Throwing In The Towel
What is it with hotel towels?
I have been travelling a lot so far this year. Too much. I have been shunting between South East Asia, London and, would you believe it, Swindon. I have been away from home more than I have been at home – so much so that the cat and the wife greet me with a rather too distant look of recognition in their eyes on those rare occasions when I come through the door.
And so, I am living out of a suitcase, travel toiletry bag, hotel rooms and a rather creased and sorry-looking suit.
This week has been split between Swindon and London. Two very different towels and two very different experiences.
The Swindon towels were, at first inspection, lovely. They were clean, voluminous – proper man-sized bath towels – as easy on the nose as the bouquet of a fine wine, and, soft as soft can be. Soft enough to star in a Fairy washing powder advert. But, they were useless as towels. Funnily enough I had always thought that the main function of a towel should be, well, drying. Now I know they can also perform other useful functions such as plugging the gap under the hotel door in the event of a fire (see previous post). Or, you can soak them in water and hang them over the back of the chair to offset the de-humidifying effects of hotel air conditioning. See, I am a seasoned traveller – I have as many travelling tips as Mr Clooney in Up In The Air. But, not these towels. These towels did not soak water up. They merely pushed the water around a little bit. It took me forever to dry myself. So, much so that in the end I resorted to drying myself with the hotel-provided hair dryer.
These can be dangerous beasts themselves. They either emit as much air as a gnat gasping its last breath, or, they act like a blow torch which could strip varnish. I have to say that this one was on the high heat side but tolerable. But, blow drying your naked form in front of a full frontal mirror every morning is never the best start to the day. It tends to put me off my breakfast.
The London towels were far from soft. At least I knew what to expect as this was at the hotel I spend half of my life at. These towels are so unsoft that they threaten to crack when you unfold them. They have the consistency of sandpaper. They do not so much dry you off as strip the wet layer of skin from your body. In fact, the London hair dryers are indeed verging on the blow torch. Indeed, if I had a longer extension cable for the dryer I could go into business stripping wood chip very effectively with my dryer and towel combo.
The one thing that both towels did have, however, was a guilty conscience. Both hotel bathrooms were festooned with signs alerting me to the fact that if I deigned to seek to have my towels laundered, then tsunamis would kill small babies on the other side of the world, and it would all be my fault. Well, they can bugger off. At these prices, the least I can expect is a clean piece of sandpaper with which to wipe my sensitive bits in the morning………