Random Asides

Lone Female Traveller

I travel for work a fair bit, but because England is small I can usually get home again at the end of the day. However, I am in London, about 130 miles from home, more and more frequently, and if I have meetings spread over a couple of days then I’ll get a hotel. I am alone in a hotel room right now, in fact, which is the inspiration for this post. The furthest I’ve travelled alone was London to Vegas for a meeting (and back again two days later, ick), and on the whole I enjoy being a lone female traveller. Over the years, though, I’ve made a few observations:

I look like a hooker.
Whenever I check into a fancy hotel alone, I immediately assume the receptionists, bellhops, waiting staff and other guests think I’m a hooker. This is because I read that high-class hookers dress like businesswomen when going about their business (makes sense) in fancy hotels. There I am in my black stiletto heels, immaculate Paul Smith suit, and perfectly-pressed Thomas Pink shirt, striding through the lobby, paranoid that the staff think my vanity case is full of lychee-flavoured condoms and lube. It’s not. Well, not always.

Room service is wretched.
Eating alone is fine, especially if it’s something really naughty like a massive pizza (mushrooms a must). Settled down in front of a comedy, a 200g block of Cadbury’s in the fridge for later, I’m happy to eat alone. But hotels don’t allow for this level of piggery, instead they try and emulate the restaurant experience in your room. I’m looking at the room service menu right now and it’s offering me a “braised lamb shank served on a bed of thyme butternut squash with a rich
Burgundy jus”. That’s restaurant food. It’s not “pig out on your bed with an episode of Arrested Development” food. Stop pointing out that I’m eating alone in my room by serving me food no-one would normally eat alone in their room.

Other people have no taste in movies.
Yay Pay-Per-View movies! Wait…what? Die Hard 4, I Am Legend, Ghost Rider, Happy Feet, and Night at the Museum. Which has Robin Williams in it. I swear these are the movie choices I have in front of me. Kill me now. Ooh, haven’t checked out the porn. We have Boys Who Like Boys (GAY)…OK I have to stop there. I swear it says GAY in brackets just like I typed it but it’s too funny and I can’t type any more. Give me a second to recover.

Back now. We also have Drink My Cum (GAY), Dirty Dykes (LESBIAN), Juicy Boys (GAY), Lateeno Spunk Gobblers (GAY), Rubbing the Muff 2, Wendy vs. Donna, and something called Girls on Girls which oddly doesn’t have (LESBIAN) after it, so perhaps is a typo for Girls on Grills. You know, for barbeque fetishists.

Ghost Rider it is, then.

There are up-sides to single-occupancy though. A long hot bubble bath and an entire king-size bed (that I didn’t make) to myself…minibar with a small Toblerone for midnight…Lateeno Spunk Gobblers whenever the fancy takes me. I think I’ll dial out for that pizza, though.

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32 Comments

  1. I agree, an Italian or Chinese take out that’ll deliver to the hotel. My wife attends a couple of conferences a year and really enjoys the p&q, lack of chores/kids/spouse and me asking where something is. And about that movie selection…

  2. The high-class hookers are where its at. You know, the ones you have to take out to dinner first.

    “Wendy vs. Donna” for some reason brings to mind the image of jello and oversized boxing gloves. But above all, I would say that Die Hard 4 is the absolute awesome-sauce. Bruce Willis is one of the only action heroes who bursts into overjoyed laughter when he does something really cool and violent.

  3. Back now. We also have Drink My Cum (GAY), Dirty Dykes (LESBIAN), Juicy Boys (GAY), Lateeno Spunk Gobblers (GAY), Rubbing the Muff 2, Wendy vs. Donna, and something called Girls on Girls which oddly doesn’t have (LESBIAN) after it, so perhaps is a typo for Girls on Grills. You know, for barbeque fetishists.

    It’s times likes these I wish we had Google ads on Skepchick.

  4. I hear that you can make $5000 an hour that way…

    I always end up going out to roam the city in the evening when I make overnight business trips, something lone female travelers are probably more cautious about. There’s almost always a decent pub-like place within a 5 minute walk.

    Never been mistaken for a male escort yet, though I did once get mistaken for a rock singer. The long hair, knee-high beaten-up leather boots, jeans and worn black t-shirt at checkin in a high-class hotel probably caused that result, though.

  5. “Never been mistaken for a male escort yet, though I did once get mistaken for a rock singer.”

    I once had a drunk guy on the train insist that I had to be Chris Elliott despite my protestations to the contrary. I suspect that is the best I am ever going to get. Sigh.

  6. “Spunk Gobbler?!?!” That’s fucking great!

    And fyi, the original “Rubbing the Muff” totally puts “Rubbing the Muff 2” to shame. It’s like they weren’t even trying any more.

  7. H’m. I once spent a week at a B’n’B in Cape May…in late October…and every day, I did nothing but sit on the beach and watch the dolphins play. All day.

    I am fat and seedy-looking. I have no idea what people must have thought of me.

    Being an occasional misanthrope has its points.

  8. Is there actually such a thing as true lesbian porn?…as in porn actually watched by lesbians for reasons other than comedic purposes?

    It seems like in a just universe there should be, but I have no idea.

  9. First: Die Hard 4, while nothing like as awesome as the first (third best movie ever made after Rocky and TMNT), is still ten tons of awesome stapped on rcket skates.

