Living the nightmare

February 25, 2018

I wrote here on Friday that I was going for a mini adventure.

This adventure was very beautiful, except for an hour in my life that will probably be one of the most traumatic experiences I will ever have. I’m already laughing about it, because it ended well, so I thought I should share it with you:

Where do I start?
Johan and I spent Friday in Leipzig, Johan working and me taking a long walk before helping him and my friends at their new restaurant. Late in the evening we checked in to our hotel close by. All good, brushed my teeth and went to bed. Didn’t notice which room number I was in, but OK – was just going to sleep and get up to work in the morning. Thing is, in our Berlin flat we have coal heating and now that it’s so freezing cold here, I get up twice a night to fill the coal oven with coal. This is what I thought I had to do at one point at night, in the hotel. So I found myself waking up in the hotel corridor, all naked. I had sleep walked. And didn’t know which room number I had. And I was completely naked. You’ve all had those nightmares, right? I was living this nightmare.

So I checked the emergency plan, as good as I could see without my glasses. I was not just completely naked, I was half blind as well. I found a room on the plan, which looked like my room, and knocked on the door. I knocked and knocked and a lady opened, looked very angry and I apologized, she looked at me from top to toe and shut the door with a BANG. I went back to the emergency plan and there were so many rooms looking like my room and I decided to give one more room a try. So I knocked, but didn’t dare to knock as much because I didn’t want to make more people angry. I wish I would have continued, because I was at the right door this time.

And then I started to freeze like crazy. There was nothing around, the storage room for linens and towels was of course locked, so I thought OK, I have to find the lobby. So, half blind, I found a staircase which I saw through the glass door of my hotel corridor. Went out in the staircase, the door closed behind me, I was on the 6th floor, and started my naked freezing walk downstairs. The staircase only led to a basement with a barred door, no lobby in sight. The windows were locked and I started walking up again, because I needed to move due to freezing like crazy. Found an alarm, with a glass that I had to break with my thumb. Nothing happened, no alarm sounded, no alarm lamp was blinking. I tried to clean up the glass in the corner of the floor so I wouldn’t hurt my feet. I walked up to my floor, starting to bang on the glass door like crazy. Broke another alarm glass and nothing happened. I banged on that door even more, no one woke up. There was a proper fire alarm, but I didn’t want to push it because then they would have to evacuate the whole hotel. Lesson: Stop being such a pleaser, Sandra!

I was banging on that door until my wrists were completely sore. This is when I started to give up, so I started to accept that I would be stuck there until someone would find me. So I lied down on the stone floor of that staircase. Lied there for half a minute or so until I realized I wouldn’t get out of this alive. Was shaking of cold, and I got angry. I started banging on that glass door again until my hand was bleeding and the pleaser in me started cleaning the blood that was all over the place. Then I got even more angry, panicking of course, and kicked the door as heavily as I could without breaking more skin, until a woman woke up, got up and found me. Thank you SO MUCH, stranger! I’m so sorry! I begged for a towel or something similar. She gave me one, just barely covering my intimate parts, and I walked to the elevator to find the lobby.

When I came down to the lobby, the staff was there – a guy and a girl. I almost cried, asking Why doesn’t the alarm work? and they said they were just going to come look for me. I had been in this staircase for over half an hour, someone must have called the lobby about the noise I was making, because the alarms definitely didn’t work – I used two of them. Anyway, the staff asked about my bleeding hand and I apologized for the blood stains (Come on! I broke my hand, I was locked inside of a staircase thinking I wasn’t going to make it alive, what is wrong with me, a few blood stains?!), gave me a key and I went back to the elevator. Pressed the button to floor 6, leaned back to relax and breathe and of course my ass touched buttons behind me so I pushed the buttons to all floors, which made the elevator stop on every fucking floor, but that was a small thing compared to the trauma I had for almost an hour in that corridor and in that staircase. I’m probably still in shock, because this all feels so surreal and will probably count as one of my worst experiences ever.

In the end, I found my way to the room, Johan had been sleeping the whole time and was awaken by a shaking, crying Sandra. Then I started to laugh, cry, laugh, cry, it was all so unreal.

Imagine if a kid would get stuck in this staircase. In the morning when I was wearing my glasses, I saw a tiny sign on the door to the staircase saying This door doesn’t lead to the lobby. It only led to a barred door, what do you do if there is a fire? You’d be stuck forever. How can this even exist, Ibis Budget Leipzig City?

On top of it all, I went to the toilet in the bus back to Berlin. The handle fell off and I was stuck in that toilet as well. Luckily Johan heard me banging on the door like a freak. What else is there to do but laugh at this point?

I’m safe at home now. Living one of my worst nightmares for real maybe cures me from having those nightmares at night about being naked in public and/or trapped inside of a place? Let’s hope so.

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  • Reply Sara Krohn February 25, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    I’m so glad you are safe and sound, and maintained a sense of humor.
    and your ‘pleaser’ kicking in- making something ‘normal’.. nevertheless, you persevered!

    • Reply Sandra February 25, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Now, afterwards, I’m wondering why I wasn’t screaming for HELP as loud as I could.

