- passport and/or EU ID card
- casual/comfy clothes for travelling
- sport shoes - very NB
- sport clothes
- respectable sleeping gear... you won't be sleeping alone
- dashing clothes for Friday evening
- even more dashing clothes for Saturday evening
- ps. the temp is expected to be between 15-23 degrees.
Now, you must understand, the thought of temps between 15-23 was just so exciting after suffering a few days of very chilly early winter, that my colleagues and I were just about peeing our broekies with anticipation. And what was this dashing event we were supposed to be ready for?
On Friday morning, still without a clue, we were picked up from various destinations and driven to Rotterdam Airport, where we learnt that we were going to South France... to a Club Med.
I didn't know much about Club Meds, but I had heard rumours about luxury accomodation and facilities. The dress code was to ensure that we were suitably attired for dinner each evening. What I hadn't heard about was the food. Full three-course buffet meals, three times a day. All-you-can-eat lobster, paella, seafood, steak, pasta, pizza, salad, cheese, desserts... drinks, beers, liquors, wine, cocktails included. Omigod.
Unfortunately, there was a major mix up with our luggage. This lead to the first team building exercise. There were 25 people in our group, staying in 13 different rooms - all strewn across the resort (about the size of the Cabanas at Sun City). Instead of leaving our luggage in one place, the very helpful French staff took two items of luggage to each room, regardless of who was actually staying in each room. So my roomie and I ended up with KC and AM's luggage, JJ ended up with mine, and my roomie was left running around in uncharacteristic stormy weather trying to establish which room was blessed with her personal belongings. Fun game.
The Club Med was awesome, but there is something to be said for such a large resort with so many family activities... people bring their whole family. There were far too many children under foot for my liking.
The food and free cocktails soon appeased our frayed nerves and we made full use of the all-inclusive price. The dashing outfits were slightly tainted by the glow in the dark jewelry that we managed to get hold of. Classy. The staff hated us... "these English twats, who drink all night and scream all day". Unfortunately for the French barman, we have a number of native French speakers on our staff, who responded accordingly to his pissy comment. We made sure to keep him busy with cocktail orders aaaaaaall night, being as obnoxious as possible. He hated us, but we were okay with it.
It was round about this time that I started to witness why Club Med is called Club Bed by some Europeans. BB was soon having horizontal sex with one of the pool boys (cliche!), but BB is single, 30-something and very able to mingle with whom she choses. Other colleagues were equally indiscreet, but with people within our group, four of them pairing off throughout the weekend. It seriously disturbs me. They all have partners, who they talk about openly. One is married, but basically only together with his wife because of their daughter. I don't think this was his first indiscretion, but it was certainly his first with one of my team mates. Another colleague has just moved in with his girlfriend. He tells everyone that she is The One, and then he has a one night stand with his engaged co-worker in admistration.
They are all consenting adults and I try to tell myself that I really shouldn't judge. But I do. I don't know any of them that well - and after this weekend, I don't want to. Am I being too harsh? Am I condescending because I don't feel the need to frolick openly and butt-naked in the heated pool with colleagues at the end of the night? Am I just lucky because I have a ginger hottie (who is growing a MOustache for the month of MOvember) waiting for me at home?
I don't get it.
I (and most of the party) stuck to more wholesome activities of the sporting nature... tennis, volleyball, football, archery and swimming, saunas and Turkish Baths... but only when the frolickers weren't in there, steaming up the facilities further. Ew.