All my talk of ironing yesterday has me remembering the many hotels rooms in which I have stayed, wasting that great first hotel hour by ironing.
(How many other women find that the first thing they do is put on the hotel TV, heave their suitcase up onto the bed, crack it open like an oyster in its shell and proceed to drag out that in-room ironing board, all folded up and hanging like a bat in the closet? After a really long trip you can find yourself ironing even your bras.)
Some hotel rooms have irons free from gummy buildup, irons that actually keep working without shutting off again after 90 seconds.
Those are the good ones, and they contrast sharply with the room I stayed in on a trip just last month with tiny aphids swarming around in the john.
Then there was the other room I took during that same trip whose microwave was knocked silly by the time change we had at 1am on that second Saturday in March. I don’t know how a microwave could know about the time change but this one seemed to. The morning before we ‘sprang forward’ it was just fine. The morning after it was blinking Clock! Clock! Clock ! – then when you tried to set the clock simply showed you what looked like a little snake thing doing a sort of wiggly Egyptian dance.
But the worst hotel room of all was the one I stayed at in Manhattan once, with a stream of black silt continually glugging up through the bathtub drain. I could only pray it was silt. Also, the bulbs in its lamps were so dim you couldn’t read your book – the bulbs that weren’t already burned out that is . Ah the memories!
The best hotel room was a tall narrow chamber on the banks of Italy’s Lake Como with a wardrobe instead of a closet and a window hung with silky golden curtains.
Its bathroom had all those weird European bathroom doodads like one of those steel towel racks that never seem to work. All over Italy I went that fall of ’08, staying in hotel rooms with these same heat-up-able towel racks but never did I find even one that actually worked. Maybe I was just being really stupid and they weren’t racks to heat up your towel at all but rather some contrivance utterly unimaginable to us Americans, like the bidet, which you see all over France.
But so what? In this room the best feature wasn’t the bathroom anyway.
Nor was it the room’s ‘closet’, an armoire no wider than a couple of coffins lashed together and then upended.
The best part of the room was those golden curtains which I can still close my eyes and see , a whole four-and-a-half years later.
Here’s a picture. May we all stay in a room with curtains like these , at least once in our lives! I live off this visual still. It looks almost like a painting doesn’t it?