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Asia CommentTaipan

Saving the world, one angry guest at a time

It's funny what you start to miss after nearly a year without travel.

Of course, there are the big things. It would be nice to meet with clients in person, enjoy a giant hotel bed all to myself, or try a new restaurant in a strange place. What I wouldn't give to be drinking airport champagne in the wee hours of the morning.

But I also miss the little things, like taking inordinate amounts of shampoo and shower gel from posh hotels. Yes, I realise that I could buy my own toiletries, but why should I, if the Mandarin Oriental is happy to provide them for me?

In recent years I've become even more acquisitive, emptying the trays of Twinings tea bags, coffee capsules and the lot into my suitcase. My motto: Don't pay for what you can have for free. (Actually, my motto is an unprintable stream of drunken invective but the other one will do.)

Unfortunately, my recent attempt to restock my toiletry supplies was thwarted. Tai Tai booked us a staycation at one of Hong Kong's largest hotels. As soon as we arrived, I eagerly peaked into the shower, only to realise that this hotel had gone 'eco-friendly', replacing my beloved tiny bottles with huge ones fixed to the wall.

Would sort of development is this? What injustice are we allowing when the future of the planet is given higher priority than the desire of a wealthy ex-financier to nick some free shampoo? I asked these very questions to the manager. His spluttered reply was wholly unconvincing.

This, dear reader, is why I prefer to spend my time in the pub. The drinks may not come for free, but by the end of the night, I'm so sozzled I no longer care.

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