Honeymoon from Hell - Part 2

We arrived at Club Med feeling much relieved at having finally, finally, finally gotten there. Just goes to show you how stupid we were. Upon entering the open lobby area, there was not any obvious place to check in. There was an information desk, but no one behind it. We wandered around for a while and finally found the reservation desk when someone came up to check out. We hadn't been able to see it because it was a tiny little window that had a sign covered up by its own shutters. We were given our guest packet and were sent away with a young man who drove us to our room.

This particular Club Med is very spread out and it is on very hilly terrain, so they have little golf carts going around the paths every 15 minutes or so. We got to our room and as the young man was helping us with our luggage, I realized that we didn't know where we were supposed to go for our orientation (part of your check-in process at Club Med). In fact, we didn't know where anything was. So, stupid me, I ask the young man if he can direct us, only to be informed that he doesn't speak any English. We found out later that they were supposed to have given us a map with the rest of our check-in junk so that we didn't have to wander all over the 100 acres looking for a goddamn restaurant.

Let me explain something here. Ned and I had been traveling for over 24 hours. That's one entire day with nominal sleeping, very little eating, and an excess of unbelievable bullshit, entertaining though it was. We were both ravenous, exhausted, and pissed off at all the screw ups. We arrived in our room to find that our honeymoon love nest looked like a dorm room and the air conditioner didn't work. We had an incredible view, but we didn't want to go outside because it was unbelievably humid. And let's not forget the complimentary fruit basket and iced champagne that they neglected to freshen up after I told them we were arriving a day late. The ice was completely melted and the fruit had flies all over it.

After reading the information packet (sans map), I found that we were supposed to make reservations in the restaurant of our choice in the morning to ensure that they could serve us. Well, we hadn't been there that morning because we were on the wrong goddamn plane to the wrong goddamn airport. So if someone was going to tell me they couldn't feed us because we hadn't made a reservation, I would be eating them for dinner. But at that very moment I didn't feel angry, I felt beaten. After a trip that can only be described as torture considering our physical and emotional states, to arrive in a room that looks and feels like a dungeon, I only had one defense left. I went into the gray cement shower with no water pressure to take a tepid shower and cry my eyes out.

When we finally made our way to the main area we heard an announcement that the orientation was going to be starting immediately in the bar. Well, we were in the bar and weren't nobody being orientated. Turns out this was a pre-recorded announcement and since we arrived on a mid-weekday, no one was really expecting any guests to show up for it. A bartender eventually found out for us who was supposed to do it after asking five million other employees. This leathery Australian guy with an attitude I can only describe as perky starts to tell us about all the great stuff we can do here at beautiful Club Med. Ned had his hand on my knee the whole time in order to keep me from leaping across the table and strangling him with my cute little bar beads. The only reason he made it up from chair with his head still attached was because he told us that since it was off-season there weren't enough people for the restaurants to need reservations. (Of course, we also found out later that because it was off-season, we didn't get a variety of restaurants to choose from every night like they advertised, or a variety of activities, or a variety of excursions for that matter.)

After trying to calm down by having an appropriate tropical drink, Ned and I made our way to the buffet-style restaurant. We walked up to the perky hostess who asked us, "Two for dinner?" Yes, we said, thinking that we would finally get some food in an air-conditioned restaurant and be able to relax with each other. Sorry, but thank you for playing. We got seated at a table for eight with four other guests and two staff members who ate like bears stocking up for winter. They all regaled us with their own tales of woe from their travels (none as nasty as ours, by the by) and then proceed on to problems they had there at Club Med: one is sick from his malaria pills; one is sunburnt so badly she can't sleep at night. And one lady seems to relish in describing for us the night she was bitten by a scorpion in her bed. But Ned and I tried to take it all in stride. After all, the food was edible, if not enjoyable, and we had the rest of the week to recover and have fun. Did I already mention the word naive? How about stupid?

That night, I finally fell asleep with my knees up around my chest after spending about an hour thoroughly checking the bed for scorpions. I woke up in the middle of the night, needing to relieve myself, and swung my feet over the side of the bed, landing in about three inches of water. Our room was flooded. I woke Ned up and while we were discussing the situation I attempted to use the bathroom, only to find that the lid of the toilet had some kind of spring mechanism. In other words, when taking a leak the lid is pressed against my back, and I can't even guess at how Ned's going to make that work.

They came to fix the toilet the next afternoon--do I need to mention they were unsuccessful? Ned, because he's such a nice guy, waited another day before he demanded another room. Our new room didn't have a flooding problem and the air conditioner worked, but the view wasn't that great, and the shower nozzle didn't work at all. We had to take it off--it was like standing under a hose.

The next few days we tried some of the activities. We went snorkeling in an ocean that was so warm it gave no relief from the heat and humidity. Tried the pool, which turned out to be hotter than I could get my shower water. Took a kayak out, but I was still so weak I couldn't paddle back. Tried to get a tan but felt awful if I stayed out in the sun more than a few minutes at a time. We decided to try the arts and crafts center one afternoon to find they offered one and only one craft--batiking scarves--which you had to pay an extra $25 for. There were no televisions (or telephones) in the rooms (which is why we couldn't call for help when we got there) so we tried the communal t.v. room which advertised several movies to be shown at different times--none of which were actually playing at the times we went to check it out. Not that we would have wanted to sit through a two-hour movie since it smelled like something, or several somethings, had died in there. We wanted to go on one or two of the excursions, but they cost quite a bit of money. Also, when we saw people returning from one, we decided that wasn't quite what we were in the mood for. Most of the people getting off the boat were literally falling-down drunk and we heard later that most of them were running-around-naked drunk for the duration of the trip. After spending the first two days trying everything available with less-than-thrilling results, we spent a lot of our time in our room, reading anything we could get our hands on. One night when I was still feeling ill, Ned went to one of their "Evening Extravaganza" shows. He said it was like a bad summer-camp skit, only with a lot of beer. I wasn't sorry I missed it.


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