Reasons to hate Reading #4

Not being able to get out of the hotel car park.

The hotel car park was full when I got there yesterday so I had to park in the secure parking.

This is secure because you need to press a button to get out the pedestrian gate and to get back in there’s a keypad with a four digit code which I checked with reception last night.
So feeling chipper, in fact so much so, that I almost certainly wouldn’t be blogging on this subject today I went to the car this morning, put in the code to get through the gate, no problem.
Got into the car, cleared the windows and drove round to the car exit where there’s a similar keypad to the one to get in the pedestrian entrance.

I put in the same number and nothing happens.

Pressing the alarm buzzer does no good either, so I reverse back into the car park and press the button to walk back out the pedestrian gate to ask the code for the cars which is obviously different and it was my broad Scottish accent which made my enquiry to the guy at the desk last night incomprehensible obviously, but there’s load of folk checking out so it takes me 12 minutes to get to speak to someone.

And she tells me the code is now 1986 for both gates.
This means, for anyone who lost track, that they changed it in the time between me getting through the pedestrian gate and getting to the car exit

Not at 07:00. 

Not at 07:30. 

Not even at 07:15. 

Just vaguely, around about eight minutes past seven.

Incidentally the design of the stupid remote fob for a Fiat 500 means that when you turn the key to start it the boot unlocks, so I drove all the way in with it flapping open because there was nowhere to pull over to get out and close it again.

In the interests of balance I should’ve pointed out before now that the pool in the hotel is really nice.

Actually, there are a number of nice water features in and around Reading, particularly at the Oracle Centre, around the business park I’m in with its little fish ponds and of course the Thames itself. 

Judging by my own experiences though this is probably deliberate to promote a calming atmosphere in the knowledge that everything else about the place is designed to make you angry.

Including the water, which down here actually feels like you’re washing yourself with a piece of slate, thanks to its hardness…

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