I have started the search for an apartment for my long-term stay, but for now I am still at the hotel. The hotel is very comfortable, and I can easily get spoiled with hotel living. I leave my room and the bed a mess when I leave for work in the morning, and when I come home everything has been tidied up. I leave dirty laundry on the bed, and it’s returned to me, clean and neatly folded, by the time I come home. (Although for reasons that are not clear to me, they charge 20 rupees to launder women’s underwear, but only 12 rupees to launder men’s underwear. Are we dirtier?? Do they have to call in women’s-underwear specialists to clean them??)
If I get hungry, I just walk downstairs to one of the top-notch restaurants or 24-hour cafe in the building (or even, just pick up the phone for room service). Fresh fruit and cookies are brought into the room daily. In the morning, I have complementary breakfast waiting for me, and I can work out in the fully-equipped gym (though I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t done that yet!) or take a dip in the pool.
Although I could definitely get used to having someone clean up after me, with so many hotel staff coming and going in the room, it’s sometimes hard to make it seem like “home.” Take the case of the slippers. The hotel room comes with a pair of white slippers. They are not very comfortable, and too small for me, and in any case, I’ve brought my own slippers, so I don’t need them. So, my first day at the hotel, I take the hotel slippers and tuck them away in the closet, and put my own slippers next to the bed. When I come home that evening, the hotel slippers are back, neatly lined up by the side of bed. I again hide them out of the way. The next day they are back by the bed. I kick them under the bed, thinking, they'll never find them under there. The next day ---they’re baaaack!
It’s turned into a little game I play. Each day, I hide them somewhere. Each day, they make their way to the side of the bed. (I know I can just tell the hotel staff that I don’t want the slippers, but then it wouldn’t be any fun, now would it?)
One day, I come home to not ONE but TWO pairs of white slippers, one on each side of the bed. Touche! I can see they’re playing dirty now….
But wait – it’s not just two sets of slippers that are in my room now. There is also an extra shower cap, an extra toothbrush, 6 bottles of water (instead of the usual 3), and an extra shaving kit! Is there a roommate moving in, that I don’t know about?
I feel like I'm in some kind of Kafka-esque dream---one day, you just come home to a duplicate set of everything in your life. Or, maybe, is this the first sign of an arranged marriage? When I come home tomorrow, will there be an extra body in my bed?
Ha! Tomorrow, I am taking those slippers to work with me, and hiding them under my desk. Let’s see if they find their way back from there. Checkmate!
Clare: "Glad you enjoyed the festival, but GUESS WHAT THEY ARE BUILDING ON WEST HENRIETTA ROAD NOT 1 MILE FROM US????? Yes, a DUNKIN' DONUTS! So now you have a good reason to come back!"
Oh great, I leave the country, THEN they building a Dunkin' Donuts! Ok, I'm packing my bags right now....;o ) Can you please make sure they stock buttermilk donuts and french crullers. I don't want them to get into any bad habits, from the start!