Thursday, May 13, 2004

Hero Housekeeper

Hero Housekeeper

Haven't been doing much in Bangkok so far besides going to the office to work. At the recommendation of a friend, I have been staying at a luxurious serviced apartment, even though I would have preferred a cheap 3-star hotel somewhere in the middle of town.

Most people prefer apartments because it is more spacious and there's a kitchenette for you to cook if you want to. But I never bother to cook--it's too much hassle. Eating at the hawker stalls by the roadside is a lot more fun. Maybe it's not so healthy but I've survived like this for almost two decades now.

The other thing I'm not so fond about apartments is that it is unnecessarily big. Living alone, I don't need so much space. In my old hotel room in Jakarta, everything was within "arm's length". In a serviced apartment, if I need a drink of water, I'll have to get up and walk all the way to the kitchen. And when I go to bed at night, I have to walk to every corner of the apartment to switch off all the lights.

It is also easier to orientate yourself to your new environment when you check into a hotel because all hotel rooms are almost the same. Serviced apartments are different. You'll have to rummage through every cabinet and drawer in the kitchen to find the simplest thing such as a glass. Typically these apartment complexes are also huge--it takes a while before you even know how to find your way back to your apartment. In US, they'll always give you a map so that you can drive and park right in front of your apartment block.

Long-term guests in hotels can negotiate for free daily laundry service. In serviced apartments, they usually don't entertain such requests. If you don't like to use their expensive laundry service, you'll have to do it yourself at their coin-operated laundrette.

One would have thought that living in such a pampered environment, one becomes a bit spoilt. But strangely I find myself becoming a tidier person after years of living in a hotel. Because there's less space available for you to keep your things, you refrain from keeping to much stuff. The amount of personal belongings--usually unnecessary-- tends to increase with the space you have.

Housekeepers often tell me that they like cleaning my room because there's nothing much for them to do. They didn't know that I always try to make it easier for them by not messing up the place too much--it actually makes me uncomfortable to know that someone else has to clean up my mess later.

I'm never good at housekeeping work, so I appreciate housekeepers very much. They keep my life in order. A good one is always unobtrusive--they do their work when you are not around and when you come home, everything is already in a state of perfection. Housekeepers are my heroes. I know so many men whose lives have turned upside down because they decided to get married when all they needed in first place was a good housekeeper :-)

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