Who’s in the Room?

18 May 2012
Article by
Photos by National Arts Council

Have you ever stayed in a hotel room alone when you go overseas? You go through the hustle and bustle of disembarking the plane, getting your luggage, finding your way from the arrival hall of the airport to the lobby of the hotel, queuing and waiting patiently to go through the check-in procedures among all the other guests and tour groups, then finally taking the lift with the bell boy to the door step of the room assigned to you.

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You open the door, the cool air rushes to your face and the warm lights swiftly welcomes you into the room. You briefly look at the basic amenities. Wide bed, smooth bed sheet, soft pillows, wide screen TV on the wall, huge glass window and the view of an unfamiliar city.

You say to yourself: oh yeah this space belongs to me for the next few days. You scatter your luggage and belongings all over the room. Your wallet, glasses, watch, passport, shoes, jacket, phone, iPad, camera, chargers, keys, clothes, tooth brush, toiletries… and maybe your favourite soft toy. You instantly occupy every corner of this room. You turn this room into YOUR room. Perhaps just a messy version of it.

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But, does the room really belong to you? Is it really YOUR room?

Are you really alone? Will you keep the TV on just to let the sound complement the stagnant air, and to chase away the loneliness in the room? Are you scared? Scared of being alone, or being not alone?

What’s the difference between the hotel room and your own bed room? You keep your diaries, photos, postcards, books, school report cards and Happy Meal toys in your room. Is it a collection of your entire life?

Are you scared being alone in your own room? Is your own room your safe haven?

It is about time to leave this hotel room. Will you miss it? What will you leave behind in this room?

Do you know who is coming in to occupy this room after you?

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I found my answers yesterday in the preview of Ciudades Paralelas (Parallel Cities) Hotel – Hotel Maids.

I strongly recommend that you should find your answers at ibis Hotel Singapore Novena. It’s a set of experience from theSingapore Arts Festival 2012 that you should take away this year.