Day of Rest

It's Sunday.

Actually it's Friday, but the Arab weekend is Thursday and Friday so...I got up at midday and had a leasurely breakfast of last night's curry leftovers with pepsi cola.

Other people do work as normal at the weekend - coffee shop servers, manual labourers, delivery van driver, electricians, plumbers etc. Or as we call them, Indians, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.
Much like Britain really, the ones who actually rest on the days of rest are the ones who wear suits when they're working.

Which suddenly now includes me. I've abruptly become respectable and upper-middle class. Well, lower-uppper-middle class. And therefore obsessed with fine class distinctions.

So how does a respectable, suit-wearing, intellectual working, foreigner live? Well, here's some snaps of my hotel rooms.

The air conditioning unit. Gives you a choice - you can either try to sleep in the hot, muggy air, or do it in the cool air - with the loud rattling and grinding directly over your head.

The view from my window. Would be more representative with cars swerving and screeching to avoid each other.

My bed. Under the air conditioner.

There are three types of electrical socket, and therefore three types of plug. And therefore a lot of converters. Oh, and two distinct systems of voltage - 110v and 220v. Getting the pins to connect is an art and a science, as the size of the pins, the size (and to some extent shape) of the pinholes, and the distances between are somewhat variable. The upshot of which is... what you see is the precise angle of 'hang' and 'tilt' which my TV and receiver box need for reliable power.

The sink. Located next to the bathroom/toilet/laundry room, just inside the front door, and two rooms away from where a sink would be useful, ie. the kitchen. Is this an example of different cultural choices that make perfect sense if you know the history...or an architect whose idea of convenience was "Put everything that needs a water supply in the same place"...?

Bowls and plates. Always useful - mainly for storing three quarters of the absurdly large takeaways you live on, in the fridge.

For making the tea and coffee - served in tiny little cups. This one was in the previous hotel I stayed in...and it was next to the plastic kettle and supersize mug, which actually made the tea. Sometimes the real reason to have a functional item is to have it as decoration.

The, ah, toilet. With hose.

My grandmother had one of these, 35 years ago. Except she had a more advanced model. This is where I clean my clothes. The drier part doesn't so much spin as gently rotate. I have an iron and a second bed, on which clothes dry overnight.

My windows. Located to let light in as opposed to be looked out of, a previous tennent evidently wanted less light in the morning. Which is understandable - when you go out, take sunglasses.


  1. I think, seeing as we're in the arab world, it should be crescents rather than stars.

    And remember the arabs gave us the number zero.

    So...a zero crescent hotel?

    "Funduq e'ilel sifr."