The Max is really quiet on this visit; the quietest I’ve ever known it. The lady says they are at 50% occupancy but I would be surprised if it was as much as that. The Cine Paris films have been really rubbish, but oh what a pleasure it is to have a porn cinema to sit in at all—a long lost pleasure in London. It is worth the 14 euros just to enjoy the pleasure of sitting in a porn cinema, a really really plush one at that, whatever films are showing. There, now the lounge is filling up with people, putting their bags in the lockers—arrivals or departures I do not know. Italian.
I have never known this hotel so quiet. Silence. Even the tray full of croissants was untouched yesterday, so the Spaniards are not here. I don’t mind starting drinking really early today, as I just want to head up to Rue d’Aerschot early and spend an afternoon there. Nothing to rush back to Fifth for now I know there are no stars around (except for that infuriatingly elusive girl who I saw briefly on the first night and wish I could see again). So yes as soon as I am ready to get up I will go to the shop and get a couple of beers to get me started. I have to book my room for another night as well, as I could only afford to book 2 nights before payday!
I don’t know why every time I come to the Max, at this time every morning the lounge is filled with a large family/group of SPANISH people who sit at the table with the free croissants and scoff the lot between themselves before disappearing back to their rooms. Always Spaniards. It cannot be the SAME ones, unless they live here, so must just be a coincidence?? No one else gets a chance with these croissants. By the time anyone else gets there all that’s left is crumbs. They must be on a really tight budget if they’re so determined to have the free croissants for their breakfast. 10AM. Check out in one hour, leave my bag in locker and spend one hour in Cine Paris perhaps.
The whole Max side of the Boulevard Adolphe Max from Rogier down to the Max is being ripped up—installing internet cables apparently. Really pretty Xmas lights—multicoloured cubes of light. Very nice.
So in my Max Hotel now by 545PM, and in the Max lounge with my Jupiler beer by 640PM. I’d better get a move on or it’ll be too late to go to Fifth Avenue. Thank God, the Max had a room for me, 45 euros. It has been a long, and unnecessarily expensive journey to get here, but at least I feel where I belong. As always at the end of a long journey across Europe and back, I can’t help feeling I wish I’d stayed in Brussels the whole time.