"Oh My God!"
17 October 2014
Mrs. Monk did exactly what she does at home this day the first day of our short break in Quarteria Portugal, she swam in the pool and then worshiped the sun god.
I left her to it and returned to the room to shower and take a nap.
The Portuguese maid had to let me into the room because my key had failed. I thanked her politely. and got myself into the shower and rinsed off the uneasy jet sweat.
How bizarre to get up at 4 am to catch a flight in pursuit of fun. The irony may well be counterintuitive, but only if something positive would follow the inconveniences of such an early rise, and the hauling of too much baggage, and the wonky uncomfortable airline seats, and the unduly long wait for Taxi et al.
As I soaked and soaped I closed my eyes and wondered if some joy would in fact follow the test of endurance so far inflicted.
I heard a tapping on the door. Mrs Monk had returned and once again the key had failed.
I climbed out of the shower and slid over the marble floor butt naked. I cracked open the door discreetly, because I am not stupid?
It was of course not Mrs Monk calling on me but the Portuguese maiden who seemed to understand that she had disturbed me but nevertheless proceeded to offer me a plate of apples through the crack in the door.
"I am very sorry, I forgot to leave these in your room."
"OK, thank you so much," I said, accepting the gift with my wet hand.
"I am very sorry", she repeated and then handed me a knife and fork set neatly wrapped in a napkin.
"Thank you" I said.
And then another set.
Then a bottle of water.
"Oh My God!" she said before she passed a second bottle of water.
I was attempting to juggle these plentiful gifts, while simultaneously maintaining my dignity.
She offered me one last item, which happened to be a "Welcome" letter from the Don Jose hotel.
Would you just leave that on the floor? I said.
"Oh My God!" she said again, as the single sheet of A4 slipped out of her hand and fluttered to the floor.
"I am so sorry". she said again.
"OK" I said, "thank you very much for the gifts."
Finally I was able to return to the shower and that is when I noticed the huge mirror that would have given the maiden the surprise that provoked the first "Oh My God!" but then how heroically she carried on undaunted until her task was complete.