Living in hotel rooms for five years means I’ve acquired some skills. I’ve learned to pack all my stuff in layers with stuff I use all the time on the top and lesser used things on the bottom. I know to pack things in the same order so it’s roughly the same and I know where things are. I know that I can pack up two suitcases spread over an entire room in about 20 minutes and that despite this skill, I should ask for a late checkout when I check in because I’m never ready on time.
I’ve learned the things I can’t live without (internet and coffee), the things I prefer (a room on a top floor, preferably on a corner), whether I want the curtains closed or open (open) whether I want two beds or one gigantic bed (2 beds. I want to sleep on one and spread my stuff out on the other) and whether my hotel stay is long enough to warrant unpacking (a week or longer).
I know that the TV remote is the filthiest thing in the room and no one should use it (ever) before washing it off. I know that the filthiness level goes down only slightly when it comes to the room phone. Compared to those two things, the hotel bedspread is nothing but I still take it off the bed. I’ve learned how to use the air conditioner as a refrigerator and how to make oatmeal, pasta, soup and tea with a coffee maker. I know that I like my room cold so I can wear a sweatshirt and slippers and that I should pack a wine key, chopsticks and coffee in my suitcase because sooner or later I’ll need them.
I use hotel soap (except in the Hyatt hotels where I hate the “white ginger” smell) but rarely the shampoo. I try to reuse the towels but maids rarely let me. I love room service because even though it’s ridiculously expensive, sometimes it’s worth it. I also love maid service but I flip the dead bolt on my door so they can’t come into my room if I sleep through the knocking in the morning.
I know that I can live in hotel rooms 365 days out of the year and rarely grow weary of them and their amenities.
But I also know that today I am TIRED of living in one room. Super tired. Tired of digging through a suitcase full of black clothes looking for that one black shirt I can’t find. Tired of living without enough surfaces to put things on so everything’s always on the floor. Tired of having to work and sit and lay on my bed because every chair has something on it (see surface gripes above). I’m tired of carrying everything around and only using about 20% of it but not getting rid of anything because as soon as I do, I have to buy it again.
Would I be this tired if I didn’t have an apartment waiting for me next week? Probably not. But I am and I do.
I want to grocery shop and cook and walk into a different room and shut the door. I want a refrigerator and a couch and a table. I want to put something up on the wall. I want a work space.
I want it to be temporary but I want it.
3 days and counting.