Archive for May 2011
It’s great to be back in London. Some things here may have changed, but I still feel at home. The 12 pounds I put on my Oyster card a year ago was still valid. The weather is crappy as always. I don’t think I will ever get used to being overtaken by elderly women when I am on the sidewalk.
The main thing that has changed seems to be the introduction of the congestion charge, and with that, the introduction of bicycles. They are everywhere, though it’s not anywhere near Dutch standards yet. A bunch of us rented some “Boris” bikes and cycled around for a bit.
It ought to be a good week.. It even looks like we are even going to be enjoying a genuine old-fashioned British performance of Shakespeare.
I can be really stupid and clumsy sometimes. On this trip I’ve taken a few night trains. When I wake up in one of those I am usually more, erhm, disoriented than normal. This has resulted in several misplaced items previously in my possession:
There’s the bottle of jenever I left in my Budapest hotel room. Hopefully my roommate will not mistake it for water and put it to good use.
Gatwick security (stupid air traffic safety rules) confiscated a can of deodorant I kept in my hand luggage.
There are a number of socks missing. I’m not sure how many exactly, or where I lost them, but there are at least two incomplete pairs. Maybe I just suck at packing.
Our conductor on the train from Budapest to München insisted on keeping our tickets with him during the night. I have had conductors insist on this before, but usually I can talk them out of it. This one wouldn’t bulge, and so when he returned my tickets to me in the morning (right before I snoozed out a few more minutes of sleep) I got them mixed up in my cushion and then left them on the train. New tickets for the rest of my journey: not cheap.
These days most hotels put little cards in their bathrooms. Cards that say things like “Protect the environment”, “Save the planet” or have other silly imperatives on them.
These naggy cards then go on to describe some elaborate scheme by which hotel guests can indicate whether they would like their towels replaced (“Put towels you wish replaced on the shelve over the sink, and towels you would like to keep in the corner opposite the door”). All the while subtly suggesting that getting a towel washed is probably almost as bad for the environment as personally clubbing two medium-sized baby seals to death.
So there you are, a regular hotel guest. Flown in from fuck knows where, in an air conditioned hotel room, surrounded by several 100W lamps that hurt your eyes and make your skin look pale as paper. You’re probably drowning in cushions (God knows where the things come from), naturally wrapped in freshly washed sheets.
Anyway, the towels. It’s obvious the hotel has no interest in actually helping the environment – they care about not having to wash a couple of extra towels. And feeling guilty about the environment is a better incentive for guests than helping some big-ass hotel chain save a few bucks. But it pisses me off when companies try to play on my conscience like that.