True to Life Nightmare — The Evacuation to the Inn of Unexpected Horrors

It was two years ago. Some family members and I had to evacuate to an inn on a hill because there was threat of flooding in our community. We hurriedly packed our possessions and placed everything that could fit in the loft of our house before leaving our home. Most of the inns on higher grounds were already fully occupied so we didn’t really have a lot to choose from, that’s why we just settled for any available room that was vacant and can accommodate our group.

The inn was definitely not welcoming. The receptionist looked bedraggled and was curt as we checked in. We were led to our room and the funkiest musty smell automatically assaulted our noses. My niece, who’s iffy about a lot of things, wasn’t able to stop herself from saying, “Ew-y!” — I was inclined to do the same, but I noticed this undulating crack across the ceiling of our room. All I could think of that moment was whether we were safer there or if we had just stayed at home — I was like an Israelite that had left Egypt in the time of Moses.

My sister wasn’t too happy with the room as well — she said, “This smell reminds me of cockroaches.” Oh, our cockroach-detecting noses! Our great fear of cockroaches has made us very sensitive to their presence and I hated it that moment because I knew I would be up all night because of it.

I couldn’t believe we had checked into an inn that was perfect for a horror movie. The building was sure to flunk industry standard building and pest inspections. You don’t need to be a professional inspector from BPI Noosa or an expert on architecture or carpentry — whatever, to see that the building poses a lot of safety risks. The cracks were everywhere: walls, floors, ceilings and stairs; I don’t know why there were cracks but I was certain there hadn’t been any major earthquakes in our area and the building was still relatively new as we were told — the owner probably did without an inspection, that’s why the building was so poorly constructed.

I decided to explore the place to see if it had any redeeming factor, as well as to cleanse my nose of the musty stench of our room…oh dear lawd! I nearly had a Linda Blair in “The Exorcist”-inspired projectile vomiting moment; there was a massive map of black mold on the interior wall of the lobby! The horror didn’t end with all those — around midnight, I heard noises — there was a mouse and two cockroaches jaywalking across the room.

The place presented the perfect recipe for a nightmare. Even if we still had several hours to our accommodation the following day, we headed back home really early — I needed to get outta there, we needed to get outta there…but not before we pointed out that our room had unwelcome critters; the staff made no apologies for our awful experience. Rude intensity level? 10 out of 10.

I don’t know if it’s good manners to ask hotels, or inns if they had been professionally inspected recently or if they have certification of passing inspections, but I believe I will be asking the next time I decide to check into one because I certainly don’t want another experience like that especially when I’m paying a reasonable amount of money for accommodation. Hopefully, by doing so, these businesses would be reminded of the standards they are to uphold and restore the classic great service with a smile.

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