Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I am a creature of habit!





I'm certain that everyone has heard of the phrase:  "Who moved my cheese?"  Well, this morning someone moved my cheese - well and truly!

Sometimes, we go through life mundanely without having to think of what will happen next or without having to make any major decisions - particularly when we are on vacation and things just seem to flow.

For me, my vacation to Thailand and consequently all that followed, went without any hiccoughs and before long I was in a routine and extremely happy to move along just like all the other cogs in the engine.

The hardest decision, I guess, would have been whether to get out of bed in the morning or not!  But since this was a vacation and I was keen to do as much as possible, getting out of bed at the crack of dawn was a prerequisite - it was only what happened after my exit from slumber that the decisions were faced.

My regular routine was as follows:  

6 am.  Awake with hunger pangs and a huge thirst that suggested that I had definitely not had enough to drink the night before.  Reach out to the bottle of water strategically placed next to my bed the night before for some very long swigs of lukewarm liquid to quench said dehydration and replenish all liquids, which probably evaporated during the night due to the extreme heat and an inadequate air-conditioner.  (or more accurately, that the big guy turned it off as soon as I closed my eyes prior to my comatose slumber)

Open blinds, squint eyes in order to allow bright lights into brain gently, search roof-tops for monkeys.

Remove camera from safe in preparation for said monkey visitation and photo-shoot.

Wait at the window with camera in hand, still in post comatose state and clearly still dehydrated, staring out to sea at the impending weather forecast.

Stretch, yawn, become instantly bored when monkeys don't arrive within ten minutes, but wait regardless.  Monkeys arrive.  Excitement.  Take photos of said monkeys.  Watch as babies enter room to create havoc.  Pretend anger, clap hands softly and whisper to monkeys: "Out!". Watch as they defy me.  Smile, then immediately frown in mock anger.  Watch monkeys as they leave.

Place camera back on table and get dressed and ready for the day, still dictated by hunger pangs and the need for copious amounts of filter coffee.

7 am.  Walk to breakfast lounge.  Sawadee Ka to lady waiting behind podium, who insists on taking me to my breakfast table - even though I go to the exact same table every single morning.

Enter the breakfast lounge, stop.  Look around for familiar faces, spot piano player sitting on his own at table on the right.  Greet said piano player and have a brief conversation about absolutely nothing - just small talk to prove that I'm still awake and alive.

First things first.  Coffee - keep it coming and keep it hot.

7.45 am.  Piano player stops by my table for brief conversation before he takes his position in front of the upright piano to play sweet music that will ease me into my day and have me feeling human again in no time at all and making a mental note to ask him if he has released a CD yet so that I can purchase it.

After three cups of caffeine induced awakeness, walk around to the kitchen and grab breakfast.  Same routine applies every day:  omelet consisting of two scrambled eggs, one teaspoon of Swiss cheese, one teaspoon of finely chopped ham, one teaspoon of finely chopped tomato.  Take plate from chef, tell him "kop kun ka", walk to next table.  On the side of the plate, place:  three slices of extra Swiss cheese and three slices of Danish salami.  Smile at piano player on the way to (and from) the kitchen.  (Piano playing becomes elevated as I approach each way).

Return to breakfast table and consume gourmet spread in front of me.

8.30 am.  Walk out of breakfast lounge feeling fully human - with a fixed plan for the day, a belly filled with nourishment, veins filled with caffeine, and a readiness and excitement for said fixed plans.

But this morning nothing felt right.  Nothing went according to plan (well, the plan that seemed to work itself out every day anyway).  Instead, things panned out as follows:


5:30 am.  Awake unusually early with hunger pangs and a huge thirst that suggested that I had definitely not had enough to drink the night before.  Reach out to the bottle of water strategically placed next to my bed the night before for some very long swigs of lukewarm liquid to quench said dehydration and replenish all liquids, which probably evaporated during the night due to the extreme heat and an inadequate air-conditioner.  (or more accurately, that the big guy turned it off as soon as I closed my eyes prior to my comatose slumber). Feel total annoyance at having to end vacation today.

Open blinds, squint eyes in order to allow bright lights into brain gently, search roof-tops for monkeys.  See absolutely no monkeys, no evidence of monkeys, and no evidence that they will arrive one last time.  More annoyance.

Remove camera from safe in preparation for said monkey visitation and photo-shoot, regardless of realization that they may not arrive.

