When one travels to Bahamas one has to fill in quite a few details at the immigration desk. Including ones birthday. Once home again, one gets a few times per year some information from Bahamas Ministry of Tourism – of course only if one ticked the box that one wants to receive this information. Like I did.
This is what I got in my inbox today: an invite to stay on Bahamas during my birthday (which is coming up soon) at special hotel rates.
“How nice!” you might think. In general, yes, I would agree. But neither the Ministry of Tourism nor you know the story about my stay on Bahamas.
Together with my old colleagues at Vibrant Media (now Vibrant) I went there for three days in December 2007. All offices of Vibrant went there in order to have a big Christmas party and to finally meet each other after having spoken only on phone or in video conferences. An extremely generous offer of my old company at that time, definitely.
The party was great and so it was meeting everyone, talking to colleagues you work with as well as usually don’t work with.
So far so good.
We stayed in the posh Atlantis Resort where also parts of the Casino Royal James Bond movie took place. Excellent for hanging out, especially their unique waterworld and the beach, even if it is far too americanised for my liking. Almost everything is directed at American tourists in Bahamas, by the way.
Anyway, great stay, great party – but the days after the party were some of the worst in my live. I came down with a severe stomach bug the day after. So while everyone was out in the pools again, I managed to secure a deckchair in the shadow and kindly got provided regularly with camomile tea my room mate. Just so that I would be able to fly back to London that night. Which I managed, equipped with a good range of emergency paper bags, if you know what I mean.
What I really want to come to talk about is the way I got treated in Bahamas while being that sick. The hotel staff was most unhelpful, sending me on my shaky legs from one end of the resort to the other in search for a doctor or a nurse – both not being available at all in the end. The staff maybe thought I only had just a severe hangover… Great.
Next stop: airport when flying out. Again, super unfriendly staff. I got asked to empty the contents of my pockets into one of the plastic bins. In my situation, desperately trying to keep the contents of my stomach inside, I did not at first get what the lady looking at me in anger meant. When I finally did, I emptied everything into the bin – including quite a good range of used tissues. The face of the lady officer got even angrier when seeing that, but did not say anything. My face had by then a similar expression, meeting her eyes in the same way, while carrying the sweet feeling of the used-tissue-revenge inside. Well, she said everything, didn’t she? And treated not just me like the shit under her heels.
Anyway, I made it home. Never will I forget the trip on the Piccadilly line from Heathrow to Wood Green. And never will I forget the landing in Heathrow. You only know the forces that press onto your stomach while landing when not feeling well at all. Some of you might know what I am talking about. No accident there, though.
So all that special “Bahamian Service” makes that I never ever will go back to these Islands – even if you would pay me. And every email like the one above will make me think “yeah, right…”.
I really hope for them that they will improve in the future and not just concentrate on US-tourists, who often really do treat folks there arrogantly while waving with packs of dollars. And I guess this is why some people there are just giving it straight back with a no-care-attitude to other people.
Let’s hope the good peeps of both parts meet as well and may they share much more positive experiences.
Usually I am quite grateful for all kinds of experiences, cos you always learn from everything. But I definitely could have done without this one.
P.S.: Here is a picture from the very nice part of the trip – the big party with the Team and everyone being really smartly dressed and in a great mood:
…and here myself about 24hours later. 😉 Taken by my Swedish colleague by the way.