Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Look in your Kimnata, Sir

The bathrooms were all located in the corridor, outside the rooms in Hotel George, a reasonably posh hotel in Lvov, Ukraine. For some reason, they only had sinks inside the rooms. I walked into our bathroom and very fortunately happened to check for toilet paper. There wasn't any to be found. I was very surprised that for all the money that we were paying (rates quoted in Euros and comparable to mid-range US hotels) they hadn't even provided toilet paper.

So I decided to go looking for the hotel janitor's closet where they might be storing extra rolls. I tentatively opened a few unmarked doors in our floor. It was past 11pm but somehow a floor attendant spotted me trying the handle of an unmarked door and rushed over angrily. I didn't understand a word of what he was saying (in Ukrainian) but it was clear from his tone that he didn't want me snooping around. There was no way I could explain to him, so I took him back to the bathroom and pointed to the empty toilet roll holder.

"Kimnata, kimnata" he said, pointing back. I figured he wanted me to go downstairs to the reception desk and ask for toilet paper. I walked back to our room, dejected at the prospect of having to face the receptionist again.

And just as I entered our room, I saw the two neatly wrapped rolls of toilet paper they’d kept for us. Later, in our guidebook I read that Kimnata meant Room in Ukrainian.

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