Friday, August 19, 2005

Sundown Ranch Hotel, Boshoek, Pilanesberg, North West Province

Friday, August 19, 2005 -- Later Still

Service: *
Food: *
Ambience: *
Babe Count: *

What's the deal with institutional food and gristle?

Do these people think that the money they save on buying lowest grade meat will offset the cost of people not returning? I won't be eating supper here again. And after breakfast tomorrow morning, I won't be eating breakfast here again either.

Supper...

  • A buffet with some lumpen potatos.
  • Some boiled pumpkin.
  • "Beef" curry (yes, the inverted commas are here to convey irony).
  • Some kind of fish curry.
  • Assorted salads.
  • A variety of white bread.
  • Tea and coffee (free).
  • Drinks you pay for.
  • Sweet things for dessert (I'm not religious, but Jesus help me... please!).

And I don't have to spell out what happens when you get to a buffet supper half an hour after everyone else cos you've been told to by the maitre d' and his sidekick cos they "can't seat one person at a table meant for eight". But I'll spell it out anyway.

The food is cold. The meat that's left in the serving dish consists of bone, gristle, and little tufts of edible-ish meat. Almost all of the salads are finished. Except for the popular stuff like beetroot salad. There's a full bowl of that. And not an apology to be heard.

The maitre d' floats up to me as I'm dishing up. "That'll be your table over there," he says, pointing to an "intimate" table directly in front of the tea and coffee area.

The place is still full. And lemme tell you something... the babe count has dropped. What's with cyclist chicks? Do they all have overbites? Or is that just a characteristic of a cheapish hotel near a gambling palace? (For anyone who doesn't know, Sun City is a casino resort, and it's tremendously expensive. Which means that people on a budget, or losers, or desperados stay in place like this, ten minutes away from Sun City. I like to think of myself as being on a budget. But maybe I'm actually a desperado.)

I finish dishing up, put my food down, and make some tea. There's no milk in the jug. And it's a two-litre jug. An industrial-sized jug. With nothing in it.

I schlepp the jug to the maitre d'. "May I have some milk please?"

He takes it from me with a smile, then romps over to the tea and coffee area and searches it. He assumes I'm not watching him, and I see him make an angry gesture with his head, and he slaps an open hand onto the side of the jug. He's clearly furious with some or other member of staff who's duty is to keep the jug filled.

I sit. I start piling a side plate with bones and gristle and bits of tough fat. It's a pile. I eat a bit. It's okay. But tepid. And I want to gag. But I force myself not to, cos this is the only food I'll be eating till breakfast tomorrow. Blah.

The maitre d' brings the milk jug back to the tea and coffee area. He ignores me. I stand up to put milk in my tea, and he simply steps aside and walks off.

Courtesy costs nothing. I'm courteous. He's in the hospitality industry. All I want is a bit of courtesy back.

Actually, I'd best revise that... all I want is courtesy and an antacid tablet for my indigestion.

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