This hotel room is about the size of my first apartment in Chicago, affectionately dubbed "The Coop" by my sister. Perhaps that's why it's been surprisingly easy to adapt to; as far as hotel rooms go, this one feels less dusty and musty than others, has great natural light, and its wood floors keep funky smells of past guests from lingering. But it's still a hotel. Here's how I've tried to warm the place up a bit.
- Slippers. Crucial for comfort and cleanliness. When I think of all the gunk that I must track in off the streets I literally shudder with disgust. So the rule is street shoes come off at the door and slippers go on. I don't care how many times housekeeping drops by my room, the street funk doesn't need to be traipsed all over.
- Magazines. It just so happens that I picked up a "Shape" magazine in Chicago and it had a collection of eight easy meals to make in under 15 minutes. It also just so happens that the ingredients listed included items I've seen used in meals on the standard restaurant menus in the hotel. (That's kind of remarkable because the vegetable crop here is mostly comprised of stuff I've never seen, like magenta carrots!) When the manager offered to make some non-menu meals for me, this article became the MVP of the dinner hour. I'm starting to think the manager and the chef are enjoying trying out the new meals, too, because they ask what "we're" making next before I even ask!
- Candles. Not necessarily for the smell, but more for cutting the sterility of the environment.
- iPod. Mine is the first Nano, now getting ready to celebrate its seventh birthday, ancient by tech standards. My room has an alarm clock that one can connect an mp3 player to and once I discovered that, tunes now fill the space regularly. The longer I am in India, the less comfortable I get with utter silence. Honestly, though, I think this is to combat loneliness more than it is quiet.
- Framed pictures. Because jpegs on your computer can only feel so personal.
This stuff doesn't take up much space in a suitcase but it sure does fill the hotel room voids.