The Life Aquatic

Lisbon is famous for its tiles. Apart from the sun and the port and the warm, witty people, the tiles were my favourite thing about Lisbon. Many of the buildings are covered in beautiful old ceramics, painted in all sorts of lovely patterns and colours. Why? According to this text that I copied and pasted last week from a now-forgotten website, it's because the tiles are, "durable, waterproof, and easily cleaned, providing cool interiors during Portugal's hot summers and exterior protection from the damp onslaughts of Atlantic winters." If I had vandalistic tendencies, I'd have brought a chisel and hacked off a few favourites to take home for the Bathroom Of My Future Dream Home. But I'm no thug, so took a /images/2006/03/tile1-thumb.jpg few /images/2006/03/tile2-thumb.jpg photies /images/2006/03/tile3-thumb.jpg instead. Meanwhile back in the Very Posh Hotel, Rhi and I were taking advantage of the Very Posh Facilities. The gym was magnificent, a glass box on the roof of the hotel. So one could huff and puff while looking down to the castle and the tiles and all the poor peasants who couldn't afford to stay in a five star hotel for free. After that it was down to the basement to the Very Posh Pool. Against my better judgement Rhi convinced me to get changed in our room, which meant getting into the lift in our swimmers and Very Posh Bathrobes. And wouldn't you know, instead of taking us straight to the pool, the lift stopped in the lobby. The doors flung open, revealing us in our fluffy white splendour to the tuxedo guy at the grand piano and all the expensive people sipping champagne. I frantically stabbed at the Close Door button, but a Very Posh Bloke in a suit that probably cost more than my annual salary hopped in beside us. "Good evenink ladies!" "Hello!" I gestured at our lovely attire. "We're going to the pool." "Yes of course!" I hammered the B for Basement button again, but the lift started going UP! "Noooo, lift!" I squeaked, "Pool is DOWN!" "What's going on?" said Rhi. "Ze lift is broken," declared the Very Posh Bloke. "And so is ze pool. It is all broken. You can't go down there. I'm so sorry ladies." Rhi and I exchanged alarmed glances. I could tell she was having the same flashback, to that nutty German girl who'd patrolled our hostel door back in Reykjavik. But then he grinned, revealing with huge yellow teeth, "I am just joking! Just joking!". The lift stopped at the sixth floor and off he went. Weirdo. The pool was huge and beautifully lit, with servants I mean staff wandering around with soft towels and cocktails. Rhi and I paddled for awhile, then hit the sauna and steam room. I had a bit of a freakout in the steam room. I'd never been in one before. I never expected it to be so bloody… steamy. After that I had a shower and washed my hair twice, because the shampoo was expensive and free. Then I slapped on three kinds of free lotions and talcum powder then slipped a few free shower caps into my bathrobe pocket, as you can never have too many of those. Then I put my swimsuit in that spinning wringer machine thing and put it in a free plastic bag, then took the lift back up to our room. Taking a lift in a bathrobe with no underwear in a five-star hotel will probably end up being the biggest thrill of my sad suburban wife life. HA! That night we ate cheap supermarket bread rolls with ham and cheese for dinner, then realised we'd run out of toothpaste. One call to the concierge and a woman appeared at the door within two minutes, presenting me with a fancy Very Posh Hotel gift bag with a tiny tube of L'Occitane toothpaste nestled inside. I almost went stinky-breathed just so I could add it to my stash. So all that was my brief brush with the high life. Oh! I almost forgot to mention the Wobbly Thigh Game in the pool. You can all play along at home. All you need is a pool and a pair of wobbly thighs. "Hey, you have to try this," said Rhi as we splashed around some sculpted businessmen. "Stand in a squat position. Now put your hands on the back of your thighs. Then just wave your legs back and forth!" I assumed the position. "Oh lordy. I can FEEL MY FLESH FLY!" It was a hoot. And even funnier if you put your hands on your butt. Have you ever known the ridiculous feeling of your flesh undulating underwater? Of course, if you have perfect, unmoving thighs of steel you will never know this pleasure.

About Shauna Reid

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12 thoughts on “The Life Aquatic

  1. i’ll try that the next time i’m in the bathtub. these fleshy thighs never dare to go near a pool!

  2. Funny thing is, I bet the folks who usually stay at Very Posh Hotels don’t get as much pleasure as you and your sister did. Good job!

  3. Arg! I meant to say those folks (who usually stay at Very Posh Hotels) don’t get as much pleasure *from staying in said hotel* as you and your sister did.

    Gah! This is why I never leave comments.

  4. Isn’t that the best feeling though!! You know that you have wobbly thighs but you can wave them around the place underwater and not really have to worry about Greenpeace coming and trying to push you back into the ocean. I must admitt, now all I have is loose skin to wave around – a different sensation altogether !!

  5. I love free stuff. It’s great. It’s great because it’s free.

    And only you could freak out in a steam room because it’s so “steamy”… LOL

    My thighs of steel won’t permit me to try your experiment but my belly of jelly just might!!

  6. I loved the tiles on the ground the most. In Lisbon, that is. Oh wait, I mean the cobblestones. But they are so beautiful!
    Excuse me, I need to go to the pool now. Must try out the new game.

  7. Ummm, your liking “free things” and mentioning that you “can’t have enough”…free showercaps. I would just like to mention you are sounding REALLY like what you claim the Mothership to be. Don’t worry, we all turn into our mothers.

  8. Was the Very Posh Bloke tall enough to be looking down upon your head?

    In that case, best have your hairdresser take a hard look at your roots on your forehead. I think they are spelling out “Gullible Git” in hair dye.

    Not that you dye your hair or anything.

  9. Wil – We were alarmed because Posh Bloke reminded us of the crazy German Door Girl we met in Iceland! Not because we thought he was serious! 🙂

    Donalda – Oh I know! It is a worrying trend, hehehe.

  10. 1) That was blogging gold.

    2) Rhiannon is a loony. In the nicest possible way. I have been missing your Sister Anecdotes…

    3) What do you use the showercaps for? I thought their primary use was for hair-hennaing, but since you are a Natural Redhead that can’t be it…

  11. I loved your stories about the posh hotel. A friend of a friend worked at a posh international hotel chain as a concierge, and told us that in one of the countries where she’s worked (which shall remain nameless), if one calls the concierge instead of housekeeping and requests an extra pillow, they’ll send up a prostitute. This concierge friend was from Paris, and had a charming French accent and a perfect command of English; but the posh hotel chain sent her to special classes to get her to speak English with an American accent. I would’ve quit if I were her.

    p.s. Do you think Australia could do the U.S. a favor and just keep Condi over there for a while? Like, maybe the rest of her natural life? Just keep giving her things to point at whilst looking faux superior and knowing, and she’ll be all set.

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