Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Weekend Hotel

“What is your good name?” Do I have a bad one? “My name? Alissa.”

“I will start massaging you now.”

While Bryce was in Papua New Guinea by himself for three months, he had taken to getting weekly massages. The social scene in Port Moresby can be quite satisfying, but aside from the occasional handshake, the lack of physical touch can leave one feeling a bit isolated and lonely.  This makes the extravagance of a weekly massage well worth while. 

As a treat, Bryce had arranged for me to have one as well my first weekend here. He had worked his way through the massage therapists and found the one that he thought was the best. This little Indonesian woman massaged me in places and ways that I didn’t even know needed to be massaged! She climbed onto the table at various points and if I didn’t know she was up there, on top of me, I wouldn’t have had a clue. It was like she was floating above me, suspended by imaginary strings. 

This was my first experience at the “weekend hotel.” Very early on, Bryce figured out that if he was going to survive mentally, he needed a way to escape and unwind. During the week, he would stay at a hotel in the city near his office. This meant he was able to go home for lunch and wasn’t spending extra time out and about in the car, good from a quality of life perspective as well as a safety and security one. But then on the weekend, he would escape. 

The “weekend hotel” is pretty wonderful. If you are looking to come to Port Moresby for a little R&R, this is the place to come. Though… if that is your plan, talk to me first as Moresby wouldn’t be the first place I would recommend for that purpose! 

Last night, before I headed down to my massage, Bryce and I were sitting in one of the many lounges. I was enjoying a glass of champagne, and he, a Heineken. I ran back to the room quickly to go to the bathroom before I had someone pressing into my bladder. I got the fright of my life when I opened the door, that had a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on it and a Papua New Guinean woman was smiling up at me. “Housekeeping!” I putzed for a little bit, thinking she might leave but she continued on with her work, reorganizing the tea station, with no indication that she planned to leave. I normally wouldn’t have cared but the layout of the hotel room meant that I kinda did!

and this…

This is not a hotel room you would want to share with someone you don't know pretty well! I have no qualms about peeing in front of certain friends and family members but a complete stranger... probably not going to happen! I finally had to ask… 
“Do you mind if I go to the toilet?” 
“Of course, go ahead.” As she gestured towards the bathroom.
“Ok?? Thanks?”

I headed into the bathroom, shut the real door and hesitantly headed into the toilet stall, shutting the glass door behind me. As I was pulling up my dress, we made eye contact through the window and with a smile, she disappeared around the corner to turn down the bed. I guess she figured it out! When I reemerged, we had a lovely conversation about Morobe province, where she was from, and her family there. We were chatting like old pals, which we basically were at this point! After that little exchange, I headed down for my massage.

So far this morning, we’ve had breakfast on an open air pavilion overlooking the airport runway, gone for a walk around the complex, played a game of pool (Bryce won!), and now we are sitting down to watch a movie…. and it’s only 9am! The “weekend hotel” is definitely winning!

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