Hotel Apartments are extremely popular in Dubai and give you hotel comforts without the claustrophobia.
I hadn’t heard the term before moving to Dubai, wonder why… don’t we have hotel apartments in the UK?
A hotel apartment is a furnished suite with a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. They come in various sizes from studios to multi-bedroomed and of course like everything else in Dubai, the more you pay, the better the quality and location (in theory anyway).
As it’s serviced, they clean it and change the sheets and towels for you every day or two or three times a week if you prefer.
We stayed in one when we first moved over. It was clean and spacious with friendly and helpful staff. It was a comfortable haven to come back to every night after working at our business which was a mere fledgling back then.
Shame then that this comfortable haven bubble was about to burst…
One day I caught the flu and was forced to spend nearly two weeks housebound; shivering, feverish, grumpy.
Lonely and pitiful though I was, throughout my misery I took comfort in the sounds around me that told me stories of everyday life.
“An ordinary life is an extraordinary life” I poeticised to myself as Benylin (the drowsy one) carved another notch on its belt.
The ting of the lift. If it released a jumble of Arabic, Indian or Russian voices, I knew not to bother answering the door. People were forever misreading my door number.
If it released the clanking, jangling housekeeping trolley, that was my “Ready“. Alert and waiting.
Room service did the apartment next door before they did mine. The sound of the hoover next door was my “Steady“. A cue to get out of bed, slip into day clothes and park myself on the sofa.
The clanky trolley and a deep, chesty, phlegmatic retching as the neighbours door slammed shut was my “Go“.
“Room Service Maam”.
So life continued it’s exciting course for just over a week. I knew I was on the mend when the cleaner’s deep, chesty, phlegmatic retching began to prey on my mind.
At first, the concern. The poor guy. Why is he working if he is unwell?
Next, the reality. Oh he’s not ill. It’s a habit.
Then, the puzzle. Surely he’s not swallowing what he coughs up is he?
Finally… the answer. Curiosity – be damned! Next day when I hear the hoover, Operation GRRAAH is a go! I position myself at the door, barely blinking as I peep through the spy hole.
Hoover stops. A bit of hustle and bustle. Trolley comes out, cleaner closes the door. I shift my weight in suspense and dismiss the voice in my head asking what on earth I’m doing. Sorry, I’ve been stuck indoors for over a week, I need to do this.
The cleaner throws his head back and there’s that familiar sound. So close I unwittingly cringe, opening my eyes just in time for the fish-lens peep-hole to magnify the well-practiced trajectory of his “production” from his mouth right into… the mop bucket.
I even hear the plop as it lands in the soapy water.
The bell rings.
“Room Service Maam”.
The steel pail grins at me and winks towards the tiled floor in my apartment. The floor we walk on barefoot. The floor that’s been mopped with loogies.
“Ah, not today thank you… but I’ll have a few more pairs of those complimentary slippers.”