Plenty of people travelling for work end up staying on their own at hotels.
It can get lonely, too. Some may alleviate this with a call to the family or a friend. Others put a film on, or get room service.
If you’re staying at a specific hotel in Belgium, though, there’s another option.
Yep, according to Michelle Cooke from New Zealand, her friend was offered the option to “rent-a-fish” for company at the Hotel Charleroi in Belgium.
It sounds far-fetched, but it’s true. David Dillen, the hotel manager, confirmed to Mashable that they’ve been renting fish to customers since 2013.
Dillen described the offer as a “gimmick” that gets a lot of attention on social media.
But while a lot of people responding to Cooke’s tweet did find the idea funny, there were also some concerns raised about the wellbeing of fish.
Poor fish, tiny bowl, under the glare of a lamp with no plants to shelter in. If they are sentient enough to be company they deserve better.
— Anne Cowling (@Spa_town) September 3, 2017
Hopefully she contacted the local animal welfare regulator to complain about the cruelty of keeping a fish by self and in such a tiny bowl.
— Catriona MacLennan (@CatMacLennanNZ) September 3, 2017
Dillen stressed that the hotel takes “very good care” of their fish.
“They also have a big fish-tank in the housekeeping department, with a shelter in it, oxygen and plants,” he said. “When we think it’s necessary, we put them there for a few days.”
He went on to explain that the fish have been with the hotel for four years now.
“If they were not taken care of they would have died a long time ago,” he said.
“I think it’s a pity people nowadays tend to look at the glass being half-empty instead of half-full.”