Mixed feelings

With mixed feelings I glance outside. It’s raining. It hasn’t done that for a while. We certainly can use it and I hope it will rain a lot more in the next two months. But today I would have liked to see it differently. Because the delegation from Alicante can arrive at any moment. To check whether our Casa Rural meets all the necessary requirements. When the bell rings, I jump up enthusiastically. The fire is on and both living and dining room are pleasantly warm. While her colleague is still taking pictures of the front of the building, the lady takes a seat at one of the tables. My mother makes two cups of coffee while I get a pen and paper from the office. When her colleague also joins us, we can start.

I glance at the list in front of her. I think I might have slightly underestimated the time a check takes. Fortunately I have no guests today and plenty of time. I think. Because I already went wrong at the first point. I raise my eyebrows in surprise. “The official permit sign? Should that have been there already?” I smile apologetically. I was under the impression that I was only allowed to order that after all checks had been completed. I immediately make a note. It should come as no surprise that more notes were soon following. Mostly small things. Easy to solve. Or recommendations. Which are not mandatory, but very useful. Once we have gone through the entire document and her colleague has taken photos of all the mandatory items, it is time to view the rooms.

These are also carefully measured and inventoried. As she glances at the full-length mirror in the first room, she notices that it is a bit on the narrow side. “I don’t know if everyone can see themselves in this,” she says. Because I can’t deny that, I try to solve it with a joke. “I could just not serve breakfast to the guests who can’t see themselves fully in it?”, I blurt out. No reaction. Thank God. Because although I like to write and know how to choose my words on paper a lot more carefully, I still miss the mark quite often when speaking.

That this is an understatement becomes clear when I quickly enter the town tall, shortly after the delegation from Alicante have left for their next appointment. With the list of things that I still need to add and/or improve in my head, I unsuspectingly ask the employee behind the counter if they might have some complaint forms for me. When she places a form, a little dazed, a minute later in front of me and starts explaining how to fill it in, my heart jumps with fright. I look at her in shock. “I don’t have any complaints!”, I shout quickly. “I need them for the guests of our Bed & Breakfast,” I explain. “That seems to be mandatory,” I conclude. Luckily she takes a breath of relief, sits down behind her computer and tells me exactly which municipalities have the forms I want. I thank her and quickly leave still blushing with shame. It is with mixed feelings that I tell the story to my dad as soon as I get home. “I’m so ashamed!” I tell him, while he stops his work for a moment. “Poor Andrea!” he exclaims. He shakes his head sympathetically. Then he starts laughing. Secretly it is very funny. If it weren’t so embarrassing.