Friday, June 30, 2006

2006-06-30 S at Amper Bo Guesthouse Pretoria

A few weeks ago, I did the unbearably romantic thing. I invited S to a quick one-night getaway at a luxury guesthouse.

I chose to book at a place called AMPER BO in Pretoria.

Why Pretoria, you might ask? Well... simply put... S finished performing in the second show on that Sunday at around 9pm, and I wanted our getaway to be less than an hour's drive away.

Why AMPER BO, you might ask, particularly if you translate that from the Afrikaans and get the ambiguous, 'Almost There' or 'Almost at the Top'?

Well, cos I fell for the online marketing. It mentioned the fact that AMPER BO is a Herbert Baker mansion. And so on. Hype. Phrases like, built on a 'hill that is still a restricted nature reserve'.

So I phoned the place. Asked for some info. Got the hype verified.

'But,' I said, before sealing the deal, 'I'd just like to know... does the room have a fireplace?' It's mid-winter in South Africa.

'No,' said the manageress. 'But the living room has a fireplace, and you're welcome to spend time there.'

So. Off to Pretoria in the middle of the night on a cold Sunday.

And we reach the Herbert Baker mansion. And it looks kinda alluring in the dark. But the manageress meets us at the gate.

'You're in the other house,' she says. 'Please follow me in your car.'

So we get to a normal suburban house three-minutes away. And she shows us the living room. It DOES have a fireplace. But there's no fire. And it looks like the chimney isn't connected to the fireplace. And she's not offering to light it.

Our room is okay. It's got a bad art reproduction of some lions on the wall.

The clincher is when Susan says, 'Have a lovely night. You're the only guests in this part of the guesthouse tonight. But, uhm, uh, my bedroom is this one here.'

She shows us a door. Her bedroom is right next to ours. She asks us about breakfast times and preferences, and goes to sleep. Leaving us to cavort rather mutedly. (I take a few naked pics of S so that I can draw her later. This pic is the result of one of those pics.)

We're pretty darned hungry, and it's around eleven o'clock. So we look under Susan's door, and the light is out. And we sneak into the kitchen with my torch. We open all the cupboards and the two fridges. And they're completely empty.

Then my torch beam falls on a sign against the wall.

'Do not open cupboards & fridges in the kitchen.'

We go to sleep.

The phone rings for breakfast. 'Please come to the main guesthouse for breakfast,' says Susan.

'Can't you bring it here?' says S.

'Uhm, no.'

So, on the way to breakfast, we pay a visit to the kitchen first, and steal the sign. Which is now in MY kitchen. And woe betide anyone who disobeys.

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