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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wound Up

Stacie shot out of the shower all in a froth!

"The water is ice cold!"

On an inspection, yes, ice cold water is spewing out of the tap labelled with a C.

"Stacie," say I. "Hot water comes out of the tap marked with an H."

"Well, where I come from, California, the hot tap is on the left. Are all the hot taps in South Africa on the right?"

As Stacie leaves, one further question?

"Will it be cold here today all day? I was told that in South Africa it is always hot."

Which reminds me of another incident.

"Is the water hot?", asks Tse.

"Like a chilli," I confirm.

Wrong word, I realise as it was confused with chilly.

This morning Daniel in a panic tells me that he has lost the winder for his watch. That tiny silver thingabob.

I think I left it in the garden," he wails, "Would you help me look for it?"

Luckily, I was distracted by someone else with more pressing concerns.

"I found it," Daniel shouts, "In the bedroom!"

When I go in to clean, I want to weep.

The furniture is upended. Both beds are overturned, the carpet and curtains all over and the linen is in the cupboards.

And, the shower panels are under a bed.

Now it is not only the watch that is wound up.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hello and Goodbye

Blake, waves to all as he leaves: "Hello, Goodbye", even to the 'plane overhead.

At home there is a hello for everybody and everything. This includes the children walking along the pavement, the family dogs, and all his possessions.

"Hello bika's, hello balla's, hello, books."

Whenever Blake leaves the house the ritual becomes:

"Goodbye bika's, goodbye balla's, goodbye books."

Yesterday morning, while Misty was bustling about she discovered Blake having a bath in the shower.

He had pushed a golf ball into the drain way down, and was lying on the shower floor, hands behind his neck, legs folded at the knees, and singing.

The golf club used to hammer the ball into the drain, was pushed against the door, making entry difficult.

After Blake dressed, he began his goodbye's.

"Please hurry, Blake," pleaded Misty, "we are going to be late!"

"Aw, Mummy," replied Blake, "please go back to sleep!"

Blake, has a cousin Courtney, aged seven, who is a poppet of note.

About three years ago, Courtney came to visit, and politely enquired as to whether she may use the loo.

"But, I must warn you in advance it will be a number two."

The other day, Courtney threw a carrot into the garbage bin.

Her mommy Michelle lectured her about starving Somalians.

"Well call them and tell them, they can have my carrot," replied Courtney.

Courtney now has a brother, Cayden, who sang Happy Birthday to his mom.

"What did she say?" asked Misty.

"Nothing," he replied, "She was laughing so much she farted."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is This for Real?

The 'phone rings: "I would like to speak to the owner?"

"You can speak to me. I am the owner."

"No, the real owner."

"I am the real owner."

"How many times must I explain that I want the real owner? Clearly you have no idea how to run a business. I don't do business with a woman. I'll get my boss to ring you.

Ten minutes later his wife calls.

I received an e-mail from Ghana.

I would like to book in the dorm room for four nights. These are children aged from 18 months to 11 years. I will not be there. This is what I require.

1.) The baby has an allergy to milk and will only drink skim, name supplied. This needs to be provided. As well as diapers.

2.) Three of the children are sickly, and the 11 year old will provide a prescription for their medication.

3.) There was also an attachment, listing what they will and will not eat.This was itemised under breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

4.) Finally, there was a bath time schedule, television viewing to be strictly monitored, and a speedy reply was requested as to what, I had in mind, for their entertainment?

Another e-mail - Hi. I am at the airport. Please collect me. Yasbek@yahoo.

And another. I will arrive at midnight. Could you organise a tour of the Apartheid Museum at that time. And, I would like dinner there on arrival.

A booking, with a message.

I saw all your rooms are non-smoking. I would like one that smokes.

Father and son return from Gold Reef City close to midnight.

Dad: "Brandon barfed all over the car. I cannot return it like this in the morning. I need you to clean this. Here are my keys."

In the morning: "I see you did not clean the car. I have a good mind to give you a bad review."

Me: "There's a car wash at the airport."

Dad: "But, I will have to pay for that. You really should be more attentive to your guests."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ginny, I Need that Tonic

Ginny informs me that she will only book at Terrylin if I would assist with her further travels.

