Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Somewhere Over the Wainbow
Prepare yourself for a sob story.
When I was a little Bogan my parents didn't take me to fancy hotels. They took the family .... camping. Uhuh. Practically child abuse. Possibly even worse, we occasionally, every five years or so, we'd do a realllllllly special holiday to the beach at Port Macquarie or Surfer's Paradise and stay at a two-star motel. The kind where we could park the EH Holden station wagon at the door. The kind that had a hole in the wall to pass the bread through in the morning for breakfast. The kind with a little pool for the kids, where my older brother would try to drown me then threaten to kill me if I dobbed. And yet, this was somehow better than staying at home.
I no longer have the desire to camp, and have replaced the front of 'otel' from a 'm' to a 'h'. Five star preferably.
And quite frankly, I think Asia has nailed luxury hotels. Which I quite strange for a continent that smells as bad as it does. I'm a bit of a snot really. I like at least an hour or two of complimentary drinks and nibbles in the evening. And a pillow menu with my choice of scented inserts (Jasmine naturally). And high-speed free internet. And scented face washers on little trays. And mirrors that make me look just a tad thinner than usual (nothing like traveling to Asia to give one an attack of Hippopotamus-itus.)
I contemplated Asia over my complimentary high tea (aloe vera jelly with dragon fruit seeds anyone?) at the Singpapore Intercontinental. Asia is such a hotchpotch of people, hygiene standards and currencies that I think I'd like whoever runs Singapore put in charge of Asia. Of creating the Emerald City at the end of the wellow bwick woad. To create a fully air-conditioned Asian paradise that has the beaches of Phuket and Vietnam, the shopping of Shanghai, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, the airport, hygiene, organization of Singapore, the hotels of Macau and a Thai massage to round it all off.
Asian people are so damned little.
I think, having tripped here a little, that evolution created them this way so that their thighs don't rub together in the humidity. Like mine do. I have a little penguin waddle I do to avoid chafing... TMI? Yes, probably. Standing, waiting for a taxi, I thought I was coping well with the humidity until I felt trickles of perspiration dripping down my legs, my arms, my back.... It's why you wear a dress in Asia, to cover your modesty and also to mop up with afterwards.
Travelling in the wet season does have its advantages in Asia.
Like being able to afford a club room at the Intercontinental for a start. And also, it rains, which for us Perth Bogans was quite a treat. "Wook!!!" said Brad the Tradie. "a rainbow! been a while since we've seen one of those!" "Ahhhhhhhh...." replied the taxi driver, "Many, many wainbow here. but many, many building cover wainbow to make Sing-uh-pore wery wery rich, so sometimes not see wainbow!" Poor successful as hell country with all the money and progress covering the wainbows.
Pass me another Singapore Sling and I'll sympathise for them.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Judy Garland, 1939