Monday, 16 August 2010

Lurking nasties

Goodness knows what's happened in the average hotel room before I occupy it, but I'm not too bothered. As long as it looks fairly clean and tidy, I'm not going to fret about all the nasty residues I might be unwittingly exposing myself to.

The fabulous Los Angelista just described a particularly unsavoury-looking hotel room she stayed in during a work trip. She said the bed looked so uninviting she actually slept on a chair rather than risk whatever might be living in the bed linen.

One of her commenters declared that most hotel rooms are so unhygienic (and he cites You Tube footage to prove it) he takes antiseptic wipes to disinfect every surface he's likely to use. He also puts the remote in a plastic bag and kips down in a sleeping bag rather than crawl between the sheets.

Well, this seems rather extreme to me, but who knows what horrible experiences he's had in the past, or what ghastly illness he's inadvertently acquired from seedier and grubbier guests?

Personally I've never contracted anything grisly after staying in a hotel (not even food poisoning), so I'm very sanguine about cleanliness standards. I wouldn't stay in a room that's visibly filthy but as long as it looks clean enough I'm not going to ask any questions. I'm certainly not giving the room an extra going-over on the off-chance that cholera or typhoid is incubating happily on the bidet.

Maybe I'm in the minority here. Maybe others are more germ-conscious than I am. I know there are plenty of women who still decline to sit on a toilet seat without a protective layer of tissues.

But I happen to believe my immune system is robust enough to resist the germs and toxins lurking mischievously in room 23's en-suite. As far as I'm concerned, they simply don't exist.
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Tuesday evening: I'm off to London for a couple of days to see my 88 year old mum. See you all again shortly.

22 comments:

kylie said...

my philosophy says if i cant see it its not there. not neccessarily true but comforting :)

Nick said...

Kylie - I agree. If I worried about all the possible places where hideous germs might be hiding, I'd be a nervous wreck.

Rummuser said...

Nick, before I retired, I was a globe and national trotting salesman. I had spent more time in planes, trains, waiting rooms and hotels than I spent at home. I haven't caught anything anywhere.

I have just been on a six day trip down South and went by plane and train and stayed in hotels. I have come back with nothing worse than a slight tiredness.

I think that one can get very paranoid about these things and that can lead to phobic conditions.

Nick said...

Ramana - Well, there you are, you've never caught anything anywhere. I rest my case. As you say, it's easy to get paranoid about germs and hygiene and to forget we all have inbuilt protection.

Macy said...

Nick - A new money making scheme has occurred to me! I could be charging these people entry to Macy's.... more scares than Edinburgh Dungeon for the fastidious round here.

Nick said...

Macy - Wot, is your home not sparkling clean and germ-free at all times? Shame on you. Get to work with the antiseptic wipes and the Jeyes Fluid rightaway (don't forget, Jeyes Fluid kills bird flu)

Baino said...

I don't know a weekend in a posh hotel is a rare but much loved indulgence in our family. Never had a bad experience apart from the outrageous prices of the mini bar, we just empty the fridge and put in our own. Something about crisp white sheets . . . I try not to think who might have bee there before.

Nick said...

Baino - Crisp white sheets inspire confidence, don't they? But best not to think about slightly rumpled sheets. Or that faint stain on the pillow....

Eryl Shields said...

I once spent a night in a hotel that had huge green bugs living in the sink, it's amazing how one's standards alter when tired, broke and hungry. The only thing, now, that is likely to bother me is odour: rancid fat and highly perfumed cleaning agents, yikes!

Nick said...

Eryl - Fortunately I've never been broke enough to hazard the local Hotel Fleapit. I think mosquitos are the worst bug I've had to deal with, and they can invade even the most expensive rooms.

Grannymar said...

I have travelled a fair bit in my lifetime. Only once did I need to ask to have the room cleaned. I think it was an error that the room was released before the cleaners go to it.

I wonder if that guy you mention takes antiseptic wipes to the ATM's when he wants cash, or wipes every coin handed to him in change?

We need to meet germs head on in order to build up our immune system.

Liz said...

Good heavens! That is extreme. Most hotel rooms are cleaner than my bedroom at home ...

Nick said...

Grannymar - Precisely, absolutely everything is covered in germs. How could he possibly avoid them all? He'd have to walk around in one of those germ-proof suits.

Liz - Glad to hear your bedroom isn't that clean. We only build up resistance to germs by being exposed to them, after all.

Wisewebwoman said...

I don't think I'd spot dirt if it jumped up and bit me in the face!
That said, I've never had a bad experience and I've travelled a lot.
They say if you turn a blue light on in one of those rooms you'd be appalled at the lack of hygiene and remnants of human excretions visible.
I choose, like Scarlett O'Hara, not to think about that and sleep like a baby.
XO
WWW

Nick said...

www - I'm sure you're right about the blue light test. But like you, I choose not think about such things. Our bodies are pretty tough, we're not going to keel over because of a few routine bugs we can't see.

Los Angelista said...

Love it, Nick. I agree I am not usually so germ-phobic but I could not make myself sleep in that bed. Maybe it's the rash of insane stories about bedbug infestations or maybe the generally unsavory nature of the place but I couldn't do it!

I don't think I'll be taking wipes with me but I definitely never thought about all the porn viewing that goes on - businessmen renting movies and then touching the remote when they're, uh, finished. ACK! ;)

Enjoy your time with your mum!

secret agent woman said...

My ex-husband used to say I had no respect for germ theory. And it's true - I'm pretty oblivious unless there are living things I can see moving. I stay pretty healthy and I just can't be bothered to get freaked out about possibly germs.

Nick said...

Liz - If beds are that unclean-looking, not wanting to sleep in them is an understandable reaction. And yes, I hadn't thought about what might have slopped onto the remote either. Though I still wouldn't go to the lengths of putting it in a plastic bag.

Secret Agent - Once you start obsessing about possible germ populations, there's no end to it. Therein madness lies.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

If a hotel room doesn't look or smell right, I ask for a different one. I have even demanded my money back and left hotels a few times when they didn't have anything acceptable. I don't demand ultra luxury, but I do have standards and the sense of smell of a hunting dog.

Nick said...

Heart - If you have an acute sense of smell, I can understand that some hotel rooms simply aren't liveable-in and asking for a refund makes perfect sense.

Val said...

It takes a little while for antiseptic wipes to work and then of course what about the germs that may or may not be on the wipe container and so on...! I have an on-off OCD for some of this stuff. It's on when I'm stressed and it's off the rest of the time. I've never knowingly caught anything from a hotel room but I have knowingly - though of course only realised after the event - had food poisoning from restaurant food. I've seen a very yucky YouTuve vid (possibly the same one) of some guy giving a blow by blow description of his ghastly hotel room, but I'm afraid if I were to find myself in one like that, I'd sleep in the corridor instead!

Nick said...

Val - And then when you'd wiped a surface, you'd have to wipe everything you put on it in case that was contaminated too. The decontamination process would never end. I really must watch those supposedly gruesome videos!