Onward bound to Botswana, she needs to be at Park Station at Sparrow's Poop, and enquiring at Taxi Information is told that the fare will be R350.

"Is this true?", she asks with a shudder.

Well, if they say so it must be.

Ginny further explained that she is a student, studying Aids and tropical diseases, has been a diabetic for 37 years, and is very poor, "but that guy at the taxi desk would not listen."

This morning Ginny has a Plan B and has to be at the airport within minutes to catch a flight to Botswana.

I call for a taxi, and tell her a driver is on his way and should arrive within 10 minutes.

I also tell her that I am going to the loo.

"Will you be long?", asks Ginny, "Please don't make me miss my flight."

I have barely sat down when there is a knock on the door.

"Hello, it's me, Ginny. (Who else?) I need to speak to you urgently! I heard a car."

"Someone is collecting someone else. It's not the taxi!" I reply.

"But, I never said it was. I was just telling you."

Ginny runs off: "Now, there is a big truck outside. Will the taxi find this place, if the truck is blocking the way?"

The taxi driver arrives and Ginny flings her arms around him. He winks at me.

Tring. Tring.

Now, it's Nadia: "I would like to book the room with the pool view. I would like a photo of the room. Is the linen also African like the other room? Could you exchange this with the linen from the other room? I would also like another photo of the pool from the room."

"Not that this will be of any significance though," she continues, "I will be arriving late and night and leaving early in the morning."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lest We Forget

When guests say: "Bye, bye, tootle doo, see you again," I ask them to check if they have left anything behind.

They dart back and forth, no, they have everything and then the calls and e-mails arrive.

The 'phone rings twice. Moments later, it rings again.

"This is Beth. We stayed there last night. Something terrible has happened!"

"Oh no," I breathe.

"I sent you a missed call. Why didn't you 'phone me back? Anyway, my boyfriend left his wallet in the wardrobe. Please could you see if you can find it?"

I cannot find the wallet and "hello, hello", into the 'phone.


Tring, tring.

"Did you find it? I couldn't hold on for ever. This is costing me money. Now, this is what I want you to do. Do you have a pen and paper? I want you to deposit the cash into this account, and then post the wallet to this address."

The 'phone goes dead. Then rings again.

"Why you not call me back? I am a backpacker. My boyfriend found his wallet but we are looking for his passport."

Now I am trying to get the place cleaned when the 'phone rings again.

"We found the wallet but I left my jacket there. I am cold. I am about to board. Bring my jacket to the airport in five minutes."

"I am so sorry," I say, "but my Lear Jet is not available at the moment."

The 'phone rings AGAIN.

"I have organised a courier to fetch my jacket this week or next week. I told them that you are always there so please don't leave the place at all."

A new guest: "Some-one has left a jacket in the wardrobe, and I would like to use that hanger because it is pink."

"What would you like to hang?" I ask.

"A pink scarf," she replies.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Golf, Anyone?

Nick took Blake to the range to practice his golf.

But if another golfer tried to hit their balls Blake would run after them, shouting: "Mine balla, mine balla!! Go get them balla's"

After complaints Nick and Blake went home.

Later that week, Blake spent the day with me.

He opens his bag of balla's. Every size and shape. But, no golf balls.

"Wrong balla's. Gummy, these are kakka!" he wails.

So Steven buys 12 ping-pong balla's. The real ones would smash every window to smithereens.

A beaming Blake blasts them down the passage, and then silence.

"Boet, come here!" he calls Steven.

There stands Blake leaning on the club, other hand on his hip, with one foot crossed over the other.

Steven has now been appointed as the caddy, and is expected to retrieve balls from under the beds and in the bathrooms.

Meanwhile, I discover a laptop in the bag and switch it on.

"Hello and Welcome. Please press the red button and we can begin."

Blake marches into the sitting room and presses the off switch.

"Bye-bye, see you later."

"Bye-bye", says Blake.

I flick the on button. Blake presses the off switch.

"Bye-bye. See you later."

"Bye-bye," bellows Blake, "I said bye-bye. Bye-bye. Now go away. I'm playing golf. Can't you see?"