Hotel billing drama

In late October I’m travelling to Germany for an ISO Photography Standards meeting. Although I no longer have a job paying me to go to these meetings, I wanted to keep up my work on the standards committee, for several reasons. As the chair of the Australian delegation mirror committee, it’s up to me to do most of the work involved in keeping Australia as an active member of the ISO committee. If I resigned the chair, it’s not clear if Australia would continue to contribute actively or not. Maintaining my presence also keeps me up to date with the technology and various contacts in the industry, which is important for future employment.

Anyway, without an employer to organise my travel, I had to book my own flights and accommodation. Unfortunately, I got an email from Amoma.com the other day, informing me that they were ceasing operation of their online hotel booking business. Some brief searching found new stories indicating that Amoma had filed for bankruptcy on Friday, and anyone who had a hotel booking with them has lost their money, and possibly also their hotel booking.

I contacted my hotel in Cologne to confirm if they would honour my booking, and said that I would pay on arrival, now that Amoma won’t be paying them. The only bit of luck was that the hotel said they’d keep my booking for me. The bad bit is I’ve now lost nearly $500. I’m in the process of trying to claim it back from Visa as a case of services not received, but I’m not sure how likely that is to succeed.

Apart from that, I did some handyman work around the house, finally getting to covering up the undercoat on the walls where the plaster cracking has been repaired. We’ve had these bare white patches on the cream coloured walls for several weeks. Now they’re retouched with the original wall paint colour, and the place is looking a lot better.

I also went for a long walk around lunch time, stopping at a bakery for a pie for lunch. They have a few different types of pie: harissa chicken, Moroccan lamb, beef goulash, and mushroom. Normally when one sees “mushroom pie”, one assumes that it’s beef and mushroom. But I was a bit surprised to discover that it was just mushrooms – no meat at all. I don’t mind that, and it was really delicious, but it was surprising.

And in the afternoon I spent some more time organising things for the Magic: the Gathering event I’ve been working on for my friends. And then processing and posting some more photos from my last ISO meeting trip, to Portugal in May. It’s been a pretty full day.

Douro boat

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