Jamaica 2013 – Day nine

Back to the pool then. We spent every morning by the pool, going for the occasional swim, and afternoons were either by the pool or on the beach a few feet away, as the mood took us.

The morning was usually when I wrote this blog, using Mazec, which is an app that turns my scrawly handwriting into actual text, and Kingsoft Office, which is an amazing free fully-featured office suite. In the evenings I’d edit it using my bluetooth keyboard, on which I’ve found I’m able to to type much faster than I’d expected, given its small size.

Writing this blog has been something of a compulsion, and I don’t know where that’s come from. Once I’d started it, I had to finish. To be honest, it’s taken more of my time than I’d really want, so I hope it’s provided some light amusement for someone.

Whilst the wifi was up I was checking the flight status. We hadn’t yet been confirmed into Club. A brief exchange of emails with a very helpful colleague at work informed me that the robot programme to put us in Club hadn’t yet run, but would be doing so soon, and that a bug that had previously prevented us from checking in online had been fixed earlier in the year. It takes some of the strain off to know these things.

Soon after, I saw that we were indeed confirmed in Club, all the more relief as the return flight is a night flight.

We timed lunch to coincide with the music quiz. This time instead of putting your hand up, you had to be first on the white tiles in front of the stage in order to answer, so we moved tables to make for a short run-up. One of the categories was guess the genre, at which I correctly guessed Soca and Rock. You got extra points if you also did the dance. I have no idea what a Soca dance is, so I did the usual hip and bum wiggling, which the quiz lady allowed. However, the guy handing out the tickets that counted as points objected that it wasn’t a proper Soca dance. I said it was down to interpretation, and took the tickets. For the Rock dance, I did some head banging, which the quiz lady quickly stopped before I did myself an injury. Helen’s comment was that my dancing was completely ridiculous, but what she expected.

Back at the pool, the wifi had stopped working. After 4pm, I spotted the supervisor lady at the pool bar, and sauntered over to ask about it. It seems she had just finished her shift, and was getting some refreshment, which, it seemed to me, might require some later rehabilitation, given the contents. She told me that the engineer was actually on site now, fixing the problem. I went away.

Back at the room, over an hour later, I called to reception to ask if the engineer was still there. I was told he was still working on it. And lo! fifteen minutes later it worked. It was in time for us to check in online. The website wouldn’t let me print my boarding pass, but Helen’s was OK. These things happen, and we are woefully unable to explain them to the user online.

Then we had a call from the taxi company taking us to the airport the next day. They wanted now to pick us up at 1.30. The flight leaves at 6.30 pm. It’s a depressingly long journey. We started packing.

On our way to dinner, we went to the front desk to ask if we could get a late check-out. There was a chap behind the desk who we hadn’t seen before, staring intently at a screen. We said hello, he said hello, and we stood smiling at him (I’d been practising the smile) waiting for his attention. All of a sudden he realised that we were waiting for him to talk to us. A look of frozen-rabbit panic came into his eyes for a moment. and he sat rooted to his chair. Then he bolted for the back office, calling for the desk clerk. The penny dropped. This was the not-so-mythical-after-all wifi engineer! As he returned with the desk clerk he was asking her why she had abandoned him in such an exposed circumstance. l looked at him in wonder as he returned to his communion with the glowing screen of lP addresses. I could feel his pain. As a side note. in the old days that previous sentence would have been ‘flickering screen’ which is rather more evocative than ‘glowing’, but modern day monitors don’t flicker.

It was OK to check out at 1.15.

The local cats were out in force that evening, demanding food, so of course I put an extra large serving on my plate, which I distributed to the furry felines.

We took a drink back to the room and sat on the balcony, listening to a podcast history quiz, and gazing out for the last time at the rippling translucent waters a few feet away, the lights of the pier bar, and the clear bright stars above. For the stars, I have an app that tells me what they are.

Then it was to bed for the last time, mentally preparing for that ride to the airport.

< Day eight                                                                                                                                                                            Day ten >