Little annoyances during times of COVID-19 and lockdown...

We can't imagine anyone would cut this down as a Christmas tree in Campanario, Madeira in 2014.
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Today's photos are from June 22, 2014, while in Campanario, Madeira, Portugal. See the link here for more details.
This hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Airport Mumbai couldn't have been a better place for us to hunker down during the lengthy lockdown. They have been very kind to us and provided a safe haven while they exercised caution and diligent procedures to ensure their few guests have been safe from the virus.
The previous night's rains brought water to the creek.
The cleaning staff has done an excellent job of cleaning and freshening our room each day and the food coming from the restaurant has been fresh and rarely disappointing, keeping in mind we each order the same two meals every day. 

On occasion, I may change my entree to salmon, grilled chicken breasts, or Paneer Makhni, but my vegetable side dishes always remain exactly the same. Tom has the exact same order for both breakfast and dinner, never varying.
The tile roof, the greenery, and the sea create a scenic view.
In these trying times of lockdown for many of us, little annoyances may become more obvious and have a greater impact on our state of mind. I think of moms, dads, single moms and dads, with kids being locked up together for months at a time. 

The stress of their scenario can only be exacerbated by annoyances such as messes left unattended, school work not completed, loud fighting among siblings (and adults), and arguments over day-to-day life.
For all we know this may be the fish guy from whom we recently purchased fresh tuna.
We remind ourselves of how easy it is for us when we don't have to deal with any of the above. The fact we both get along so well and thoroughly enjoy each other's companionship, even after these many months in the lockdown makes this experience easier for us than for many.

We don't have to think about filling or emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, feeding the pets, or cleaning the bathroom. Add in, financial stresses, and it's no wonder so many people worldwide are in a state of anxiety and stress, coupled with the concerns over contracting the virus.
We never tire of the scenery on the island of Madeira.
Our only "household" task for each of us is hand washing our clothes. The lack of such stresses leaves little room for annoyances. And yet, as we always say, "everything is relative" and we're no more exempt from feeling annoyed or frustrated than anyone, regardless of how grateful we feel to be in this hotel, under these circumstances.

Many have written to us asking how we've been able to stay upbeat and positive. Surely, in part, it's based on the lack of the above-mentioned daily stresses felt by most people.
This must be a variety of cactus.
As a result, we have little room to complain about any potential annoyances we're experiencing during the lockdown. But, since many of you asked, here goes:

  1. Phone calls from the staff: With their thoughtful intention of keeping us informed they call us way too often. In a 24 hour period, we may get five or more calls asking if we have laundry. Last night, after getting a call at 11:19 pm about the laundry (while we were sleeping), today we requested they no longer call us about laundry. Also, from time to time the kitchen calls asking if our food is OK, usually while we're sitting with trays of food on our laps while dining. (There's no table in our room). We appreciate the consideration, but not the frequent phone calls.
  2. The necessity of reminding the housekeeping managers that we don't want any newly arrived staff cleaning our room unless they've been staying in the hotel for three weeks. With the frequent rotation of staff, we understand we may get someone new. However, over time, we've come to recognize the cleaning staff even with their masks on and have turned away several cleaners when we discovered they had newly arrived at the hotel from being in the outside world. With Mumbai as India's' #1 COVID-19 hotspot, new people present a huge risk, even if their temperature is taken daily.
  3. Inconsistency in items served with our meals: Oftentimes, the trays have arrived missing forks, knives, and regular food items. Last night, my dinner arrived without my entree. Lack of consistency is a result of the turnover of staff. We understand, but, they do have a list in the kitchen with all of our requests.
  4. Inconsistent items left in our room subsequent to cleaning: Here again, staff turnover may result in not enough toilet paper, towels, soap, shampoo and conditioner, and coffee supplies.
  5. The majority of the occupied rooms on our floor are employees, not guests. Invariably, they leave their food trays in the corridors outside their rooms often those from three meals a day, often for two or three days. I see these accumulating trays as I walk the corridors 10 times a day. Two weeks ago, for the first time, I contacted management that trays left in the hallways with uneaten exposed food present a high risk for disease, insects, rats, and mice. Management, who previously had no reason to check this floor, had no idea. They immediately responded and all trays were removed and it has been much better since. They are very concerned with cleanliness and sanitation and were grateful for my input, although I felt bad about complaining.
  6. Noise: All the laundry for this floor is kept in the suite next door to our room. The staff leaves the door ajar all day and night by engaging the deadbolt to prevent the door from locking when open and closed. This door bangs day and night from air pressure changes in the corridors. We have for this door to be locked at 6:00 pm and has been so since our request.
Oceanview from the road above.
These annoyances wouldn't be noticeable if only staying in a hotel for a night or two. But this, long term stay changes everything. Tom says jokingly, "The only consistency is the inconsistency." This makes us laugh every time!

Do our opinions in these areas have an impact on the reviews we'll write about the hotel when we finally are able to move on? Not at all. Overall, the way they've provided a safe place for us along with their efforts and kindness definitely warrants a high rating.
Hillside scenes were always fascinating.
These few small annoyances would easily occur in any hotel, even in those with five-star ratings during the trying times of COVID-19. We are very grateful to have stayed here and for the efforts they've made to ensure a safe stay over these many months in lockdown.

May your day be free of as much stress as possible when hopefully soon, life will continue on...

Photo from one year ago today, June 22, 2019:
A replica in the Station House Museum in Clifden, Ireland of the biplane that made the first non-stop transatlantic flight by two British pilots from St. Johns, Newfoundland to Clifden. For more details please click here.


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