I’m back! My quick trip home to Melbourne went so fast! And I have heaps of blog posts I want to write but thought the main issue i’m experiencing this week is the drama’s of living in a hotel. Yep, I know what a lot of you are thinking – 5 star luxury, sipping cocktails by the pool, fabulous room service, people to clean up after me, the list is endless. Sounds great right? Yeah, that’s what I thought. But after living in the hotel for the past 3 months, the novelty has totally warn off. 1 week, 2 weeks, a month, its all great, but 3 months……i’d rather be living at home!

IMG_2696I’m staying at a hotel called the Mandarin Oriental Hotel – its a large international hotel chain. It is in the center of Makati (City) so I can easily walk to the shops, restaurants etc.

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When you look at the outside of the building…..it looks terrible. It looks like its got a million cracks in the building and you have no idea how it is still standing. I guess there is a bit of hope that because its an international hotel, its checked regularly and is sound structurally, but then again, this is Manila…….

IMG_2691At least the inside looks much better. It has a nice lobby and is constantly busy. Although one time, the lobby roof had water leaking through a light fitting so they just simply put a pot plant under it to catch the drip. No concern for safety (given it was in the middle of the floor) or concerns water was coming out of a light (electricity, hello!). It made me laugh, typical reminder that i’m in an Asian country! The hotel is always full – a very popular place to stay for workers like me. There are always heaps of bell boys, assistants, security officers and receptionists. Because I’ve been here so long, I know majority of them. They are the nicest people. BUT after a while, the ‘hello ma’am` every time I walk past is so annoying!!! But they are so polite so I guess I shouldn’t complain :S As I am a business customer, I get to stay on the upper floors and get breakfast every morning plus access to the business lounge.

IMG_2692As I’ve been back and forth to Australia, I’ve stayed in a few different rooms. BUT since I’ve been back, which has only been a week, I’ve had 3 different rooms. This is where the novelty of living in a hotel has completely warn off. Because extending my time in Manila was organised last minute, the hotel was very full when I returned so they had to put me in a room on a regular floor temporarily. Off course I didn’t mind. Except for when the 2nd or 3rd night came round and the room’s lights began flicking on and off at random times. I tried to deal with it but once it started flicking on/off like a disco at all hours of the night I was well and truly over it. I got the electrician to come and test my lights but off course, all was fine when he was in the room. Typical. After 30 minutes he finally found the problem and believed me and I was told i’d have to move out of the room (which was fine anyway given I was moving up to the business floors soon).

IMG_2693 So the following day I had my bags moved to a new room. When I got back from work, as i entered my new room, I knew instantly there was a problem! The toilet was constantly running, and it was so LOUD! Again I rang house keeping to fix the toilet. In comes the plumber. Now, when I looked at the plumber, I knew for some reason he just wouldn’t be able to fix it. Dont ask me why, I just knew! I stayed in the main part of the room whilst he worked away on the toilet in the bathroom. I was hearing a lot of banging and water sloshing which is not a good sign. Eventually he comes back out, tells me its fixed (even though I can hear it running still) and says there is a little bit of water on the floor but he’ll send house keeping to clean it for me and left. I went and looked at the bathroom and the toilet was not only still running, but it was now OVERFLOWING over the toilet bowl and onto the floor. It was like a wave of water flooding towards the carpeted area, EEWWW!!! So now i am in room number 3 in less than a week and thankfully so far so good. *Touch wood!

IMG_2695See what I mean when I say living in a hotel isn’t as great as it sounds?! Another common thing people believe is that everything is cheap. Yes, in Manila, in the Philippines it is, not in the hotel though! The prices in the hotel are just as expensive as prices back home in Melbourne 😦 But this actually is a good thing, otherwise i’d be indulging in room service and be at least 20kgs over weight by now!

All in all, the hotel has done a great job looking after me.  And the ladies in the business lounge treat me like a friend which makes my tenure here much more bearable. There is some very yummy room service meals plus the deli downstairs makes fantastic little cakes. What ever I need, I can ask. I love being a long term guest here!

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But I do miss home. I miss my bed, my pillow’s, my chase lounge, all my favorite foods, my friends, my family, my dogs and most of all, my best friend Simon.

Love Kathleen XO

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