Wait at the window with camera in hand, still in post comatose state and clearly still dehydrated, staring out to sea at the impending weather forecast.  Sigh.  No monkeys.

Stretch, yawn, become instantly bored when monkeys don't arrive within ten minutes.

Place camera back on table and get dressed and ready for the day, still dictated by hunger pangs and the need for copious amounts of filter coffee.

7 am.  Walk to breakfast lounge.  Sawadee Ka to lady waiting behind podium, who insists on taking me to my breakfast table - even though I go to the exact same table every single morning.

Enter the breakfast lounge, stop.  Look around for familiar faces, spot piano player... No wait... What the feck?  No piano player!  Shake head.  Look again.  Definitely no piano player...

Waitress waiting at my table for me with my napkin in hand wanting to place it in my lap.  Stare at said waitress, incredulously.  Take one more look around the room - just in case piano player wasn't spotted first time around.  Nothing.  Very annoyed now.  Walk to waitress, indignant.  "Where the hell is my piano player?" I rasp at waitress, hands on hips for effect.  Waitress has an Indonesian meltdown, pretends no comprehension.  Shakes head, replies with emotion in voice, which suggests she may burst out crying at any minute: "'scuse me madam?  What?"

Me - more annoyed now than ever (and anger rising):  "What happened to my piano player?  Where is he?".  Still, Indonesian waitress playing with my own emotions, replies with coy, tiny voice:  "No understand".  Bitch - the lot of them.

I slump into my chair, heavy.  Want to break the chair as I sit down.  Who cares, never liked that stupid chair anyway.  Waitress disappears.  No coffee.  NO COFFEE, NO CAFFEINE.   What the hell?

Another waitress arrives.  Some calm restored, she has a coffee pot in hand.  Pours a cup quickly.  Asks what problem is.  "Where's my piano player?"  "He no in today," she answers, all nonchalant and stuff.  Big mistake.  "What? What do you mean, he no in today, is he sick?"  "Madam, he day off today."  Silence.  The blood drains from my face.  I'm light headed, nauseous in fact.  Losing my will to live.  Then an idea...

I jump up, run around the corner to the piano - piano player has to be there.  In fact I'm sure he's there, the girls are wrong.  Get around the corner.  Nothing.  Piano stool empty.  What -The - Hell?  Annoyance.

Back to table.  Flop down, hoping to break chair.  Chair too resilient.  Pout.  Pout a lot.

Second cup of coffee arrives.  Starting to feel a little better.  More human.  Who cares about piano player anyway?  

Third cup of coffee.  Feeling great.  What piano player?  Time for breakfast.  Breakfast is, after all, the most important meal of the day.

8 am.  After three cups of caffeine induced awakeness, walk around to the kitchen and grab breakfast.  Same routine applies every day:  omelet consisting of two scrambled eggs, one teaspoon of Swiss cheese, one teaspoon of finely chopped ham, one teaspoon of finely chopped tomato.  Take plate from chef, walk to next table.  On the side of the plate, place:  three slices of extra Swiss cheese and three slices of ... Oh my goodness... No Danish salami.  NO FECKING DANISH SALAMI!!  NO MONKEYS, NO PIANO PLAYER, AND NO FECKING DANISH SALAMI.

Retrace steps back to chef, Danish salami has to be there, perhaps somewhere else?  Nothing.  Blood draining from my face.  Weakness returns.  Light headed, nauseous in fact.  Can't move from stupid fast food hall.  Incredulous.  Dumb founded.  In shock.  Tears filling eyes, threatening to overflow and cause precipitation on face.  No longer hungry.  Never wanted to get out of bed in the first instant.  Want to go home.  Oh wait, today is the day I go home.  Thank god.  Who needs monkeys? Who needs the piano player? Who needs Danish salami?

Who needs Thailand anyway?  Time to go home.

Walk past empty piano stool with silence exuding from said piano.  No piano player.   No Piano playing becoming elevated as I approach each way.  Return to table, omelet on plate, minus Danish salami, still no monkeys around.  

Vacation has come to an abrupt end.  No piano player.  No CD purchase.  No goodbye.  Just nothing. A void.  Silence. No monkeys and no Danish salami.

Indeed, the party is over.  It's time to go home.

Feel free to comment (as I return to Sydney with a heavy heart and a lack of memories).

~  Vanessa



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