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Wife insists you need a vacation. It is something that scares the hell out of you: Bumming beside a swimming pool, with a book, or walking around a beach is the least productive way of spending your life. If our grandfathers had been this lazy, we would never have achieved much in life.

But Caroline’s middle name is Persistent. She gets what she wants. Worse, she agrees to pay for everything. And she wants it to be a purely family affair. No house help. Just the four of you for five days, holed up in a hotel at the coast.

As you pack, you wonder what you will do on days 2,3,4.

“You can carry a book or laptop. You can work whenever you get bored,” Caroline tells you as she squeezes yet more clothes into the suitcase…

Why do women carry so many clothes and stuff for a five-day vacation? You pick two T-Shirts, two shorts, a trouser for evenings, open shoes and you’re good to go. Your bag is lighter than a politician’s brain.

As usual, you are late to the airport and it is her fault. When you ask, she pulls the feminine move, playing victim, and does everything but take responsibility…

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“I had to wash and dress the kids and you just showered and lay on the sofa scrolling your phone, scratching your balls…”

You nearly miss the plane, and she is sourer than the sourest lemon. Not a bad start for your vacation.

You get to Coast and the hotel you had booked turns out to be a low-rate, zero-star that had misleading photos. You were keen on the cost, but it proves a wild shot. Even by your miserly standards, it is not an ideal place for a married middle-class family. Even broke college students making a maiden trip to the coast will be beside themselves with rage when they arrive there.

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The fan rotates in a clumsy way. It looks so old, it must have been installed by Vasco da Gama. The beds are creaky. And the promised meal looks so basic, you can see amoeba and cholera with your naked eyes. Naturally, this does not improve your already sour relationship with Caroline.

“Seriously, for the money we paid, I expected better. We will leave this place first thing in the morning,” she says.

“But they won’t refund the money. It will go to waste. We can just vumilia, and maybe eat out and only come to sleep.”

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“You can stay if you want to save the money, but I am not staying in this place.”

She is determined. And like a joke, she actually books a better hotel that very night. The following morning, she leaves in a huff as the hotel staff look on befuddled.

The manager, a cool and friendly guy asks you if there is any problem, and you don’t even know how to tell him that the place is terrible — they need to get a more honest photographer.

It is only the first night. You need prayers, the next four days will be pure endurance.

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