Thursday, March 1, 2007

Tarquin Diaspora

I arrived at my plush Colombo hotel last Saturday. I've now lost count of the number of times I have stayed there in the past few years and I tell you that not as a means of boasting but merely to set the scene.

When I have stayed there with the wimmin' they spend large amounts of time in the pool and so have got to know many of the staff and are pretty friendly with them all. The pool staff have got used to seeing me poolside with drumsticks and iPod and frankly I feel very comfortable to stay there.

On the other hand my brother, the academic one, Tarquin, has stayed there once, last year when we went together. He is taller than me, brighter than me, better looking than me and he can dance. Women throw themselves at his academic feet and he can hold a rivetting conversation with anyone from Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous to Stephen Hawkins. Not that I've got any sort of complex or anything though.

So I got to the hotel via a taxi from the airport. I had made my reservation over the net and walked up to the desk to check in. I went through the normal greetings with talk of "Is it just you this time Sir?" and the usual small talk about occupancy rates, the peace situation and what not. Then as the fellow was looking up my name he said

"Ah Mr Diaspora, that's Mr Tarquin Diaspora isn't it?"

"No, it's Mr Rhythmic Diaspora" I said, trying to remain calm. Easy after a fifteen hour flight sat next to a fat English bloke who felt it necessary to commentate on every aspect of the plane and its flight plan.

"You mean Mr Tarquin?"

"No I am Mr Rhythmic, my brother is Mr Tarquin and he only stayed here once last year." These buggers have to be told sometimes.

After some confusion, which, this being Sri Lanka, involved more members of staff than are employed by the NHS, I was found lurking in the computer system. I checked in, went to my room and did my things, foolishly thinking that was the end of it.

The next morning I walked passed the reception area on my way to breakfast.

"Good Morning Mr Tarquin" said the voice.

"Ah, morning" I said.

"Oh for fuck's fucking sake" I thought. But I let the matter rest.

The rest of the week was a pleasant mixture of all kinds of things. Some of them you may know about and some of them you may have been involved in. I did get blackguarded (what a great Sri Lankanism that is) by a cousin, the one who sniffs a lot, for not returning his calls. He claimed to have left me two messages and I later discovered that he was telling the truth. The red message light on my phone had stopped working. Well either that or the hotel had changed the system so that the light would come on when there were no messages. One never knows in Sri Lanka.

When I checked out and received my bill I saw that the hotel had come to its uniquely Sri Lankan way of solving the name issue.

The bill was made out to a Mr Tarquin Rhythmic Diaspora.

That's Sri Lanka for you.

3 comments:

N said...

I'm assuming you mailed the bill to him right? :)

queen bee said...

tarquin cant dance, i think its a family phobia

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

n - Thanks for the idea!!

Queen Bee - You never did see me dance though did you?