Saturday, 18 June 2011

Sofia with a bad taste

This is gonna hurt. And gonna hurt bad. I have loved my time in Sofia that is for sure. However it only takes one night to sour our relationship. That night was tonight. 
Make sure each venue is Open
Following a beer at our local restaurant, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try out the 'Sin City' leisure complex. It was advertised as FOUR clubs in one venue, however having paid the 8 BGN Lev door charge I find out it is only one club. The other THREE are undergoing refurbishment. Nothing on the website or reviews tells you this. The one club that IS open is crowded and uncomfortable. Bouncers on every corner wearing black t-shirts with 'SECURITY' on the back don't aid the ambiance. When I asked about the other THREE clubs I was directed to the manager who offers no explanation other than politely escorting me to the exit. Nice public relations move, he hasn't read my blog, but that's for another day.

The Night Gets even Better
A taxi to Lavov Most (Lions Bridge) was flagged down, and from there I made the short walk towards the Happy Bar & Grill which has been a frequent source of refreshments and nourishment during our stay. I am hungry after a long day sight seeing and our closing ceremony (updated photos will be here) and at some stage between this and the huge Lion edifices adourning the local bank I was 'pick pocketed' by a professional.

Near 'Happy' Grill in Sofia
The Professional Touch
Out of nowhere, I was approached by a 'lady of the night' offering her services. Anybody who has been to Sofia will testify this is not unusual. However this particular 'lady' at the same time makes a grab for your 'crotch'...the surprise is one thing, taking your hands out of your pockets to protest is another. At this instance you are defenceless while she rifles through your pockets and off with your wallet, I reckon it took 3 seconds, tops. I'm a pretty streetwise kid, and this caught me out, big time, so be aware.
Hotel Difficulties
So, on my return to the Princess Dedeman Hotel in Sofia, I ask to speak with the 'Night Manager' as it is now approximately 2:00am and I have had a long walk back, short on money and temper. I have to go through the same story with the bell-boy and desk manager, before the Night Manager arrives to ask what is happening. More frustration. I explain the situation and advise that the Hotel need to take my pre authorisation as payment or they don't get paid once I cancel the credit card, simple? No. They suggest another form of payment, or perhaps a bank transfer in the morning, none of which is an option. A military interview takes place before they decide to process the card details I provided on arrival. They are ok. I can now cancel my 'stolen' credit card.

I ask for some food given I still haven't eaten, and am hungry. This is too much like hard work right now, I don't have the energy for another debate with the night manager about how I am going to pay, so head off to bed. What has happened to 'Customer Service'  I wonder? Dedeman Princess Hotel and Sofia you can and should do so much better.

Happy Ending
At 5.00am I get a wake up call to the room advising that my cards have been handed in to the Hotel, which is a relief given the night I have had. Although I lost my wallet and a small amount of BGN Lev, I am happy to have my ID cards back. Not a memorable last night in the city, but one I am happy to put to the one side.

No comments:

Post a Comment