I’ve always heard the term “service” takes on a very special meaning when travelling in Asia. Whatever you want or need, it is their pleasure to fulfill your wishes. My friends told me if I was ever there, I should enjoy a full body massage.
About 20 years ago, I found myself arriving in Kuala Lampur on an early morning flight. After 19 hours of airplane seating, I was exhausted. With my butt dragging behind me, I struggled into the hotel with my rolling bag. I checked in and started for the elevator.
“Sir, wait.” The clerk said. He called for a bellman. A young woman approached and took my suitcase.
“It’s okay. I can manage.”
“Sir, it is my honor.”
Too tired to argue, I relented. Handing her the key, I followed my escort onto the elevator. At the room door, I noticed a doorbell. This was a fancy hotel if each room had its own doorbell. The bell lady put my suitcase on the bed, flipped it open and began putting my clothes in the bureau.
“What are you doing?”
“You must be very tired from your trip,” she said. “I’m putting your clothes away.”
“It’s okay. Right now I need a quick shower because I’m meeting someone for breakfast.”
“I can wait,” she says. “You will need a message after your shower.”
“You don’t understand. I’m in a bit of a hurry right now.”
“What time shall I return?”
“How about I call you?” I asked as I ushered her out.
“Sir, if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. It is my duty.” She said as the door was closing.
I stripped down, jumped in the shower, lathered up and thought about the meeting with Bob Evans (not the sausage guy). The doorbell rang. I washed the soap off, shrugged on the fluffy white bathrobe and answered the door.
“Sir, I am the floor captain for the west wing here,” said a pretty woman of about 30. “Was there something wrong with Mei-Su?”
“Who (or what) is Mei-Su?”
“She is your room officer.”
“No, she is great. I’m in a hurry. I have a meeting in a few minutes.”
“Because if you do not find her satisfactory, I can replace her or I can personally be at your service.”
“Look, I’ll have the both of you, just not right now.”
I stripped off the robe, jumped back in the shower, lathered up again. The doorbell rang a second time. I washed the soap off, shrugged on the fluffy white bathrobe and answered the door where another woman introduced herself.
“Sir, my name is Ling. I am the captain for the 7th floor and your total satisfaction is my responsibility. If Mei-Su and Pao are not to your liking, I would be happy to personally serve you.”
“How much for the three of you? Can you please come back later?”
I stripped off the robe, jumped back in the shower, lathered up again. The doorbell rang a third time. Okay, I thought, if these women want to see me naked, I can take care of that. I washed the soap off, didn’t bother with the robe and flung the door open.
A small man was standing there with the largest eyes I’d ever seen. Shaking, he handed me a note.
“Mr. Evans will be an hour late this morning.”