Mon Ange Gardien (A Deauville)
Monday, 19 January 2009
I love hotels, and it’s no accident that I’ve chosen a life which involves a lot of them. I’m such a sucker for room service and a miniature shrink-wrapped soap, it was always going to be poker or prostitution for me. (For anyone who’s just hit on this site by accident: I play poker).
But there’s no denying, the one I’ve just checked into in Deauville is quite a peculiar example of the genre. Here is the conversation I had with the nice bellman who showed me up to the room - I’ll try to translate it into stilted English, to convey how I must have sounded in French.
VC: This is a lovely room.
VC: It is like an old fashioned English house, with the armchairs and the flowery carpet and the fabric wallpaper.
BM: It is pretty, isn’t it?
VC: But it’s quite strange…
BM: What is strange?
VC: That there should be a large framed photograph of John Travolta on the wall.
BM: A great actor.
VC: That’s true. But you wouldn’t expect to see his beaming face pinned to a floral fabric wall in an old-fashioned art deco hotel.
BM: I have never found it strange.
VC: And it’s especially strange now, of course, because his son just died.
BM: Last week.
VC: It makes me sad to see him smiling at me like that.
BM: It is nice that he is smiling.
VC: I’m not sure. If people did not already think it was odd to have John Travolta smiling at them when they went to bed, maybe they will find it so now.
VC: Because it is not a very smily time for John Travolta.
BM: They will think of his movies.
VC: Yes, or they will think of him desperately trying to resuscitate his epileptic son on the bathroom floor.
BM: But he has stayed here.
VC: That is a very good reason for the picture. Thank you for your help with the luggage.