Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Park Hiatt, Rosebank

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Service: * * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * * *1/2
Babe Count: * * * *

It's around ten-fifteen in the morning, and my eyes are swollen and scratchy, and I'm feeling drained. I've just finished therapy with Zahava, and it's been a rough session. We've been talking about me and Jacqui, and the stuff that's been coming up for me.

So I've phoned my production manager at work and told her I'll be coming in around lunchtime, that I'm taking the morning to recover from therapy. She's sympathetic. "Have some Hiatt cake for me," she says.

I'm not in the mood for cake. What I need is a good pot of tea.

I'm outside in the garden area, sitting on a wrought iron chair, feeling as though I might be a visitor to zis vunderfull kuntry, Sous Afrika, ya? And the inevitable plane load of German air hostesses arrives. They've just spilled off their shuttle from the airport, and they're in full uniform. Blue hems. Hmmmmmmmm.

They all join their pilots and co-pilots and diplomats at a table nearby. Which means that FINALLLLLLY a waitress saunters over. For one of South Africa's premier hotels, the service here is remarkably unremarkable. She takes their order, and starts sauntering away.

"Excuse me!!!" I say, and a German air hostess does the polite thing and calls her back. I smile at her. She smiles back, her lips stretched back in that, "Enjoy your flight, sir!" kinda way. I wonder what jet lag does to one's sex drive?

The waitress is wearing a name tag. I say, "May I please have a pot of tea, Confidence?" I kid you not. That's her name. It says so on her name tag.

She turns out to be very sweet, just busy, and the tea arrives quite quickly. She's given me two biscuits, which is pretty darn generous, seeing as the pot of tea only costs a trivial R15, a mere R9 more expensive than any of the other twenty or so coffee shops in the area.

She's about to walk away when I ask her where the tea strainer is. Cos last time I had tea here, the pot had loose tea leaves in it, and a dinky little silver strainer. "Oh," says Confidence, "if you want the loose tea you need to ask for it. This one is made with tea bags."

Ah well. It's a bit like a relationship. You can't always predict what you're going to get, and you've got to be very specific about what you ask for.

The German air crew continue behaving like cigarette commercial extras, and I sip my tea, considering faking my accent.

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