Saturday, July 15, 2006

Better security, worse plumbing

I have moved rooms, with the (superfluous) help of the hotel porter, a tall skinny man who patrols the corridors constantly, looking like a baddie in a James Bond film: dark blue knee length narrow coat, skinny dark blue trousers, white gloves and black trilby. I know I ought to tip him, but a) I haven’t quite got my head round the money yet and b) he doesn’t actually do anything except look remarkable. Maybe that’s enough.

Anyway, my new room has a walled in veranda, so it’s like having a little sitting room, only darker. I am blogging by candlelight, listening to the sounds of a Malawian Saturday night – bars, traffic, insects, and calls to prayer.

There’s a little sign on the dressing table saying ‘your room was prepared by…’ and a space for the maid’s name, which is White. White is black, unsurprisingly, and also male, rather more surprisingly. He brought me new towels to replace the soggy ones room 214’s previous occupants left behind, so I shall be tipping him also.

But I shan’t be tipping the water company, whose supply is erratic at best. There’s a sign on the door of the toilet in the office, which says ‘Polite Notice: Remember this is Blantyre. Check there is water before committing yourself to the task ahead’.

I keep forgetting.



Anonymous jonathan said...

What marvellous wording on that notice about the intermittent water supply. Perhaps the apparently underemployed corridor-wandering porter is a talented writer, retained solely to dream up with such charmingly-couched warnings... in which case he deserves all the tips he can get!

9:27 am  

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