She Used a Washing Line Abroad and Emergency Authorities Were Called. What Happened?

Image Credit: Dean Drobot & Shutterstock

Going on vacation to new places is mostly a fun and exciting experience – you get to experience new cultures, try brand-new food, and visit world-famous landmarks. However, there are occasions when we go overseas that we discover certain things aren’t as they appear to the naked eye. For this one American tourist, one of these discoveries led to her triggering the alarm system in her hotel in Portugal. Wait until you find out how…

So It’s Not a Washing Line, After All

The original poster (OP) explains that she has recently arrived in Faro, Portugal, for a vacation. This part of Portugal is particularly popular with tourists as it is home to stunning beaches, warm weather, and gorgeous towns and villages.

Laundry Time

As soon as she checked into her hotel, she had a few dirty things in her bag that she wanted to wash from a previous trip. So she put the clothes into the sink and let them soak for a while while she went to unpack her remaining things in her bedroom.

When she returned to her clothes, she noticed a toggle coming out of the wall that she assumed to be a washing line. After all, it was wiry and coming out of a wall – it’s not an unreasonable assumption.

However, when she came to pull it, she found that it only came out of the wall by an inch. Assuming it was just stuck in the wall, she tugged at the wire several times, but it wouldn’t budge. After a third time, she gave up on it but noticed a red light flashing in the room and her room phone ringing.

It turned out that OP was tugging on an emergency string and that the hotel receptionist was desperately trying to contact her as they thought she had fallen and hurt herself. Thankfully, she answered the phone quickly to let them know she was okay before they called for emergency services.

Not the First and Won’t Be the Last

Luckily, the people in the comments section weren’t too harsh on OP. The vast majority could relate to her as they, too, had gone through a similar experience in that part of the world. One user said: “Oh, no. As soon as I read Faro, I knew exactly what had happened. LOL.”


Others were quick to reassure OP that the hotel receptionists wouldn’t have been annoyed by her mistake, with one person saying:

“I’m sure you weren’t the first and definitely won’t be the last. They probably had a good chuckle about it and forgot it happened an hour later.”

Others, however, suggested that it was the hotel’s fault for not signposting the piece of equipment appropriately. This prompted another user to tell the thread that in Asia, these emergency toggles are “labeled with big red SOS signs.” Food for thought for Portuguese hotels.

Has Something Like This Ever Happened To You?

Have you ever gone away to a foreign country and found that something doesn’t work like you thought it would? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Reddit.

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