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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why Do They Bother?

When hostels join booking sites accuracy is of upmost importance, to avoid guests saying:

"We only booked here, because this or that is free."

"I swear I saw that the double room is R150 en-suite. I know of a lot of hotels at that price."

But sites insist on check in and check out times and I wonder why they bother?

Message from a booking - My wife, two small children and I will be travelling long distance by car. We need to check-in at 7am.

I reply - Please note the check-in time. The rooms need to be cleaned. And the other guests are checking out at 10am.

At 7am, I hear hooting - paap, paap, paap!!!

When I open the gate, six people emerge from the car.

Of course Dad did not receive my e-mail, and when he can locate his reading glasses, will prove that check-in time is from 7am.

Do I really deserve this? I tell them that they may wait in the car until their room is ready which can take a maximum of two adults and two children. They can check this as well.

When the other family were loading their luggage into the taxi, the driver sticks his head out the window.

"Madam are you aware that there are a lot of people sleeping here in a car? How much do you charge for that?"

At midday I ask Dad: "Have you decided what to do about the extra children?"

"These are not all our children. Two of them decided to join us."

The children jerk their heads at one another.

"Dad," they say, as one: "How can you lie like that?"

As the siblings shuffled inside Dad offered R100 apiece for his two additional offspring: "We are very tired and just need to sleep."

Three hours later, Mom emerged: "We seem to have run out of hot water. And did my husband confirm with you that our flight is leaving tomorrow at midnight? So, we'll be leaving at 10pm and not 10am."

Wonderful Wednesdays

Midweek Aimee and I visit the Campbells.

This wonderful Wednesday began with Blake running and leaping into my arms, shouting: "Guppy, Guppy"

"I thought I was Gummy," I say, smothering him with hugs and kisses.

"No, no," laughs Blake, shaking his head and hands. "Not Gummy, Guppeee!"

"Come Gummy, no Guppy, come. Let's play golf."

"Blake, Guppy is sooo tired," I say. "Let's read or watch Tele-Tubbies."

"Please pour me an Oros, Guppy."

"Drink, Blake."

"No, Guppy, no. Where's yours?"

We snuggle up between the couch cushions and I close my eyes.

"Come, Guppy, come. No, stay, Guppy, stay."

Blake disappears into the bedroom and returns:

"Come, Guppy, come!"

Blake has turned back his bedcovers: "Sleep, Guppy, sleep."

As I lie down Blake removes my specs, and places them carefully on the bedside table.

Later, there is a massive splash in the bathroom, and: "Whaah!"

It's Blake, hair on end and eyes like marbles.

All of us: "Blake, what happened?"

"I fell. And the water smacked my bum."

Misty: "Where you standing on the bath again?"

"Yes, mommy."

"Are you going to stop that now?"

"No, mommy, it's funny..."

Settled in the lounge and making a racket, Blake puts his finger on his mouth: "Sssh, all."

Of course, no-one listens. "Ssssh, SSSSHH!"

"What's wrong, Blake?" asks Misty.

Blake farts!

Thanks, Nick for teaching Blake to warn us in advance.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rocka Rolla

Nicolene 'phones from the Argentinian Embassy confirming a booking for four, and a delivery of two keyboards, a guitar and drums.

Musicians! Aah, sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. And, Doef! Doef!! Doef!!!

I receive an e=mail from Ernesto confirming his arrival at 10h15. (Tuesday) Ernesto, Javier and Pablo are arriving 7am (Wednesday).

Ernesto is arriving twice, and what has happened to number 4?

Then Nicolene 'phones again. Their driver is on his way to collect two keyboards, a guitar and drums.

"No, hold on," she says, "the driver will be dropping these off. Are your directions the same as on the website?"

The driver arrives and drops the items in the sitting room.

"Please," I plead, "could you kindly take these through to the bedroom?"

He lights up a cigarette, and ponders the consequences.

"Oh, all right! But, this is not in my job description."

The guests arrive near midnight, request a taxi at 5am, and promptly fall asleep.

5am no taxi. I call Sophie who tells me that the driver, "is new, but not to worry, he promises that he knows where you are and here is his number."

I call Twespo.

"I have been waiting outside for fifteen minutes," he says. "There is an old lady, peeping out from beind her curtains, and looking at me funny. Is that you?"

"Where are you?" I screech, as Javier taps his watch as though it is my fault.

"Number 2 Harvard Street," replies Twespo.

We are Number 2 Halifax Street.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Benedicto's

Steven welcomed the Benedicto's late last night.

According to Mrs Bendicto, her stupid husband refused to pay for a Garmin and they were on their way to God-knows-where!

This morning there was bedlam in the bedroom.

When they emerged, I crouching under the counter and expecting four black shiners, was heartily told:

"Don't mind us, we're Italian!"

After breakfast and armed with the Lonely Planet Guide, I was asked the directions to Sabie.

"Take the N4 to Nelspruit. Then take the R40 to Hazyview."

They were lost on the N4, and their eyes had a hazy view.

"No, no, no," they bellow in unison, "in Italia, in Italia!!"

I then noticed their Lonely Planet Guide was in Italian with the directions in bold print.

The Benedicto's, arms flapping, have another go:

"You are stupid!"

"No, you are stupid!"

Then, they hug and kiss.

"We have been married for forty years," beams Mrs.

"And, will be married for another forty," confirms Mr. "What is the quickest way to the airport?"

"While you are there," I say, "It will be best to hire a Garmin.",

"I told you, you are stupid," says Mrs.

And, off they go, laughing and waving...