    Second: I know what it’s like to be mistaken for a rock singer… Is that just a common assumtion for guys with hair to their waist?

    Third: I’ve never been mistaken for a hooker, but I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve been mistaken for a drug-dealer. Going to reference the hair again here.

    Fourth: What the Hell is up with that food? It’s just stupid. I winder how much moeny they lose to the local pizza delivery? Or if they have a deal worked out, which would be smarter…

  10. Since I simply can not figure out how to eat spaghetti politely, without a high potential of making a mess, I’m perfectly happy to order it (or other messy pasta dishes) to eat alone in a hotel room.

    Still, I am more likely to order pizza.

    Like others on this thread, I enjoy the Die Hard series. I’m also a Williams fan and enjoyed Night at the Museum.

    *looks around furtively* Last time I ordered a movie in a hotel room by pay-per-view, it was Meet the Robinsons.

    All that said, I think I’d find all that travelling stressful, if I had to do it as often as you.

  11. Rav Winston wrote, “H’m. I once spent a week at a B’n’B in Cape May…in late October…and every day, I did nothing but sit on the beach and watch the dolphins play. All day.”

    I’m done forever with B&B’s. One to many nights with thin walls and hearing every non-movie sex act next door, and then having to eat breakfast next to the couple and keep a straight face. To much like work because my wife CAN keep a straight face and knows I can’t.

  12. I’m too much a cheapskate…I usually bring a DVD or two in my laptop bag and try to stay in places with free internet. Definitely agree on ordering the pizza/chinese takeout. Most hotels I tend to stay at have gas stations nearby, so the pint of ice cream isn’t too far fetched either.

    I worked night audit at a business class hotel for a couple of years. I can tell you that there weren’t many women I’d have presumed were prostitutes just from looking. Usually the actual prostitutes went to the Knight’s Inn anyway, cut into profits less.

    No, the ones to hear stories about were the airline employees. Never met a group of people who partied that much.

  13. I also tend to wander the streets of a strange city — a habit which led to me being hopelessly lost on the streets of Milan, Italy at about 1:00 in the morning. Fortunately, the local hooker’s guild apparently does booming business with Obvious Americans, so I finally managed to find a young lady who was able to point me back to my hotel.

    I managed to pay her a few euros for her help, but not without some awkward pseudo-Italian to try to explain that I wasn’t, in fact, trying to request the world’s cheapest hand job.

  14. I’m done forever with B&B’s. One to many nights with thin walls and hearing every non-movie sex act next door, and then having to eat breakfast next to the couple and keep a straight face. To much like work because my wife CAN keep a straight face and knows I can’t.

    But that’s all part of the charm, James!

  15. I spent five years as night manager of a better class budget motel in northern California (you meet interesting people in Arcata at 2AM :) ), and I used to laugh at the high school teams when they stayed over. Inevitably, one of the kids would have mommy’s credit card to buy dinner, and would immediatly order porn for the whole team. At least it kept them quiet.

    Most of them would have $40 cash, and would buy a soda and $38 worth of candy bars and potato chips. Fun nights.

    On my own trips, I’m a night wanderer. I got lost in Prague, and in London I stumbled into the part of Hyde Park where the male hookers ply their trade. (Ick).

  16. I am way to cheap to even touch the mini-bar. As for pizza I eat it every night during tax season, 6 nights a week because the firm provides it. I almost never eat it any other time. Chinese all the way. I usually look for a bar and drink until I have trouble walking back to the hotel. The only thing I am ever mistaken for is a cop. At 6’6″ with short hair, a set of ridiculously wide sholders and a frown on my face from being wedged into a plane seat made for a midget suffering from anorexia I can’t imagine why they always think I’m a cop.

  17. I look too sweet and innocent to ever get mistaken for a hooker … I have the kind of face that makes even total jerks want to make sure I’m OK.

    The main times I’ve stayed in hotels is on solo road trips (which I do now and then to get a brief break from my dear-children-whom-I-love), and I generally find a not-too-scary bar within walking distance where I can read a book, eat an enormous plate of fries with ketchup and green Tobasco, and order double Jack & diet Cokes in quantities that tend to startle the bartenders since I look like the sort of person who might order ONE Fuzzy Navel and not be able to finish it. :D

    I need another road trip …

  18. I hear you Tina, for the last two months I’ve been on trips of and on for a week at a time. My MO is to stay at a Marriott of some sort for the free wifi and the points and scour chowhound.com for any decent restaurants in the area. I don’t order in much because, as you say, the tv and movie selections suck. I tend to take a book and head to a new restaurant every night. I spend waaaay too much money this way but I’ve really gotten to love it. I used to be very self-conscious about going out to a restaurant or movie on my own. But this job forced me to either do that or sit in a hotel room. Once I made myself do it a couple of times I lost that self-conscious feeling. It was very liberating.

    I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever been mistaken for a hooker. I’ll have to work on that. I work for the government so once I get someone to proposition me I can scare the crap out of them by flashing my gov’t ID card. That’d be sweet!

  19. Hey Teek,
    Having arranged to meet you in a hotel lobby while I was on a business trip…. I’d be chuffed to have the staff think I could afford you :D

    I don’t think you look like a hooker, if that helps…

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