Tuesday, 25 December 2007

My maître d'hotel is a car salesman

Stars without class

I have stayed in many hotels some have stars and some have class – one must confess compared to the Riu Palace Maspalomas where I stayed in September and regret not getting a room there this time, my current abode – also of the Riu brand – shares the same number of stars but has nowhere near the class.

I was late for dinner on my first night; just 25 minutes into what normally runs into 2 hours at what was essentially a buffet dinner and the reception had no sense to arrange for me to be accommodated considering it was the last session rather than the early dinner schedule.

Draft cooling curiosity

Then on the second night, I was put on a table near the entrance where the draft helped cool my food before my fork touched the plate, it was also a bit isolated – I like to make conversation with people around me – so when the maître d’ came round I asked for a table more in the middle of the restaurant which he promised to resolve the next night with the assurance that the table I was on for only for the night.

Imagine my disdain and discomfiture when I arrived yesterday night to be told I had been promised the new table for Wednesday – I could only see that the maître d’ was not so much a sophisticated well-bred host but a car-salesman in a tuxedo – the thought sent shivers down my spine.

Later he tried to make amends by grudgingly offering me table from the Christmas night until the end of my holiday somewhere in the middle that I have to find when the evening comes.

Buffets and society

Buffets bring out a lot in a place that brings together all sorts of people and one would expect that no matter what standing you have in life, when you join up to a social setting like a hotel resort, the very basic middle-class values are required like queuing up, taking your turn, serving yourself just enough and not mixing the serving spoons.

I am afraid to say I observed too much; the big bluff man who put the sardine serving spoon into the egg mayonnaise having jumped the queue and piled up the world on his plate or was it the lady who after getting her cream-cake dessert then poured some milk over it – Yuk!

Beyond that, some people look like they have just come from some ordeal of chronic starvation that they have four plates of all sorts in front of them – utterly dreadful gluttons they might as well be the kitchen waste-bins and never be satisfied.

Taking half-board accommodation on holiday has its benefits, you do not have to book restaurants or search for different kinds of cuisine, sometimes you end up doing your own cooking – really, not when one is on holiday – it is all inclusive apart from drinks and there is some routine to the whole thing. Care should be taken to appreciate the quality of the restaurant before making that decision though.

It is a microcosm of the good, the bad and the downright ugly – we all have a bit of that in ourselves and what we try to do is accentuate the good, eliminate the bad and hopefully conceal the ugly and try and make it beautiful, if we can.

The bulge of the balloon

Balloons, I love Christmas balloons – all colours and all shapes – but the ones I have seen were not blown up with air for Christmas but over years of careless ill-disciplined lives or sometimes plausible medical reason are blown up with lipids and fat.

Rather than be more discrete about show it off, they pour themselves into ill-fitting tight clothes that then give them ballooning characteristics, bulges in the wrong places – sights too shocking that one is almost compelled to protest vehemently for the assault to ones viewing space.

These people are in need of a serious resolution and they should not wait till the New Year to begin to shed half that weight and they would have barely hit the mark for being the right weight – the trouble we put our bodies through, 4 paces and panting like you’ve done a marathon – life can surely be better than that.

Now, I have nothing against people with Body Mass Indices over 25, some people are predisposed to that kind of anatomical development, this particular diatribe is directed at ones who delude themselves into wearing clothes multiple sizes smaller than their frame in the hope that something fantastic is happening – such self-delusion is typical of people who spend the first one hour in a gym for years and start looking in the mirror – it is a body not plastercine.

To bring some Christmas cheer, the sun is out, it is about 24° Celsius and time to top up my tan.

Have a Merry Christmas and keep an eye on the turkey.

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