Friday, February 26, 2010

Unlike Cagney and Lacey.

To me a telephone and a toilet are a bad combination. Like vinegar and bleach. Bones and chicken. Orange juice and toothpaste. Sanitary napkins and reusable. Even though both were new at the Hotel d'Aubusson I still didn't have the temptation to order macaroons while serving some up. Some things should just wait. This is a common combo at more expensive hotels. I wonder if the concierge knows where the call is coming from. I must remember to ask.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A rainy day.

On a rainy day in Paris I suggest you wear a helmet in the event you walk into a light pole. Why you ask? Because you should be looking down, not up. You can't only blame the cat for what he dragged in. Miss.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A sunny day.

Seriously. When walking about the Left Bank in Paris you really should not be distracted by pastries in a window. This is why I would rather eat chicken off a bone than put my bags down on public floors. Miss.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I would eat here.

In addition to germs, I am not always fond of people. In particular, masses of people. I guess I also suffer from don't-stand-so-close-to-me-phobia. Crowds equal germs. Don't cry for me Argentina. Most of my best friends are imaginary.

When you are trapped in a crowd you are more vulnerable to people. And naturally pickpockets. Who are people with truly bad intentions. In Paris, there is the cafe crowd to contend with. When sitting outdoors you are at the mercy of oblivious people who blow smoke in the direction of your Croque Madame. This is mostly inevitable because that's where smokers sit since Paris banned The Nasty inside restaurants. Hooray! For the indoor part. That's why I adored this moment at this brasserie. The only problem? It was closed. Imaginary food just doesn't taste the same. Sigh.

Monday, February 22, 2010

No touchy.

The Hotel d'Aubusson was full of little surprises. Another interesting feature was the room card activated lights. Put the card in and the lights go on. Take the card out and the lights go off. An energy saver for the planet and the Hygiene Hunter. I had a few less common touch points to disinfect. Hit.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I ate here despite the menu.

Café de Flore has been serving people since World War II and they pride themselves on the fact that little about the restaurant has changed. Including the menu. Perhaps the sauce on this menu is from Picasso's order of Potage Saint Germain. Hit & Miss.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New up close.

Seriously. Isn't it is so much better knowing you are the first and only person to have spat toothpaste into a sink. The refurbished bathroom was the feature I liked most at Hotel d'Aubusson in Paris. Hit.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Everything is new.

On to 'Like Number Three' at Hotel d'Aubusson in Paris. This property is in the process of renovating their bathrooms. I was thrilled to stay in a room with a just-refurbished powder room. For a Hygiene Hunter there is nothing more glorious than being the first to touch a shower faucet, wash undies in a sink or embrace the water closet. I am just checking to see if you are paying attention. Hit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A first for me.

The second thing I liked about Hotel d'Aubusson in Paris was their turndown service. This is the first hotel I have ever stayed in that laid towels on the headboard at night. Bedside yes. Headboard never. This gave me something new to think about. Upside down sleepers. Headboard kink. Headboard kink. Headboard kink. Hit.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A feature I appreciate.

When in Paris I also stayed at Hotel d'Aubusson on the Left Bank. I found this area far more interesting than the Right Bank. There was more of everything here. Bakeries. Art Galleries. Dog poop. Hotel wise, it was far more difficult to find one that matched my particular criteria. What I very much liked at Hotel d'Aubusson were the automatic front doors. They worked perfectly every time and I didn't have to concern myself with having cash on hand for a doorman. Dropping money from a plastic bag or tissue is always awkward. Even for the Hygiene Hunter. The lack of a doorman didn't hinder hotel security either because the entrance is monitored by front desk staff via cameras. Hit.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Nothing to do with hygiene.

While walking through the Le Marais I came across this decorative car belonging to a flower shop. For a moment I thought I was in San Francisco as opposed to Paris. Wait. Come to think of it there are plants associated with cleanliness. The Spider Plant is reported to purify air. Perhaps I should start traveling with one on an airplane. I will have to wade through the customs guidelines of different countries. Soil could be an issue. Perhaps I could turn the plant into a hat to avoid that issue. There is nothing strange about that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taking the scenic route.

