Monday, April 22, 2019

Thai Platitudes

When you see the rictus grins of rich tourists returning the smile of the Mandarin Oriental's doorman you pray they won’t commit the cardinal sin of returning the “wai” to the servant

No walk-ins, just leaners

My circuitous journey led me through dingy labyrinthine corridors and clanging gates. Eventually my attention was drawn to a grubby notice that read: ‘Search for DLTC leaners’.

Fly And Cry

It’s interesting how airlines feel free to administer a level of “customer service” that only the most suicidal elements of the hospitality industry would dare attempt. Here are some of my pet peeves

Tree meals in the bush

The furious female bounds down the tree and into the bush, her evening ruined. Now and then slivers of meat and bone tumble into expectant hyena jaws. In the bush, one creature’s loss is another’s gain.

Lekker in the Lowveld

Who needs dunes and dusty deserts; malls and movies or waterfronts and whales? We love people from other parts of our country. We welcome them because we Lowvelders have it all...

Hard Cheese in Croatia

The Croats are a delight most of the time.  The service in our hotel was faultless, they speak very good English and the town is the cleanest I’ve ever been to.  But selling is not one of their strengths.

Boarding Blues

The downside of being seated early is being smacked with baggage! In queues, men turn their upper bodies to talk to the person behind them, forgetting the rucksack that has to go somewhere in this process. 

Spotting the bull!

charging elephant bull
Myths peddled by animal rights lobbyists will destroy the wildlife they claim to protect, says Botswana-based wildlife conservationist Erik Verreynne. How about a solution-based focus rather?

O solo mio!

I start to relax. I get a tan. My pink eye has gone. My hair looks good. I don’t miss my ex, just my face creams. My suitcase arrives two days later. I am embarrassed at how full it is.

I’d rather drive

Airport illustration
His voice trailed off into the drone of jet engines. I caught up again to hear the technical details of a new pressure hose he’d bought to clean his deck and something about “the good lord” and being ‘blessed”

Over Exposed

In a guest encounter of the embarrassing kind, hotelier Chris Harvie finds himself baring more than his soul 

Hens getting high in Key West

Key West's early-rising roosters wander the streets with abandon. When police stop suspected dealers, packets of crack are flung from pockets and the ubiquitous chickens lunge and gobble the contents. Well, it’s a great story ...

Luxury Design Flaws

There’s the kettle cord that’s an inch too short to set the kettle on a table, rendering you in a praying position on the floor in order to fill your cup.  The bed post that obscures the flatscreen TV by an inch.

Load Shedding Skills

Here is a picture of Trish Beaver naked in the shower during the loadshedding
The electricity outtages have become a way of life for us living in Hilton. The uniform buzz of generators is as much part of the local ambience as the fine mist that rolls in intermittently.

Wind beneath our wings

Smelly feet
Recalling a flight from OR Tambo International to JF Kennedy in New York, Carol Lazar reckons it's not just jet fuel propelling aircraft along, but the profusion of passenger pongs

Parking off at Kruger!

River view at Skukuza
STEVIE GODSON finds an armada of excess at Skukuza

Shanghair, Shanghai!

Never mind bad hair days, HELEN GRANGE says she has Marc Lottering days …

Squeezed Inn

PAMELA COOPER checks into a London broom cupboard

A bed idea

In Barliloche, home of the Andes and aged, escaped Nazis, CAROL LAZAR shared her bed with a vibrator

Media virgins

TILLY SMITH DIX on trying to explain 'media' to hospitality wannabes

The horror, the horror,

The waiters operate in a blur – harassed, scared, deer-in-the-headlights demeanour – and the patrons, most of whom hold their knives like pencils and couldn’t tell a flute from a fire bucket, become redder and more disassembled with every passing pour.