Hotel rooms. How many have you been in, how many did you actually like?
They all have a soullessness about them. Ghosts of occupants past sitting boredly evaluating your luggage, your pajamas or the lack of them, how you sleep and wake. They done care; they just are there.
The purely utilitarian, those with limited space, those the size of a ballroom. Yet all feel pretty much the same? Not really. To me many have remained in my mind for reasons often not associated with the room itself, but rather why I was there.
The room in The Hobbit in Bloemfontein, with teddy bears on the bed, but also old fashioned eiderdowns not duvets. Most amazingly, the fabric of them was the identical one to mine as a child, a complex paisley. Theirs had a green background where mine was pink. I lay staring at it for ages, childhood memories flooding in.
The room at a Hong Kong hotel that seems to have been purple and gold, even though I am sure it was somewhat less flamboyant. That one had a bath so big I felt guilty at the waste of water. No space at all in the bedroom. I either sat on the bed or at the dressing table / desk. Rather disconcerting to always be looking at oneself.
One in Washington, all colour matched, blue and yellow. But so many different patterns I felt rather exhausted by the busyness of it all. That one at least had a lot of space.
Rooms too hot, or too cold. Freezing all night in one at the Drakensburg, until the next day someone turned on the floor heating for me. Boiling all night in a ground floor room at a hotel in a coastal city. Too scared to open he windows as they had no bars. Rooms deliciously cool after a hot trip, as in Shanghai where one melts into the pavement at 6am. Or the cosy warmth of another Washington room coming in from a cold working day and driving in snow.
Rooms with a view, of car parks, other buildings and their plumbing, busy roads, slums, gardens, the African plains or bush, the restless sea. Views to lure the eye, or those to make one hurry back to book, laptop or the TV.
Most of my hotel time has been as a solitary traveller. I wonder how different my memories would be of some places had I not been alone? Would room details be more or less well remembered?