Whichever of us happens to be in Panama City running the hotel, Keenan and I split time living in the office which is a room slightly bigger than two bowling alleys put together. While not a lot of time is actually spent in the space, we take solace in knowing that while yes, what we live in is equivalent to a shoebox, it is 100% our shoebox. And no one else’s.
In the back there’s a full kitchen where we keep all the snacks for guests as well as snacks for ourselves when we want to be treated like guests. The Marriot has a airhanger-sized warehouse to store their room service materials. What we have is a really nice wooden cabinet. Above the cabinet, sitting on the counter is a small collection of bottled rum left by a guest in one of the apartments. We never drink rum, nor would we really care to try with this particular model, Night Train it is called. So the bottles just sit there.
The area we keep clear for our maids to do laundry, doubles as a chopping area when we’re looking to throw together some soup. And as mentioned in previous postings, this is also the area home to our slow cooker: the most productive and consistent living or non-living item in the Los Cuatro Tulipanes office.
One thing our shoebox does have going for it, which most shoeboxes don’t, is the exposed stone/brick calicante wall dating back some 500 years. Not unlike a little woman with a valuable gemstone on her finger, this wall gives our tiny office a sort of prominence and respect; the confidence that if our shoebox was ever up against another shoebox in a “who’s got a nicer shoebox” contest, we’d definitely take the cake.
If offices were measured in old people, ours would be Florida, in that the creative utilization of our space is that great. On the occasion that both Keenan and I are in-country, we have a large bed and a fold-out couch to rally for, which is set up right against the printing/faxing/telephone station. I like to call this portion of the office our communications department.
We have a nice sized dining room table which we use as our desk: the kind of thing that makes you hungry while you work. It is a deep red and has two large captains chairs (one for me, one for Keenan) where we play dueling laptops as if some kind of cyber battleship match.
We have a nice Sony TV but it is not hooked up and serves more importantly as a place to stick post-it notes.
The office is small but it’s likeable. Because someone always has to be on-call for the hotel, we consider it more headquarters than home. A spot where yes, you may go to sleep if you wish. But chances are, one of the guests will call and wake you up asking for more towels or, like that one time, how to use the internet. “Well you do have to have a computer to plug in first in order to use the internet that we provide” I told this woman Gloria, after having run over in my pajamas. She was under the impression our Ethernet cables somehow magically transmitted “the internet” to its lucky viewers. Who tries to use the internet at 4:40 AM even if they do have a computer?
So come stop by and see what all the fuss is about. We’re taking reservations now for December and January, two of our busiest months. So, like hotdogs or pretzels at the ballpark: Get ‘em while they’re hot!