That’s my second short visit to London and the second fire exercise I live; only this time it happened to what by my biological time would have been 6 am, and by local standards was 4am!
Anyway, they (locals) have magnificent systematization: a red-lighted alarm intermittently flushing from the ceiling, ringing that loud to rise-up the deeper sleeping ones (even myself), paid its service to the hotel guests.
First I could not believe it’s real; it was; out the window I could see people rushing on the stairs; I knew better and tried to live with the noise; no way, so I finally had to recognize being defeated, to dress and get out (it’s great how easily you enroll the herd culture); the fresh wet 4am air welcomed me, along the rest of the herd. Merrily I’ve met Cxna and we’ve compared our experiences; she assured me that’s not a stupid exercise, since she sensed some smoke smell @ level 1.
The neighbors were so much diversely dressed: same bare-feet, some wearing sandals, some in shorts, some wearing nice white towel around their body; only the young nice ladies were much too dressed – Cxna as well.
The friendly wind was chilly enough to head you to a shelter; we’ve crossed the street to City something Tower Hotel; they were also very well organized; the security procedures provided that the access doors to the lobby should be closed when their neighboring hotel was playing fire extinction exercise; a very polite security officer opened them enough to read his lips: no dogs allowed! In fact the guy was totally right: it was my stupid choice to stay across the street; I warmly recommend to anyone this particular hotel, safely guarding its guests and assets.
The authority was there: firemen & policemen, very impressively dressed, exactly I’ve seen them @ mighty TV or in some movies; the hotel receptionist was well prepared as well for the event and wear a nice orange alarm vest, prepared to jump into that damn fire should it exist.
The clearing procedure is thorough, which for all of us sensed to be lengthy: after quarter of an hour they shout-up the stupid alarm; after more fifteen minute they resumed the AC supply; after some more responsible & efficient firemen checks in the lobby toilets, quarter of an hour later they powered the elevators; a total of sixty refreshing minutes since the first alarm ringed.
Bottom-line it was an unforgettable waiting for the sun rise. Guess what: I have no go to bed desire, I fight only to repress my criminal instinct; so I’ve passed this introspection-deflation exercise.
PS: I was lucky in the end; I used the first working elevator (by the way, it is a speaking one, getting you informed whether it is going up or down, what’s the status of the doors is – closed or opened, where in space you are, maybe some good advice to take care how to step in or out – I don’t remember clearly) and enjoyed the royal favor to stay in between the best looking refugees in the lobby: the red haired Cxna and a mignon brunet. However life is still unjust: both got to different floor and regretfully to so much different rooms.