it.

The plane trips of the last few weeks have been pretty bad. But for the first time in a long long time (more than a year, I think) I really missed a connection yesterday on my trip from Glasgow back to Marseille – and got stuck in Paris. My flight arrived more than 30 minutes after the last train to Marseille had left (the flight, out of Heathrow, was delayed by more than 2 hours due to weather and other things). So I had to find a hotel. It was close to 9pm when I came to this conclusion, so I walked into the Paris airport Sheraton. At that point they were almost out of rooms and had only the “Club” room. By the time I signed out it was a touch over 300 euros. With the very very very weak dollar that isn’t 500 bucks, but is is darn close. So I took it, not willing to spend another hour getting off site to another airport.

I’m pretty sure that is the first time I’ve ever paid that much for a hotel room.

I did my best to enjoy it. Really. I ordered the free breakfast (it was good, but the fresh OJ was amazing). Stole most of the bathroom soap thing-ys. Tried to use each bit of furniture in the room. Enjoyed the view of the planes pulling out and in from my window. Sat in the bar downstairs and had a very expensive beer. I didn’t use the internet: it was 10% the cost of the room for 24 hours of use! For that cost they should have a fiber connection directly to my brain!

Being able to walk down an escalator and climb on a train, about 10 minutes, including checkout, after I walked out of my hotel room? Priceless. 🙂

What burns me about this is that after I made the decision to stay there, and had paid, and had checked in, I kept thinking about it. At that point it was too late: time to move on. Enjoy the room! Nope, instead it festered. Even after I checked out this morning and was standing on the train platform thinking that I’d spent too much (well, it is true, I had, but it was a little late at that point!).

I’ve often complained to people that we don’t get paid enough in this job. True only so far as I look around at what others in the business world with similar skills and training get. But I obviously get paid enough to be able to do this in an emergency. And it is very nice not having to worry about this sort of thing.



1. carlbrannen - July 18, 2007

Gordon, did you know that WordPress now allows LaTeX in both comments and blogs? I’ve been having a blast.

Also, I got my first five physics journal citations, four of them off of that formula for the neutrinos I found last year. So I am now theoretically a physicist. Ah, what the heck, let’s see if I can type the formula correctly the first time (without preview).

The neutrino masses are \sqrt{m_n}/\mu = 1 + \cos(2/9 + 2n\pi/3 + \pi/12), where \mu^2 is a constant with units of mass.

2. gordonwatts - July 18, 2007

Ok — that is cool!

3. Pat Heron - July 18, 2007

Gordon, you are worrying. Let it go. Now you have a standard to compare other hotels. And it’s one camera you’ll put off buying — for a short time anyway.
Your mom-in-law

4. gordonwatts - July 19, 2007

Ha! Yes, I suppose you are right!

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