2:30 a.m. Scratch, scratch. Scratch…. aaargh, grope for the light switch. What the hell are those little black spots all over my side of the bed? (oddly enough, not Hers). Stumble out of the room, downstairs, harangue the night manager of this unexceptional hotel somewhere in Sultanahmet, the tourist district of Istanbul. Another room, please. Now.
Wind back to the Seventies. Embarking on the great Asian overland journey, I am dossing down in a flophouse somewhere down a lane near the Blue Mosque, right here in Istanbul and not far away. Over breakfast, a French backpacker displays the red, inflamed welts all over his back, to the amusement of one and all.
Deja vu… but this time the welts are all mine. Will I jump onto TripAdvisor and can the offending hotel? Actually, no. They handled it as well as could be expected and apparently it can happen to the cleanest of hotels. Just mighty strange that it should happen here, again, by the banks of the Bosphorus.