  • Reply Salomé Faustino February 25, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I hope you are felling better. What a nightmare 🙁
    For some reason my grandma always told me “dont everyday sleep naked. You never know what might happen in the middle of the night”.

    • Reply Sandra February 25, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you, your Grandma is wise 🙂

  • Reply Charlotte February 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Sandra have you ever sleep walked before? I’m glad you are all right.

    • Reply Sandra February 25, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      Yes I have, a few times and always at home. I guess this teaches me not to stress as much about the heating. Better to be a bit cold at home with clothes to wear, instead of naked locked in a staircase in a cheap hotel in Leipzig 😉

  • Reply Christine Fischer February 25, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    O M G! Was für eine Geschichte!! Eine ähnliche Geschichte ist einer Bekannten von mir passiert – in einem Hotel in Frankreich, sie war damals 76 Jahre alt und ebenfalls komplett nackt. Du siehst, das passiert wohl öfters einmal in dem Hotels dieser Welt! Ich hoffe, es geht dir nun wieder gut. Alles Liebe für dich! Herzliche Grüße! Christine

    • Reply Sandra February 25, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Danke Christine!
      Oh Gott, ich wünsche es für niemanden zu passieren.
      LG, Sandra

  • Reply Vera February 25, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    It’s could be a scene in Kaurismaki movie with the exception you are laughing about it. You are a survivor 😁

    • Reply Sandra February 25, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Thank you, Vera. Next time I’ll push the fire alarm directly and evacuate the whole hotel. No, no next time, please! Will from now on always check my room number 😉

  • Reply Ida February 25, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Oh my! Being stuck outside without the room number isn’t enough, on top of that you were naked… That truly was a nightmare!
    I passed you on the street today, recognized the glasses, and my first instinct was to say hello, but I stoppes myself, realizing how weird that would be. You were most helpfull with tips on Instagram a few weeks back though, Thank you for that! (I’m @midtimellem)

    • Reply Sandra February 25, 2018 at 11:08 pm

      Hope it’ll never happen again, the hotel incident!

      Oh, maybe I was with my friend Peps the doggo? Glad to help, hope you’re having a great time 🙂

      • Reply Ida February 25, 2018 at 11:30 pm

        You were with a friend, I think? On Warschauer Strasse outside the nice shop with bagels and books. I was the woman with the stroller how looked ackwardly at you 😉
        We’re having a great time, visiting lots of new places and quite a few favourites as well. Tomorrow we’ll go to Silo for breakfast!

        • Reply Sandra February 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

          Oh, yummy, enjoy breakfast!
          Yes, I was with a friend and her dog and I guess I was so mesmerized seeing the dog, that I didn’t see anything else around me 😉

  • Reply Ida February 25, 2018 at 11:30 pm


  • Reply satut February 26, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Oh my, that is a nightmare come to reality. Glad you are ok!

    • Reply Sandra February 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

      Thank you! Yes, I’m still trying to digest what happened.

  • Reply annton February 26, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Holy canneloni, this is bad. Really bad. I am so sorry to read it. Please take care and be very kind to yourself. Above that, it might be worth to think legally here. The not working alarm buttons and the small sign don’t sound ok to me. And looking into the legal side might help to digest the emotional side.

    • Reply Sandra February 26, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Yeah, I don’t know right now, as I’m probably still in shock. Thank you so much for your concern, Annton!
      I’m asking myself if this happened for real. A friend of mine stayed on the same hotel floor and he said he heard my banging on the door, but he thought it was someone just watching really loud TV, so I guess it did happen?!

  • Reply Beautiful Leipzig – Sandra Juto February 26, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    […] of all, thank you so much for your concern about my Leipzig trauma. Have slept two nights in a row without any nightmares (very rare), so maybe living the nightmare […]

  • Reply Casey February 26, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    I’m very glad you made it through and are safe now!

    • Reply Sandra February 26, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Diana February 26, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Please feel a hug from me.

    • Reply Sandra February 27, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you so much, Diana.

  • Reply Nina Buesing February 26, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    I am speechless but so glad that you are ok and sorry you had to go through this! XOXO

    • Reply Sandra February 27, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks, hun! Still find it hard to believe it happened for real. Should get in contact with the hotel so they do something about this, don’t want anyone to experience what I experienced!!

      • Reply Magda March 7, 2018 at 10:45 pm

        Dear Sandra, please, write them a bad review 🙂

  • Reply Claire Green March 1, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    oh my goodness, you had quite a traumatic experience. You were brave and bold and courageous and did not give up. Those qualities will serve you well. Laying down in that stairwell could have been your end. Don’t minimize what you experienced. I am woman, hear me roar! thanks for sharing your survival story. Claim your fierceness!

  • Reply Claudia March 4, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    OMG – I used to have the same dream regularly where I would be in public naked. Horrible, I feel for you.

  • Reply Buildings in Leipzig – Sandra Juto March 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    […] Living the nightmare […]

  • Reply Last day in Leipzig – Sandra Juto March 23, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    […] was the morning after my trauma, so I decided to take a walk to Hotel Astoria, a building I had been curious about since my first […]

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