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Sleepless in any City

I just cannot sleep when I travel and stay in strange hotel rooms; a malaise I am given to understand I share with half the female population! And as you will empathize, this is quite painful since I have to travel on work pretty frequently and so have to stay in strange rooms quite often.

My typical routine while checking into a hotel goes something like this;

“Hello Ma’am, welcome to The XYZ. As our special guest, we have upgraded you to a suite” says the lady at the reception chirpily, giving me a pleased smile and expecting me to fall over in gratitude.

I grimace at her and wail “But why???”

“Oh God, not again!” I mutter to myself. I have instructed Peter, who by the way is the best EA anyone can have, to specifically request that I never be upgraded but invariably my room gets converted to a suite wherever I go.

The reception manager’s expression changes to a mix of bewilderment and shock. I am possibly the first guest she has met who is horrified at this munificent gesture of theirs, but how do I explain to her that a suite has that many more rooms and consequently that many more doors behind which monsters may be lurking; apart from the several nooks and crannies I will have to keep an eye on throughout the night!

Anyway, I struggle to get downgraded but they don’t have a policy for that, so giving into fate, I grudgingly trudge up with the valet following closely at my heels with my luggage.

“Ma am would you like me to explain the functioning of the room, the services etc?” He asks with a beatific smile. “No, I have stayed here several times” I reply. “But please wait” I instruct him.

I then do a slow prowl around the room while he watches me puzzled. First I surreptitiously run my feet under the bed (Can I feel a big hairy spectral being down there, I ask myself?) I look behind the several doors trying to hum nonchalantly as if this is part of any normal guest’s routine of getting a feel for the room. Ok all clear!

And then finally I steel myself to go into the loo. As usual the curtains are drawn around the bath tub. I take a deep breath and throw them open with a flourish. Thank God! No dead body there!

I heave a sigh of relief and nod at the valet asking him to leave. He has decided I am slightly touched in the head, but a guest is a guest and that too a frequent one so he politely smiles at me and leaves.

I then prepare for yet another night of tossing and turning and waking up at the slightest sound…

I have been trying to convince my husband, unsuccessfully let me add, to synchronize his travel with mine, but after two decades of trying out various solutions I haven’t yet found anything that will help me solve this problem (And taking a sleeping pill is out of the question; suppose the hotel catches fire, how will I get up?)

But if you have found a cure, do be kind enough to share with me and all your tortured sisters in sleeplessness!