My hasn't the year flown by....As the start of the busy season is about to kick-off, the motel is looking spick-and-span. The gardens have been plucked and trimmed, the pool is sparkling, the cobblestone driveways are free of organic material and the schedule of deep-cleaning our guest rooms has just been completed.
With all the work behind us we can take a brief breather and count-down to Christmas day.
On Christmas Day we will be spending time with a procession of family members and friends that will take some time out of their relaxing Christmas routine to come and visit us while we juggle guest demands at the motel.
It always interesting to observe what type of guests arrive to stay at our motel on Christmas Day. From previous experience we have catergorised them in to typical groupings.
We often have young or empty nest couples arrive that have purposely planned to avoid a "family Christmas." They arrive with smug smiles, their own catering and have a wonderful time together away from the obligations others would have thrust upon them.
One of the more high management groups of guests are the Asian gang of extended family members that usually depart from Pakuranga or Howick en masse. They will sweep into our driveway late afternoon in several European sedans and people movers. The gaggle is usually made up of at least three separate family groupings that will arrive bewildered and confused: "why are all the shops closed?"
The vehicles will come to an abrupt halt and left parked in all sorts of imaginative acute angles in our car park while the occupants scatter to all points of the motel. There will be a self-appointed team leader that speaks a smattering of English that will engage in the obligatory negotiation process at reception. It will be difficult to establish exactly how many people will be staying, however the language barrier is often evaporated when communicating the numbers concerning tariff.
We usually commence the extended haggling session at double our usual tariff to ensure a mutually satisfactory "discount".
While most families will arrive after Christmas Day, we usually have at least one overenthusiastic family that have become bored with their Christmas ritual and have decided last moment to hit the road. They will arrive late in the day, mum and dad are usually not talking, at least one child is howling and another is sheepishly clutching a sick bag.
And last but not least we often attract at least one lonely soul that has had an argument with a family member and after been ejected needs some time alone to reflect. Some arrive bemused with a reasonably humorous yarn to tell while sadly others sadly arrive with bruises.
In this crazy industry where every day is a Monday, we still regard Christmas Day as a special time.