Ingrid and Joanie
It was a glorious Sunday in December in a beautiful European capital. I took the train from the airport and arrived at my hotel a little after 9:00PM the night before. I removed my clothes and toiletries from my suitcase and neatly arranged them in the closet and on the bathroom vanity. The room was small but cozy and comfortable, with an oak desk set in the corner, a comfortable Corona chair not far from the window and a palatial bed taking most of the remaining space. I took a quick shower, dressed warmly and walked aimlessly in the light snow in search of a place to eat.
My meeting was an all-day affair on Monday. Normally this type of business trips gives the traveler very little chance, if any at all, to unearth the treasures of his destination. I was lucky, however, not to have found any available seat on the Sunday flight and had to fly 24 hours before. I had the whole day free to myself to roam and discover the city.
I woke up early and refreshed. The snow had stopped falling overnight leaving the streets below thinly veiled in white like a pretty bride on her wedding day. There was no point in shaving my beard and it is absolutely unnecessary here to disclose my toilet habits for the innocent reader. Suffice it to say that I decided to have breakfast, hop back to my room (well to use the bathroom) then go out on an unguided and unplanned tour. Oh the delicious smells of food and coffee in the morning. Whenever I am traveling my capacity to eat, especially breakfast, is quadrupled. Business hotels are almost deserted on Sunday mornings but that did not stop me from having a hearty meal of eggs and sausage, croissants and cake, fruits and cereals, bread and cheese and coffee and tea. More than an hour later, I felt like a happy blimp ready to take on this dazzling and promising winter day. I took the elevator back upstairs for one last call of nature.
A housekeeping trolley was left unattended near my room and I had to squeeze myself between it and the door. The moment I stepped in, my eyes took the nonsensical scene instantly but it failed to register properly in my brain. There they were, two plump chambermaids half-naked on my bed in , shall I say, a very compromising position. I felt candidly sorry for my interruption since they seemed to be caught up in a moment of rapture. I vividly remember the wobbling breasts, or was it only one, of a reddish buxom in her late fifties. Her sweetheart was younger and a tiny bit smaller but was indubitably doing something with her mouth when I chattered the moment. Her lips were frozen in an expression that wildly ranged between appetence and disbelief. They both froze in time and space and stared at me.
“Please, don't mind me at all. I just need to pick up something. Well, come to think of it, I really don't need it right now.” I blabbered, honestly meaning every word. “I shouldn't be back till the afternoon. Please stay and have a good time.”
As I was leaving, my eye fell on the minibar. I opened it and took a sharp look at its content. There it is! I took out a half-a-liter champagne bottle and two glasses from the top. I apologetically approached the night-table by the bed and placed them there quietly.
“My treat, ladies. Have a nice day.” I strolled through plazas and alleys and wandered by a river. I had a generous lunch with a bunch of happy folks under a huge tent. Beer and wine flowed freely on our table. Most were lonely people just like me but that did not stop us from feeling like we were lifelong companions. It was an unforgettably perfect day, nothing less than what my luring and flitting ménage à trois deserved.
My return flight was scheduled in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. After a long day at work, interrupted briefly by a light lunch and concluded with a fancy dinner, I returned to my room late Monday evening. A box of chocolate, a bottle of Champagne and a short Thank You note, signed by Ingrid and Joanie, tickled me pink and kept me delightfully warmhearted.
My two lovely chambermaids still remember me. And, they sent me a Christmas card!!!