January 14 2013
So anyway the next couple days were a blur. We’d wake up whenever in the morning and try to get a read on the weather. Just like Captain Cook I’d look to the sky to see what the day might bring.
Dense thick clouds too thick hovered above our little island like the spaceships in District 9. It was definitely going to rain. The clouds were ten deep in front of the sun. You couldn’t even see where the sun was in the sky.
None of the hotel staff seemed surprised about the rain. They said, “It always rains in December. It’s the rainy season… ” (Rainy season?!!)
In my head I had a vision to our travel agent sitting at some desk laughing maniacally. All week long it was supposed to rain?! Everyday? The perv back at the airport didn’t know sht about anything! The Toucan wearing glasses was right…
We sat in our hut and depressingly hunkered down watching episodes of Lost. Or read our books. Napped. Etc-ed. Feed the fish through our hut floor with bread rolls we snagged at breakfast.
At some point there was a knock on our hut door. (Ia Orana!) And I was handed a card. We were cordially invited to a “Pearl Fashion Show” at 7:30 and promised a “Free Gift” if we attended.
We kind of laughed it off and forgot about it. But that night, we headed to our restaurant (to be shaken down for $200+ for salads that tasted weirdly ‘sprayed’, fish covered in vanilla sauce and Beringer wine) and we knew there was some excitement in the air! The music was actually upbeat for the first time! Lights bright! It was on! The Pearl Fashion Show!
In the lobby of the hotel, there were five other people (they looked like a tour group) sitting and enthusiastically clapping and taking flashbulb pictures as hotel staffers came down a long flight of stairs pretending to be models. A woman MC’ed in broken english.
We tried to run away but got chased down by a hotel clerk. He insisted we come in for one drink and get our free gift. The wife looked at me like, ‘Please say no. Please say no..’ I was like, ‘Sounds great! Maruurruru! Lead the way!’ (there was nothing else to do. literally.)
The clerk gave us drinks with big straws and we joined the group of five other people (weirdos btw) sitting and watching staffer after staffer come down the stairs. Wearing clothes from the gift shop and pearls from the pearl shop. MC giving us the scoop.
The ‘models’ would make sure you saw the pearls up close. They’d kneel down right in your face and awkwardly stroke the necklaces. We’d slurp our drinks and nod enthusiastically. Or say things like, ‘So pretty. So pretty…’
They’d look you in the eyes as if hypnotically convincing you that you needed to buy their pearls. Seductressy. In my head I’m like, ‘Honey, I’ve never felt so ripped off in my life. The last thing I’m doing is buying a string of friggin black pearls from this place. For 425,000 (however the fk much that was)…’
In the end, we were given a polished oyster shell as our gift — and headed to the restaurant to work through a cuisine that redefined mediocrity night after night.
Now that the evening’s “excitement” was over. The music switched backed to the vanilla island music.
For the first time, I flagged the reality that the music (music that played throughout the resort) was on a loop. Maybe a dozen songs or so total. Songs we’d eventually hear dozens of times.
The music seemed orchestrated to slowly numb the mind and the soul. With the eventual goal of draining personal identity altogether.
This was one of the songs:
We were officially in trouble.
(to be continued)