The family decided to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday in a big way: surviving 60 years on earth is a milestone to the Chinese. So, away we trundled, pouring into a super-starred resort.
I have observed on many an occasion, that swanky establishments seldom actually take into consideration persons with disabilities, and this was to be an interested and mixed experience for one and all. At over a thousand dollars per night, our two-night booking didn’t exactly come cheap. Yet, upon entry, the front office staff left the entourage struggling with heavy doors at the lobby: an old lady in a wheelchair, two ladies struggling with huge bags, and pushing a pram containing two little fluffies (it was a pet-friendly establishment). My brother-in-law was parking the car, and my sister decided to sally forth ahead. As it turned out, not the best decision? Whether it was a case of sexism, disabilities discrimination or sheer apathy, nobody can be sure, but there were at least four front office staff loitering around, chatting away, completely disinterested in the sight of an elderly lady in a wheelchair stuck between heavy lobby doors.
Of course, this faux pas did not go down well – my sister lodged a stern and detailed complaint with the relevant department. The public relations people went into full swing and there appeared an extremely apologetic person anxious to make amends. Well, the complimentary birthday cakes were pretty delicious, and that lavish dinner did help to soothe frayed nerves. Thusly, we settled in, looking ahead towards two days of resort-bliss.
I dropped in on the party after the melee, but this lucky visitor did get to enjoy the evening meal.
Having a detail-focused mind with hypersenses does indeed often place one in a strange position. I do not set off to be a naysayer or wet-blanket, but the natural propensity to notice the small things does make for some awkward juxtapositions.
That crooked and wobbly toilet seat, for instance.
And pretty little ‘sleek’ taps that were incredibly difficult to turn on and off, because of arthritic wrists.
Dirty, scruffy old doggy mats (that smelled nasty), scratched, cracked food bowls, and used toys? Ugh. Tiny was not impressed at all.
Breakfast was amazing, a huge buffet spread, scrumptious food, but… get this: a pet-friendly resort that does not allow well-behaved pets (even when neatly ensconced inside a pram) at the outdoor dining area? So, they expect guests to lock up their pets inside the rooms during mealtimes, or just dine in-room? Not very friendly at all. Who in the world thought (or didn’t think) of this ridiculous rule?
The grand-prix style buggy drivers who whizzed us up and down, round and round, at top dizzying speed were quite a feature. We needed a ride to and from the dining area and our villa, because of mum being unable to walk the distance – I thought I’d go hurtling off into the bushes, honestly. In the end, after a few nauseating, harrowing rides, I chose to walk instead, but 82 year old mum was not at all impressed, to say the least.
Ah, and air-conditioning that somehow could not be properly regulated despite the supposedly high-tech controls had us either shivering in blizzard cold or sweltering under a blanket of stuffiness.
Oh, wait a minute, are those dust bunnies I see floating around under the bed?
Then there was the invasion of the legion of mozzies, no matter where we went. Not very clever landscaping, I thought. They could’ve filled the place with mozzie-repelling plants, to bring down the population, surely?
Well, as it turned out, we did have a good time, one and all, despite the various oddities, of course. That’s how we roll along, we do manage to cope with some overwhelming odds in assaultive environments, with grit and determination, to enjoy the global possibilities!
A walk by the nearby beach. Lounging by the tiny weeny private pool in our villa. Lots of fruit and cake. Free-flow of drinks from the minibar. Cuddles and sleeps in massive king-sized bed. And even a somewhat rowdy in-villa celebration with brother-in-law’s family, who brought delicious home-cooked dinner!
Oh, and did I mention the food? Simply amazing!
Right, this is a retrospective post, two months after the event, but the sensory experience is still fresh in our minds. Happy Birthday!