The Hotel Towels Smelled Like Freshly Blanched Almonds

Traveling is fun because hotels are like rent-a-mom’s.
Leave the room a mess, where your bedsheets convincingly sketch a murder-scene strangle, your sink is water-stained by last night’s drunked attempt to remove makeup, and your soaps/towels/shampoos/etc. are scattered around the bathroom like a fucking Easter egg hunt at Willy Wonka’s C.F. (Chocolate motherfuckingscaryasfuck Factory).

….Not like I would be rude enough to leave any room fucked up like that….that’s just rude.

But for real, I’m calling out to all the hotel maids who contribute that much more to the love of travel. I take such joy in the fall and landing on freshly laundered sheets of white cotton and springy neatness. I soak in the spotless bathroom shelves restocked with “Lemon Zest Cucumber Coconut Crème Brûlée Strawberry Savarin with Amaretto Cream Scented” bath products. I thank the good almighty power that they didn’t mistake my $100 bill forgotten on my laptop at the bedside table for a generous kind-stranger tip. After a soothing lemon-zesty shower, I burrowed my face into the sweet, sensational smell of freshly-blanched almonds. Thoooooose towels. I’m obsessed with those damn towels. For their smell. That smell…..

(Guys…. hint hint.)

I’m away for my cousin’s wedding. For the first time, I’m meeting my dad’s-side-of-the-family of 235,464 Philly-native Russian Jews who were unknown to me, for the most part, from my sheltered life on the west coast. Today was that wedding. And boy, was it perfect. 75° F temp with sunny-and-pretty-white-clouds-weather all the way through in scenic Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The bride sported a lovely white dress with a classy heart-shaped corset with a layered chiffon bottom–it glowed in the beaming sunlight and swayed with elegance during the bride-and-groom’s first dance. The giant greenhouse that sheltered the reception after-party from the elements (barring the sunshine) was perfect for its natural lighting and decoration (various trees and plants seen through the clear walls) provided well for photo opps. I finally connected with my half-sister and got down to the boogie and the hollering of songs we both loved. I met many lovely relatives who–EACH–never failed to remind me that my father was crazy, wild, and reckless when he was my age up to my birth. I noticed some more discreet….sadder things, too. My aunt, who was as happy as ever with her first daughter finally married, now has shaky hands… She blamed it on the “drugs”. I know this doesn’t say much, but it hurts to see your direct relations and the ones you love seem to jump years when you see them from so long ago…. You want them to just pick up where you left them. When you left them.

The wedding ended at 4:30pm. Good food. Great band. Genuine people.
I feel whole. Less introverted.
Ah, families…

Heading back to the hotel, I saw a post by a late professor on Facebook of his Asian dish-out at Japan. Recognizing the bitter melon I loved to hate when my Chinese mother cooked it for dinner, I made a note asking why some people bother to eat bitter foods at all. He responded, “Acquired-taste.” Less-than-pleased with the answer, but inspired so, I researched. And I picked up a delightful post by a UCLA alum on how we evolved to eat bitter foods. I learned…[more on this]

[More about Chinese Moon Festival and Navy officer Ronald’s discussion on Chinese language and learning]

[Add in from previous post on multiple other universes that depend on other rules, not physics]

 

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