I drove my sisters crazy this weekend with my Dubai reminiscences...."memos"....Jen called them.
My first full day on my own in the hotel I poked around......everything was exquisite. The pool was on the roof. I brought my book, Stephen King's "Bag of Bones", my Coke (glass bottle) and of course.....M&M's. There were three workers there to meet the needs of guests. I asked where I could get a towel and they directed me to the gym where I signed out a towel. It was over a hundred degrees and after some time in the sun, I began to feel very lethargic. I was trying to will myself to roll off my chaise and get into the water. I felt as though I had a huge weight pressing down on me. I was just starting to panic.....imagine SouthieBoy comes home from work in time to see my crispy self being rolled into an ambulance! So much for low profile! Just when I thought my goose was cooked......literally......a deep voice said "Madam, may I move your umbrella?" I croked out a "Yes, thank you." After few minutes, I was able to roll off the chaise, stumble to the edge of the pool and fall in. I was so grateful! When it was time to leave I walked over to the gentleman who had moved my umbrella, thanked him and pressed $3.00 (all the cash I had on me) American into his hand. He protested, but I was insistent. He looked shocked. I didn't get it then, but in the coming days it made sense. Back at the apartment I was shaky and sunburnt. A shower used all my energy. The cleaning crew had been in the apartment in my absence (remade the bed I had made and replaced the dozens of towels in the four bathrooms!) and left a placard advertising pizza and a soda. I called down and asked if I could use American money. I hadn't converted any money because SB had told me he would give me plenty. He did indeed leave a bowl of coins, but I hadn't had the tutorial yet. Room service said fine and told me 20 dirham which roughly translated to $5.60, I put a $10 on the coffee table and popped on his computer while I waited. There was a knock on the door in no time and a smartly dressed waiter came in with a heavy wooden tray, pizza on a china platter, linen napkin and silverware. He set it up on the coffee table and indicated I need only sign for it. I demurred and gave him the ten. He looked nonplussed and said he had no change. I told him it was all set, he nodded, thanked me and left. I hadn't even made it the 50 feet back to the couch when *bing-bong* the bell rang. I opened the door and there was my waiter. He looked a little distressed. My face got hot and I thought, "Shit! I must have messed this all up". "Madam," he said, "do you understand 20 dirham?" I answered that I thought it was around $5.60. He said yes (and holding up the $10 bill), and this is too much. I laughed out loud with relief and told him it was a tip. His face lit up and he asked if I needed anything else. I said I could use a room service menu when he got the chance because I couldn't eat pizza all week. I didn't make it back across the living room when *bing-bong* he was back with a room service menu. I think he stole it from one of my neighbors! I finally got to my pizza, but after a few bites, I was down for the count.
That's where SouthieBoy found me, asleep on the couch.
"You came back" I said as I slowly sat up.
"You're really here" he said.
Our matching smiles were enormous.