While preparing for study abroad, I had a lot of fantasies and expectations swirling around in my cute little head. Some of these included taking candid yet obviously posed Instagrams, drinking cheap wine in outdoor cafes, galavanting across Europe (read: spending all of my money across Europe) and perfecting the art of acting like cigarette smoke doesn’t bother me. Interestingly enough, none of these fantasies and expectations included having my hotel room broken into in the middle of the night. But I’m a #goodcatholicgirl and I know that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, or you can’t always get what you want, or something.
This weekend my program had a class trip planned to Portugal. We planned to go to the beach, visit Lisbon and Port, and eat more seafood than our bodies ever wanted to digest. However, our first night in Lisbon took a weird and scary turn.
Thursday night, I woke up at about 1 am to my roommate and friend, Kelly running towards the door and screaming “Amanda there’s a person in our room!” As I was startled into consciousness, Kelly tripped and fell while yelling “GET OUT” to the shoulder of the man she could see in our doorway. At this point my body was working through panic, confusion, anger, life saving aggression and fear. The only thing to come out of this? One, loud, high pitched, blood curdling, glass shattering scream. I don’t think any other human has produced a sound like I did that night, and I’m surprised the entire city of Lisbon didn’t file a formal complaint against me. Between Kelly and I breaking the sound barrier and probably some other laws of science and physics, our visitor made a swift exit never to be seen again (despite his horrendous neon yellow quarter zip).
After our door closed Kelly and I experienced moments of intense panic. Adrenaline pumped through our bodies and we could not get out racing hearts to slow down. What occurred after seemed to rush right past us as we tried to orient ourselves. We knew that Kelly woke up to noise in the hallway, and as she went to double check if the door was locked she saw a man’s shoulder in the doorway of our room. Although we both like to pride ourselves as strong and independent women, having a stranger break into our hotel room was nothing short of terrifying. During the next hour we talked to the hotel staff, my parents, and good for nothing lying teenagers.
While I talked on the phone with my parents, hoping they weren’t booking the next flight to Portugal, we heard a knock on the door. Thinking it was a person from the hotel Kelly was surprised to see 3 teenagers at the door. This is where everything took a turn for the worse, because apparently Teenagers™ are put on this earth to torture me.
They say there’s always threes sides to a story right? Yours, mine and the truth. In this case it was our side, lies and MORE LIES. The three kids told Kelly that their six year old brother had been playing around in the hotel, and accidentally stole our key card from our light switch.* This story didn’t exactly match up to the tall figure Kelly saw in our door, unless six year olds in Europe are kleptomaniacs and also 5’6”. Let’s hope these kids aren’t pursuing careers in law. However, after some CSI worthy detective skills we learned from the hotel staff that a group of high schoolers had been at the hotel for the past three nights, and had been terrorizing other guests with their shenanigans and rampant hormones. Needless to say we made some pointed eye contact at breakfast the next morning, but just fell short of yelling at teens a la Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.
We still aren’t completely sure how these youths got into our room, which is probably the most unsettling the thing about this story. We could laugh about Kelly falling, or my horror movie scream, or even the fact that teenagers tried to convince us that a teenager was actually six years old. However, we couldn’t sleep quite as easily the rest of the night, even with our chair propped against the door as if we were building a barricade in the midst of a French revolution.
If we learned anything from this trip it is to double, triple, quadruple check that every lock on your hotel room door is locked. Additionally, teenagers are scoundrels never to be trusted and beach days with gelato cure mostly anything. On a more serious note, we are more than relieved that nothing was stolen and more importantly no one got seriously hurt (except for Kelly skinning her knees may they make a swift recovery). Let this blog post be a warning to any other shifty teenagers I share a hotel with and may they
get off my lawn stay out of my room.
*European hotel rooms do this cute thing where you have to put your keycard in a slot in order for the electricity to work. It’s usually right by the door, so it would have been easy for them to open our door and take it.