Saturday, April 08, 2006


Hotels are an illusion of home. You sleep in another person's bed, eat where others have sat. But all traces of previous visitors are carefully erased. Clean sheets, spotless bathrooms, empty waste paperbaskets. As of today it is a fundamental law of hotels. The present is just about you.
(Ll-Tribune, Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, Amsterdam)

Of course I didn't write that! Was reading a magazine put out by the Cultural Embassy at the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam. I discovered Lloyd quite by mistake. After what could be accurately described as a fiasco of mis-organization by my work colleagues we ended up there for a meeting. Should you ever have the chance to go, please do - it's a haven of quiet and culture in the middle of " nieuw-bouws" (new houses).

Clearly the person who wrote that had never been to West Africa or Ghana in particular. Here you are always confronted by the past. My ' bad-room' days have included everything from bed bugs, grimy plastic buckets where you expect to see a tub, unidentifiable spots on the sheets that you try not to think too much about, bits and pieces of paper with scribbled notes, business cards, even books (that is how I got tuned into Alexander McCall Smith! ). All things that previous occupants have left behind and that house-cleaning didn't quite manage to get. Especially in hotels outside of the city, you are superimposed on the past even though your time is in the present. Am now here wondering if anyone has found anything that is uniquely me.

No comments: