A few weeks ago, booking.com sent me an email with a header that said: “Alana, we’ve found last-minute deals for you in Ryde!”
I thought it was a little odd, as I’ve never expressed the slightest desire to visit Ryde while on the booking.com site.
I drive through the Northern Sydney suburb of Ryde on my way to visit Kathleen Folbigg in jail. I head to the sports centre for the State Skipping Championships. But it’s not somewhere requiring a sleepover because I only live 20 minutes away. I’ve heard the shopping centre isn’t half bad, but …
The following week, I got another email announcing: “Alana, last-minute deals for Ryde and Rome. Get them before they’re gone!”
Oooh, Rome sounds nice … but WTF does booking.com keep banging on about Ryde for?
A week later: “Alana, we’ve found last-minute deals for you in Ryde.”
The week after that: “Alana, add Ryde to your wish list!”
Er, no, I don’t think that will be happening. SHUT UP ABOUT RYDE FOR GOD’S SAKE!
Yesterday at 10.04am: “Alana, adventure awaits you in Ryde.”
And AGAIN at 1.15pm: “Alana – Ryde and Sydney! There’s a deal with your name on it!”
Booking.com you’re drunk, go home.
Adventure does not await me in Ryde.
It’s not on my wish list.
I don’t fancy a last-minute deal for the Comfort Inn, West Ryde, even at the bargain price of $130 a night with a lovely view of the golf course.
I think it’s time booking.com reassessed its email marketing strategy and removed Ryde from the back end of the “adventure” and “wish list” ones.
It’s not a wish-list kinda place, it’s a utilitarian kinda place. Although it does seem very popular on the website.
Among the reviews on Homely:
“No night life identified so far apart from local pub or TAB.”
“Flat and boring.”
“Too far from transport links.”
Those mad emails did get me thinking about what was on my wish list. My wish list was once very short. It was comprised solely of Waikiki. I was obsessed with Waikiki. I went to Waikiki every other year.
It drove my ex crazy. We had some rather ugly arguments over his desire to go to Cambodia while I steadfastly continued booking trips to Hawaii.
When I first met DD, I tried to convince him to go to Hawaii and we briefly flirted with the idea. But it no longer holds the same appeal. There are so many other places on my wish list that take precedence.
Sometimes I get a bit daunted by how short life is compared to the length of the list of destinations I want to explore with him.
We’ve already hopped and skipped across the United States briefly. We’ve been to Melbourne and the Gold Coast and the wilds outside Braidwood. But there’s so much more that beckons to me.
The problem is there are also the demands of single parenting, budgets and full-time work to factor into the equation.
We’ll get there, slowly and surely. We’re already pondering a few places.
But not Ryde, those thrilling last-minute deals will have to slip through my fingers.
Thanks anyway, booking.com
Song of the day: The Beatles “Ticket to Ride”