I don't know about you, but sometimes the whole 'staying in hotels and wondering if I will hear the fire alarm thing' stresses me out.
But then I am a natural worrier. I don't get on a boat without first wondering where the lifeboats are, a plane without counting my seats to the emergency exit, and car without first making sure the driver isn't a complete nutter…
Anyway, back the the hotel thing… on the rare occasions that a flashing light alarm is available I still wonder whether this method will wake me in the event of an emergency, so as a result remain nervous.
Twenty-five floors up the Waldorf Astoria I was more than a little nervous , but the excitement of the view and the promise of a fun day ahead meant, on our first night in the city, I went off to sleep with ease until..
*flash, flash, flash, flash
I woke up at 1am with my room being turned into a disco. The strobe light was going, the table lamps had come on and the fire alarm, which was low and loud enough for my ears to pick up was going off.
And so, no longer worried about whether the fire alarm would wake me, I instead to begin wonder how long it would take to get down 25 flights of stairs in a hurry if the building really is on fire? Particularly as I'd already seen the average age in the Waldorf Astoria was not all that spritely.
But I needn't have worried because soon, amid the still flashing strobe – yes, by this point it was causing me to see stars, too – a voice came over a tannoy and said something... And after a quick translation from my Rents, it was established that the whole thing was a false alarm and we could all go back to sleep.
As I lay there, the flashing of the strobe light indelibly imprinted on my now-shut eyelids, adrenalin coursing through my weary traveller body, I couldn't help grinning to myself.
I'd been woken by a flashing fire alarm. These things actually work for me.
And at least if mine ever goes off at home, I will have fewer stairs to head down – just several bikes to dodge and some flammable materials I hope don't explode in my neighbour's hallway.
Hmmm, I think I'll move back to the Waldorf Astoria.