So, tonight was my first night in Sydney. I came up for a conference on the red-eye this morning, straight into a whirlwind of techno-business knowledge and finally arrived (via the cocktail party) at my hotel room, feeling a little worse for wear and looking forward to a good night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, I’ve hit that over-tired speed hump where I’m just not going to get any sleep if I go to bed now … so, off to the bar downstairs to sink a few Corona’s and burn that puppy out. On my way back from my little nightcap adventure, I go to my floor, and an Asian lady follows me out of the lift. She casually remarks on my sense of fashion style and asks if I’m a musician. No, I reply, just well dressed. She asks if I’m busy at the moment, it’s her first night in Sydney, and she’d like a little company. OK, I say, so back to the bar we go for a chat and a few extra drinks.
She informs me she’s from Shanghai, here on an exchange program with the Sydney Orchestra for a performance on the weekend. I respond with the usual questions of curiosity and small talk – how did you get into music? what’s the weather like in Shanghai? etc, etc … and similar questions are asked (and answered) from the opposite end of the table.
After forty minutes or so, I inform my new friend that it has been a long day and I’m going off to retire. She agrees she should also do the same, and we continue our chat as we go back to our respective rooms.
We reach my room first and she asks if I’d like a coffee before going to bed? I mention that I’m not going to make the effort to go back to the bar, so she suggests we just make an instant coffee from the in-room kettle.
[Yes, OK, this should have been an obvious cue – I know! I just wasn’t thinking with that frame of mind]
So, I [stupidly] agree and we enter my room, where I put on the kettle and make preparations to pour two cups of coffee. She asks me if I mind if she uses the bathroom? Why would I mind? Off she goes, and I kick up the laptop to check my email account.
After a few minutes, she comes out … naked as the day she was born.
I’ve quickly turned away and ask her to put some clothes on, and she [seemingly confusedly] places a towel around her.
She asks what’s wrong? I mention that my partner may seriously object to this behaviour. She retorts that my partner isn’t here, and that we should continue to provide each other with company for the rest of the night.
I patiently explain that I’m not like that and would very much appreciate it if she would go back into the bathroom and replace her clothing.
She goes back in, and I’m sitting in my room astounded that I missed the cues! I just wasn’t thinking like that, and those that know me know that I’m a genuinely friendly bloke who likes to meet new people … so, that, and my tiredness, are going to be the cloak of my excuse.
She comes back out and tells me that my wife must be very lucky, how long have we been together? Twelve years, I reply. Shes asks with a bewildered look if I’ve never been with another women in all that time? No, I haven’t, I reply. So, she leans in, and in the most earnest of faces says, “you know, it’s good to have a change every now and again”.
Damn, where was this sort of forwardness 13 years ago?
I thank her for her interest, and ask her to please leave my room now, as I no longer feel comfortable with her presence there. She asks if I mind if she finishes her coffee first, and I grant the concession.
After a few minutes, she finishes her coffee, makes another pass and I finally forcibly ask her to leave, herding her towards the door.
So she finally leaves the room and I’m left thinking about a weird night alone in my room. After twenty minutes or so, I decide I’ll go out for a cigarette and clear my thoughts with some crisp night air, so I make my way to the lobby and am asked by the concierge if I’d like another key made for my wife?
I respond that I’m staying alone, but thanks. He responds with “oh”.
So, curious, I ask him to explain, he mentions that a room service call was made from my room earlier, and that “my wife” signed for it at the door, and then said she had locked herself out, but would eat the meal downstairs until her husband got out of the shower.
Well, blow me down! The sheer audacity of this woman!
So, I explained the situation and he tries not to smirk at my naivety in this situation, and then directs me to the security room, where I can identify said women from the surveillance tapes. They’ll make sure she doesn’t bother me again and will try to apprehend her if she returns.
No problem, such is life … now I just have to explain it to my wife …
My wife, the caring understanding woman she is, just laughed at me, but was primarily annoyed that I “lost” $40 (the room service bill)
The hotel have checked their records, and have refunded me the amount for the said room service bill, they apologised for the inconvenience, the woman was apparently known to them for seconding her way into guests rooms before, and that they felt that they share some of the blame as they should have denied her access before my unfortunate meeting with her on my floor.
Well, that was my night … not much left to say after all that!