Does it Have a Sink? – A Handy Checklist for Finding the Perfect Guesthouse

Which item is missing from the bathroom?
Which item is missing from the bathroom?

In the event that you cycle into a town at just the moment you can’t pedal another mile AND you’re lucky enough to have more than one option to choose from (not often the case)  Eric and I have developed a quick checklist for making snap decisions regarding our night’s home.

1. Check the sign – The mustard yellow colored signs with the words “Guest House” or “Resort” (doesn’t mean it’s nicer) can signify lodging. The age  and condition of the sign are often an indication of the age and condition of the housing.  Be wary of the words “24/7”. We’re starting to think these words mean guests can pay by the minute. Actually, it would be cheaper for us to pay for 12 hours instead of 24 but we’re not sure we will sleep as well knowing what has been going on for the other 12 hours in the same room.

2. Look at the actual room. A good lobby doesn’t mean anything. Here’s our quick scan

–  Mattress – Does it look clean? Does it look comfortable?

–  AC or Fan – Do they work?

 Mosquito nets on windows – Do they cover the windows?

Bathroom – Is it clean? Has it got hot water? Is there a Western toilet?

–  Smell – Has it got a strong perfume smell? This often indicates a sewer back up being covered by perfume.

–  Bicycle storage – In the room or in a secure location?

If the guest house has all of the above, you think you’re in for a great night, unless ….

your room is next to some roosters who can’t tell time,or some dogs who want the world to enjoy the beautiful full moon with them, or you’re next to the famous Wat (temple) with the drum player calling the monks to prayer, or your bed is next to the pump and holding tank for all the guest house water and every toilet flush is like a 10-gun salut.

As a matter of fact, the above checklist has been working pretty well until yesterday. Now we have to add a new item.

Does it have a sink?

Review the picture of yesterday’s bathroom.

Which item is missing from the bathroom?
Which item is missing from the bathroom?

At first glance we didn’t notice the missing sink. The fact that the mirror and sink shelf were placed above the toilet did not even register during our quick scan.

(And, as hind sight is twenty-twenty this question begs an answer. “Are you supposed to stand on the toilet to see yourself in the mirror?”)

The large trash bucket on the left seemed normal since most bathrooms use this bucket to hold water and there is a scoop inside so you can pour water into the toilet to flush it. This bathroom even had a hose for cold water on the left and a hose for hot water on the right.

It wasn’t until we started to brush our teeth before bed, that we noted the lack of a sink. We looked outside the door thinking it might be down the hall. We double- checked the bathroom just in case the sink was hiding behind the trash can or the toilet in a game of porcelain hide and seek. It wasn’t. We discussed our options.

Should we spit in the toilet?

Should we spit in the water bucket?

Should we spit on the floor?

Should we spit out the front door of the hotel?

I’m asking because we really did not know what to do. What is the proper etiquette  for brushing your teeth when there is no sink in the room?

I could tell you our solution, but I don’t want it to ruin our chances of being accepted at future guest houses so you can private message me if you want to know.

But, our curious minds really want to know.