I love you already for this hotel,
A breath of fresh air after a string of hostels,
Which had their merits but can’t compare to
These comfy beds and fancy bathrooms
With elegantly wrapped soap
And—here’s the cherry on top—free towels!
I like luxury, I admit it, but don’t we all?
I’ve come to realize that
What is first floor for us (Americans)
Is ground floor for them (Brits)
And our second floor
Is their first floor.
It certainly makes sense,
More so than the ancient Chinese age system
That I read about in a book
Purchased from the British Museum:
A child was born one year old
And aged two the next New Year’s Day.
A child born on New Year’s Eve
Would be two years old the next day.
A diagnosis of rapid aging syndrome
Would be in order.
At lunch in the hotel restaurant
On the first floor—or second, in our book—
I find I am accustomed to the system of
Pay, then eat.
No waiting for waiters to wait on you—
Take your pick from the menu,
Order at the counter,
Pay, sit and wait.
It will take a while to adapt,
Once I’m back in the states,
To the system of wait,
And wait, and wait,
Till the waiter takes your order
And then wait, and wait some more.
Let’s explore the city, I say,
Once lunch is done and eaten.
But I’m worn down,
After hours on the coach
And less than forty winks.
Let’s go out, I say—
There’s museums, sights to see;
We’re near the docks—a boat ride, maybe—
Let me run to my room and get my purse—
But bed, how you beckon me,
And now I’m Rip Van Winkle—
Do what you will, out on the town,
While I slip into a coma—
Twelve hours, about—
Just call it slowing down and smelling the roses.