There is the postcard image of the Seine River in Paris, France and then there is this. People can be such oinkers. At least I am assuming magpies are not responsible for this scenery. Miss.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Guess which one I chose?

It was over as soon as I saw the plastic wrapped magazines. There was no other choice. Despite a stack of already opened magazines, the kind gentleman at this news stand in Paris, France sliced opened the cello-wrapped bunch underneath. When he looked into my eyes I knew he knew he was looking into the eyes of the Hygiene Hunter. Or a psycho's. And you don't argue with either. Hit.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Easy to resist.

A buffet is a buffet is a buffet. Even if it's candy. And even if it's candy in Paris, France. This open-air-candy-shop-just-above-the-subway-next-to-a-bus-stop-near-a-major-intersection-by-a-crosswalk-beside-a-trash-can held no appeal for the Hygiene Hunter. Even though I was craving FD & C Yellow No. 5. Miss.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A considerate airport.

I understand the need for airports to screen passengers and their luggage thoroughly in the name of protection. As you can guess, I am not enamored with removing my footwear. I would prefer to take off my pants. Today I honor Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France for having the foresight to provide travelers with protective booties so your feet -- clothed or stark naked -- do not have to make contact with the floor. Hit.

Friday, February 5, 2010

They look so innocent.

Unfortunately, lift buttons fall into the same category as doorknobs, water faucets, handrails, money and humans. They can't be trusted. I never touch lift buttons without protection. On the rare occasion when I feel like being dramatic, I will press the lift button with my knee. This action protects you from germs and is an excellent flexibility challenge. Avoid this move if you are wearing a short skirt, tight pants or a cast. I once encountered a self-sanitizing toilet flusher, but I was skeptical. My foot still had to do the dirty work.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My trusted traveling companions.

Wherever I go, they go. The Hygiene Hunter and these $6.99 pair of Marc Jacobs have been inseparable ever since they come to my rescue after the strap on a new pair of Prada sandals gave way while I was walking down a hill in San Francisco. That was five years ago. I always wear them when I shower in a hotel regardless of how clean it appears. These flip flops enjoy exquisitely scented shower gels, traveling in individual freezer bags and having their soles disinfected before they come home. Such Divas.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lucky. Dirty. Penny.

I am a penny magnet. And a contradiction. Truth be told, when I see a penny I have to pick it up for luck. Before you faint as a result of this admission, I always have some form of plastic on me so I can pick pennies up without direct contact. I have only passed on picking up a penny once. That was in London, England. As it turned out it was a lucky penny after all because had I stopped to pick it up I would have been wiped out by a scooter. I acknowledge this to be twisted logic. The only such admission you will ever get from me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Salt to the rescue.

Time flies when you are checking mattresses. An anonymous reader reminded me via comment that I promised to share the salt water secret. Here it is. The Power of Salt according to Dr. Vinay Goyal, an intensivist and thyroid specialist with more than 20 years of clinical experience. His advice was specific to H1N1, but I believe it is excellent, preventative advice to incorporate into your daily routine -- particularly when traveling when you are exposed to people who are not always considerate of others.

Dr. Goyal says, "Garge twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prvents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

"Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at using a Neti pot, but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton swabs dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down the viral population.

"Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm."

Personally, I like Himalayan rock salt. Dr. Goyal also reminds to keep your hands away from your face and wash your hands frequently.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Good advice from a sign.

Dear Readers:

You have every right to wonder what hood the Hygiene Hunter was in to encounter such a dire warning. I would have hung my purse up if I could, but it looks like somebody stole the hook. Okay, no I wouldn't. Onward. Personally, I am more wary of germs than bottom feeders. That's why I would never put anything down on a bathroom floor or pick anything up off a bathroom floor. Like a cheese bun. I witnessed a girl in a bathroom do just that in a stall next to me. At least I assume it was the girl who picked it up, but maybe it was a bun snatcher.

Air Hugs,

Hygiene Hunter.