Archive for March, 2014

I’ve just returned from a trip to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia and I’ve got to say I was a little bit underwhelmed. The word “resort” seems to have lost all meaning. When I’m thinking of “resort,” I’m talking about the type of place that expresses a tropical paradise, an oasis that lies beyond the urban heat island. It’s that promised land, where instead of getting a tan from a computer screen or the build up of carbon mixed chemicals on your skin from diesel exhaust fumes, you get it from lying under the hot sun next to a nice pool that over looks a beautiful beach while you contemplate never returning to work while sipping some sugar laced alcoholic beverage that would normally see you ostracised in your normal pub.

So after driving down the main strip, we noticed that every second place was a “resort.” Well, I guess in this part of the world it’s a sensible place to build a couple of hundred resorts. Only… some of these places seemed a little small to be called a “resort.” Is there a minimum size for a resort? Actually, some of them didn’t even have a pool! At what point does a motel or serviced apartment become a resort? It seems like they go through the same kind of qualification process, as say, a prostitute might do. Like at the Institute of calling yourself a resort, they have one question, “Can you screw people over and get them to spend their hard earned cash when it could be best spent elsewhere?  Congratulations, you’re now an official resort.”

Then it dawned upon me. Queenslanders, or Banana Benders as we like to call them, don’t actually know what a resort is, or maybe I’m being too harsh… they don’t care so long as the tourists keep coming.

Anyway, I’m on holiday, it’s no time to try and understand what makes a Banana Bender tick, so I picked a resort with three pools. That’s right, three! Alright, so one of them was a urine saturated kids pool, then there was a lap pool, which stayed strangely vacant for my whole visit, then there was the urine saturated adult pool.

Okay, so I’m going to digress a bit here. Apparently when people are toilet trained as toddlers, at some strange part of the training, they are advised it’s okay to “go” in the pool. Not me, I was raised by upstanding conscientious citizens. This insight on “going” in the pool came from an interview I watched with an Olympic swimmer who said that while they are training, they simply didn’t get out. Yeah it’s wrong, yeah it’s gross, but it ain’t much better in the ocean, so I guess the recommendation is to keep your mouth closed. But seriously people, if you have to go, get out and use the lavatory, we aren’t Londoners wondering about Black Death, just practise some basic hygiene. Okay?

So I’m on my way to the pool and my first thought is… beach towel.

“Sorry Sir, these are not provided by the resort.”

Fine, I’ll use my room towel. But wait, “serviced” apartments are only serviced every 7 days? Ouch! That towel is sure going to get a work out. But every 7 days? That’s like saying my car only needs servicing after I skid off a cliff into a ravine with faulty brakes. But hey, I’m on holiday, a little filth might be exciting.

So I stretch out by the pool on my fairly short white towel and after about 10 minutes in the hot sun, I think to myself, “You know, I could really use an ice cold strawberry dackery right about now”. Or for the sake of my manliness, I’ll say, “an ice cold beer right now.” So, I got up and headed straight for the pool bar. A short walk around the lap pool, past the kid’s pool, around the adults cess pool and well, where the hell is the pool bar? Nothing! There was no pool bar! “But “resorts” have pool bars don’t they?” I asked myself incredulously. Then I noticed a little sign, “no alcohol to be consumed in the pool area.” I was suddenly snapped out of my stupor as a sizeable lady wrapped in a proper pink beach towel she no doubt bought from home (the type Greenpeace use when saving whales), walked up to the gate and start shaking it like a gorilla at a zoo enclosure. Apparently she hadn’t noticed the child lock. Watching her rattle the cage helped me put the final pieces in place. This wasn’t a resort, we were inmates in some kind of user pays jail, where location location location is everything and the postcards of other places are sublime. This wasn’t a tropical paradise, it wasn’t a “resort,” none of the places around here were resorts, they are just places people can go, so they can update their Facebook page and Twitter feeds to say how it still sucks more to be stuck at home in the rat race.

So next time you’re booking in at one of these fine establishments, just remember the proper context for the word “resort” is actually, “Last Resort!” as in, you’ve just run out of luck buddy.