Tuesday, February 26, 2013

La Facilité, or the Perks of Room Service

Is it wrong that I have a deep and abiding love for room-service?

Or maybe its a deep and abiding love for "la facilité" ... things that come easily. I can't deny that "la facilité" leaves me feeling relieved and blissfully unchallenged, but I also feel some guilt for appreciating the easier path.

I just discovered my hotel in Cameroon (...not a fan...) does have room service and a veil of despair, avoidance, and general grumpiness has suddenly lifted. I feel great, and pathetic at the same time. I've been subconsciously dreading having to fend for myself the past 2 hours and now I can finally relax and not worry about hunting down dinner. I didn't realize this was bringing me down so much until I felt this enormous burst of energy after biting the bullet and calling the concierge.

Perfectly average $16 meal hand-delivered to my hotel room door step. That salad did turn out a lot smaller than I expected though... and who eats avocado with ketchup?!?
In my defense, Douala is not the most welcoming city at night. As in, I've been warned not to leave the hotel alone by several people and I am definitely not a thrill-seeker in that department. Potential to be mugged/robbed/raped??? No thanks, I'm fine here, ensconced in my smelly hotel room. You would be surprised (or maybe not) that a lot of women attracted to living in Africa don't share these same aversions to (maybe perceived) danger. I was discussing Couch Surfing with some new acquaintances awhile back, and this Spanish girl told us about her friend who couch surfed in Afghanistan, Turkey, and I think Kuwait (???) with men who regularly and unabashedly asked her if she was down for sex and in countries where it was technically illegal for these men to host a woman to whom they weren't married or related. I think my face looked something like this throughout our conversation:
Um, what?!
Apparently, the men were perfectly polite when she declined wanting sex and this woman really had no problem sleeping on strange men's couches in repressive countries. A much, much braver... and crazier... woman than I!

Well, back to the main point: Mom and Dad, let it be known that I'm not into danger and the fact that my hotel has room service is the best news I've heard all day. That being said, in other environments I definitely think I should work on putting myself more out there, even if I'm alone! Let's be real: even if Douala was safe, I probably still would have chosen room service over venturing out alone. The thought of sitting in a restaurant by myself for dinner seriously repulses me. I can count the number of times I've had to do this... mostly in airports or in transit somewhere alone. And most of the time, someone comes up and talks to me and I'm miserable. Does anyone else share this fear/hatred of eating alone in public?

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