Friday, August 25, 2006
Nepal Visit (Part 2): Starry Starry Night...
This trip marked another first, again for my mother, brother and I. It was the first instance that we actually stayed at a five star hotel. Earlier, we had been to such hotels for a meal, occasionally, but had never stayed at one.
This time, however, we were to stay for a couple of nights at the Hyatt Regency, Kathmandu, and obviously 'yours truly' was pleased-as-punch to be able to avail of this unique opportunity.
The fun started almost immediately after we landed at the airport on the afternoon of August 12, as the hotel had a van waiting to pick us up along with our luggage. And when we reached the hotel, my Ma just could not seem to trust the bell boys with the luggage. It took some effort on their and on my part to convince her that they would offload it safely from the van and bring it in and that we should go ahead and check-in without a worry in the world.
It was fun and games for the most part thereafter, except that it took some time for the hotel staff to confirm that free buffet meals at the hotel's cafe were included in the 'travel package' we had purchased. Well, it was fun for the likes of me and games for those who gambled with abandon at the hotel's casino. I would rather not throw away hard-earned money at a casino and I do not have any black money.
Anyway, the food at the cafe was quite exotic, I suppose, since there were so many items on the menu each time, the names of which had hitherto been unknown to me. I practised my skill at handling cutlery (particularly forks and knives), especially while eating non-vegetarian dishes and would like to think that I acquitted myself rather honourably, given the fact that the only piece of cutlery I need while eating at home is a spoon. But I might actually have overdone it a bit, since I used a fork and knife to eat doughnuts even, at breakfast!
Any hopes I might have harboured of getting an eyeful of pretty, young angreizens (white women) in bikinis by the pool-side, especially because my hotel room window provided an excellent view of the hotel's swimming pool (as can be seen in the picture posted above), were belied, though, and there was either no one by the pool side or it was teeming with fat old blunderbusses, whenever I took a peek. I, of course, did not venture any where near the pool, for I do not know how to swim and dreaded the possibility that the wind might start blowing too hard and carry me along into the water.
I did, however, get to ogle at some pretty young ladies, who apparently were models and were participating in a photo-shoot in the hotel's lawns as well as near the main entrance, for the ongoing 'Nepal Fashion Week'. None of them was in a bikini or other such revealing attire, and a tall one in a traditional ghaagra-choli, in particular, looked quite good.
Meanwhile, the rooms we stayed in were rather nice, with large, comfortable beds; comfortable chairs and stools for propping one's feet upon; a desk with a nice table-lamp; cabinets; a wardrobe; a small refridgerator that fit inside a cabinet; an electric kettle; a television set; a dressing table with a large mirror; colonial-era reading lamps placed on a bed-side chest of drawers; the works!
The bath room-cum-toilets were quite elegant too. There was a space enclosed by glass walls for taking a shower and a fair-sized bath tub, as well. I could not take a bubble bath like I have seen people taking in English movies, however, much as I would have liked to, because there was no soap solution (or whatever it takes to make a bubble-bath ready). Another thing that took a little bit or perhaps more than a little bit of getting used to, was the toilet paper. We Indians, like most people in the sub-continent, are used to washing our back-sides with water, after answering the call of nature.
In any case, another opportunity to stay at a five star hotel will be welcome, particularly if it is paid for by some one else, as was the case this time.