Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's a girl thing

Cate stepped into the room and said something along the lines of ‘Stiffen the lizards – do they really expect me to stay in a room like this in what purports to be a 5 star resort – what do they take me for?’
She may have used words other than ‘stiffen the lizards’  - which is an old Australian exclamation of astonishment or disbelief. 

In fact – if I recall correctly – the words she used may have been more – shall we say – earthy and visceral.
To which my response was – ‘yes indeed they do dear – and not only that - they expect you to pay $250 per night -  six months in advance – which in fact you have done – and not only that – they will expect you to pay about $60 tonight for a bottle of wine which will taste like bat’s piss.’
And - in response to ‘what do they take you for?’ I regret to say that they take you for the partner of a moron who believed a 5 star rating and did not do enough research before booking a shit box on a sun scorched atoll - where escape is not possible. 
I must admit she had a point. It looked a bit like a room in the Rainbow Motel in Oodnadatta and the only thing missing was straw on the floor. Donkeys would go on a protest march if they were given accommodation like this.
But we had a little terrace out the back and a walk of about 10 meters to the water where we could swim. For some reason two people were lying on our lounges just outside our back door but we assumed they were probably from the Balkans and this may have been one of their customs.
Cate wanted me to chase them away but I told her to wait. They looked like they could be sociable and they might barbecue a goat later and invite us to share a family meal with figs and yoghurt. They do fabulous stuff like this. 
The air conditioner worked marvelously well and Cate started to settle down - until she decided to have a shower.
It was then we discovered that there was almost no water – unless there was none at all. It waxed and waned - sometimes there was a drizzle and sometimes there was nothing.  After some careful investigation I deduced there was never likely to be much - if any. 

This was because we were at the end of a very, very long line of cabins and only got the dregs of the water after everyone else had theirs – and then after what was needed to douse the spent fuel rods at the nuclear waste dump.
I explained the physics to Cate - but being a girl she insisted on calling reception and telling them we had no water - and of course just as the water man arrived the water started – after a fashion - and he went away.
I am not sure what she though he was going to do. It is not as though you can take a screwdriver and adjust something to make water happen. There is either water or there is not water.
I imagine that the resort employs someone solely for the purpose of going to the huts at the end of the line to make comforting clucking ‘water will arrive soon’ noises. The people without water will say they have no water and he will say – looking surprised - 'I will go and check immediately' - and then he will go back  and keep playing Pinochle with his companions in the maintenance shed. This is why the maintenance shed is next to the huts with no water. 
When everyone else in the camp has finished what they are doing the water will drizzle into the end huts.
If the waterless people call again he will go and say that they have identified the problem and it is almost fixed - we are so sorry please bear with us for a little while longer. Back to the Pinochle.
But Cate had to keep ringing – it’s a girl thing. She thinks that if you ring the Reception people often enough they will do something. She demonstrated this not to be true the next day when she tried in vain for 6 hours to get a towel. This may happen in the real 5 star hotels where she stays for work - but not in Camp Festering where people only stay once - and then only because there is no Eject button when they arrive. 

Who was that?

It was that bitch in 275 again

Still wants the towel?


Gunna send it to her? 

Nah - fuck her. I want her to become apoplectic and have a seizure in front of Reception. Remember that old bat from Uzbekistan? 

Cate was becoming quite animated by now – one of the problems being that she had done the shampoo in the hair thing with a drizzle of water and then the water had gone away so she was left with hair full of shampoo and was not happy.
She had reached the very fragile stage – which occurs rarely – where she was in danger of self-combusting. So – using gaffer tape which I keep handy for this purpose - I overpowered her and trussed her up like a Thanksgiving turkey and propped her up in front of the TV – with a wet towel on her forehead (using bottled water) to watch CNN. I figured this would be more relaxing for her than readings from the Koran or American Idol.
CNN was 'breaking' the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. This was more than 24 hours after his death. There was so little left to say about it that the reporters were interviewing each other. Occasionally they interrupted each other to interview a distant neighbor of Bin Laden who had seen nothing but may have had heard distant noises and gunfire - or it could have been the the cat knocking the lid off his garbage tin. 

No he had not known that Bin Laden was in the compound (how could he – he was not a member of the Pakistani security forces) and could not offer any clues as to the likely geopolitical consequences of the unilateral American action.
Then they crossed back to the studio to report breathlessly on the headline news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed - and - as far as they were aware - was still dead. 
I decided that I should send them an email and ask them how long news is breaking before it has actually broken. I offered to be interviewed for my reaction and said that I appeared to be at least as close to the action as some of the people they were interviewing. I do not expect a response.
We survived for our 36 hours in Camp Festering with almost no water. We had some lovely swims on our own deserted beach – the Eastern Europeans decamped so we got our deck chairs back. No goat barbecue appeared. We found a nice restaurant and had good food. 
Monday: Escape from Camp Festering. The final indignity perpetrated by the evil camp guards.  


  1. I'm surprised Cate didn't just put on her bathers, walk outside and have a swim, rinsing her hair in salt water! No, I'm not really serious but that's probably what I would have done...

  2. is there nothing gaffer tape can't do?

  3. he he - it is a girl thing indeed. I'm the master of calling down to reception while self-combusting. But hey, tropical paradise can mean a whole lot of things...

  4. Just another day in paradise. ;)

  5. Your reward will be in heaven, Badger.

  6. Annie: To easy

    Glen: No - brought a space ship back from the moon!

    TNDW: This was certainly a different to the usual kind we have been in

    Coaching mind: Thanks vey much

    Cheers: But we actually did have a nice time.