Our hotel has a lounge and I can’t begin to explain what a huge perk that is for us, particularly me. When you live in a hotel room 300+ days a year it helps to have somewhere else to go other than the actual room. To have a place where we can sit in a seat instead of our bed, have a cup of coffee without getting in a cab to get it, or just somewhere we can grab something to eat at night without a 3 hour “to-do” about dinner- it really is priceless to us.
Some lounges are better than others, but we’re grateful for even the worst ones.
The lounge here in Rio is one of the better ones. I like having breakfast up here as opposed to the kid-filled madhouse of a restaurant. I come up for my afternoon caffeine fix, we all tend to meet up here at some point in the evening and the Wife and I have had more than our share of cold cut dinners to save the hassle (and money) of going out to a long dinner every night.
The real gem in this lounge is one of the regular waiters. He’s like an overly friendly giant (he’s well over 6ft and his hands are the size of baseball mits) who will do anything to make us happy. Want a caipirinha with 7 different fruits 3 hours after the lounge is supposed to be closed? “Okay”. Want him to cut up a giant mango into bite-size bits? “Okay”. Want him to go in search of your favorite mustard? “Okay”.
Now, don’t go thinking we’re a bunch of divas asking for these things- he’s the one asking and we’re the ones saying “okay”. He offers over and over until you say “Okay!!”
We got in late one Sunday without having a chance to grab dinner. I was starved and ordered a burger with a side of gold (that explains the price-right?)from room service. I immediately recognized the friendly giant’s voice and he in turn recognized mine- “Miss Julie!!” ( He calls me by the Wife’s name and her by mine. I’ve corrected him numerous times, but now we just go with it.) When my burger arrived it was flanked by an almost overflowing glass of white wine- what I always drink in the lounge. He called five minutes later to make sure I got his gift.
This is the kind of niceness this guy possesses. He’s sooooo nice- too nice. He let that wild bunch of unsupervised kids run him ragged and he never stopped smiling. Not even for a second.
I’m usually in the lounge by myself until the crew gets home from work. I have come to dread being alone with him. I now find myself saying a silent prayer on the elevator that there will be other people present to act as my buffer. He smothers me with attention. I can’t take one sip of water without him asking if I’d like some more. If he wasn’t the sweetest man on earth I’d want to kill him.
Today he was out of control…
I was having a coffee and as soon as the last sip passed my lips he besieged me with other drink choices. “More café? Juice-y? White wine-y? Coca Zero? Agua”?
Five seconds later I heard water running in the back room. He emerged with a giant plate of washed grapes. I thanked him profusely, although I hate the sour and seeded grapes here. He’s asked me 5 times if I like them since he dropped them off. I’m doing my best to eat the horrid things, but it's going too slowly for his comfort.
He then asked if I wanted some quiches. Warm food is rare here but I had just finished my coffee and wasn’t hungry. Even though I had politely declined, he brought some over anyway.
1 minute later and he’s bringing over a bowl of nuts.
If you could literally kill someone with kindness I would have been dead weeks ago.