Zen and The Act of Kindness

IMG_0772“Seriously?  You have a bath and a kettle in your room?” I said to new Club Med friend Els. “It must be a deluxe one: I was told they’d done away with most of them in the refurb – part of an economy drive around water. I agree with that – but I do love a soak in the bath after a hard day’s table tennis and lounging by the pool.”

It was the first of many changes I spotted during my week at Da Balaia. It seemed that like some of its guests and the world at large, Club Med is also partial to an identity crisis: Rooms are refreshed; a newly decorated bar upstairs is all blonde wood; the nightclub area bright and airy, however in the communal areas the same old comforting carpet greeted me – a little tired around the edges now.

I followed crowds of beards from a tech company visiting for a conference to the dining room for lunch.

Ines, a Gentil Organisateur (G.O.) tore me away from frowning at chipped plates and cups, and the large round table next to me of eight French bloggers superglued to their ‘phones.
“So, how was your morning?” she asked, smiling. I told her what I’d done and hadn’t done and we found shared experiences to bond over.

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From one Garros to another


“How did you get a name like that?” I asked the main man at the tennis hut, reaching to pour myself a cool drink of water on a morning when the temperature was already 30 degrees.

“Well, ‘Garros’ wasn’t my decision – something to do with my parents” he smiled – a gorgeously tanned face surrounding the kind of dazzling white teeth my dentist would be impressed by.

“Let’s have a photo” I said, commandeering this fine garçon and a fellow pupil prior to our morning lesson.

“Ah, yes, it always start with a photograph” he said, eyes twinkling.

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Service please

P1020589“Look, Karen, if you’d like a can of ‘Raid’, Housekeeping dropped one off for me this morning” I mentioned to one of my new holiday companions from Buffalo, New York.
“Oh sure, I really hope we’re not gonna need that though.” she replied.

I told her I hadn’t meditated that morning because I was afraid to close my eyes in the room. “I think that’s what went wrong today” I said.
“You think?!” She replied.  “You sure it wasn’t that large insect you found in your bathroom last night?”

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I’ve lost my hairband and don’t know where to find it

P1040761 “Anyone seen my hairband?” I asked the assembled poolside crew.
“What does it look like – is it green and pink?” Betty asked.
“No, navy and cream – kind of spotted.”
“It’s probably at the bottom of the pool” said Geraint, “That’s where my silver headband is – here you can borrow one of mine if you need it, I’ve got four.”

I took the gold shiny hairpiece faster than you could say ‘Harry Styles’ and applied it.  “May I see the other ones?’ I said.
“Well, they’re up in my room at the moment, I don’t take them to the pool” Geraint replied, smiling.

A scorchio 30 degree morning, seering blue skies above, a gentle breeze and three days into a Club Med holiday, the mood was lite and frivolous to say nothing of giggly.

Continue reading “I’ve lost my hairband and don’t know where to find it”