I was bored with my life. I was meandering along living in a shitty apartment with people that I hated. It’s not like I wanted to live in this situation, but like so many things in life I was afraid to change, and instead suffered in silence. (Well not so much silence, as I actually bitched and moaned constantly).
In the end I had had enough. I needed change. At the time of my bitching and moaning, I was reading a book called, Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of Life Without Reservations. Basically it’s about this guy who decided to get rid of his apartment and instead live out of hotels, which would theoretically cost the same as renting an apartment in London. It was a genius idea and I thought it would be the perfect challenge for me to take on.
Now I wasn’t quite ready to dive in headfirst and take on living in a hotel permanently. So I decided to give it a month long trial and see how it went before taking on the challenge full time.
During that month long experiment, this is what I discovered:
Housekeeping is Annoying
When I lived in an apartment, I would change y bedding once a week (or after sex with a stranger, whichever came first – no pun intended). In a hotel, they change your sheets, or at least make your bed every single day.
Now this is fine for tourists and business travellers, these people are out of their rooms for most of the day, leaving plenty of time for housekeeping to sneak in. But I can’t be out of my room for the entire day – I need to work! And I don’t like being disturbed while working. Plus it’s uber awkward to be in the same room as the housekeeper who is trying to work.
In the beginning I would just put up the “do not disturb” sign on the door. This was great, it kept the housekeeper off my back for the entire day. But come 4-6pm I would get a phone call:
“Mr Davis, we need to clean your room”.
“No, it’s ok. It doesn’t need to be done today”. Would be my reply.
Now I thought that would mean no disruption. But alas, no, the housekeeper would still drop by to deliver some fresh towels. I’m not sure what I was supposed to do with all these fucking towels. Is the standard protocol in 5 stars hotels to dry each limb with an individual towel?
Eventually I was able to strike a compromise where I would leave the room on designated days, at a designated time, so my room could be cleaned. Of course I learned that in a hotel, especially a 5 star hotel, they can cater to pretty much any need you have. All it takes is a phonecall to reception.
Room Service is Addictive
Now in Paris (where I was staying), I had the choice of eating at smorgasbord of restaurants with world chefs and amazing cuisine….. Or to avoid having to put on pants, I could simply dial a number and 20 minutes later I would have food – pants free.
Sounds great, albeit it for one tiny fact – it’s ridiculously expensive. Not only is the food much more expensive than what I would pay at a restaurant, you have to add on a 30% service charge as well.
I knew how expensive it was, but it still didn’t stop me from ordering. I just couldn’t help myself. As soon as I felt the slightest hunger I would dial down for some fries, or a burger, or a cup of hot chocolate.
My month long stay taught me just how addictive room service is.
You Soon become aware of Being Watched
As a Tourist in a hotel, you’re not staying long enough to really see how the hotel operates. But stay long enough, and you’ll soon discover one thing about 5 star hotels – someone is always watching you. The hotel staff knew when I was in the hotel, when I left my room and when I was in the lounge. They knew where to find me when a message needed to be delivered and as soon as I left my room, the housekeepers would rush in to give me more fucking towels.
I’m not sure how I felt about being under constant surveillance. On one hand it was convenient on the other I was aware of the fact I was watched and it certainly made me a tad anxious. It didn’t help when, while entering the hotel on one occasion, I mistook the glass door for a glass wall and made a gigantic thud. I knew everyone had seen this, yet when I looked up there was not a single set of eyes looking at me.
It’s an Amazing Pick Up Line
Now I have no experience with the opposite sex, but when it comes to boys, if you tell them you live in a hotel, it turns out that it’s rather a wonderful pickup line.. In fact it worked so well, that I changed bio on the Grindr iphone app (Gaydar digitalized) to mention the very fact that I lived in a Hotel. Who cares if I was technically only living there for a month – my one night stand didn’t need to find that out.
Could I live in a hotel permanently? Well at the moment, although I still travel almost constantly, as I write this I’m once again in an apartment. I like the privacy of my own place.