Paradise. And Beyond.

“Welcome to luxury.” … the resort brochure states.

Yes. You have reached paradise. Let your vacation begin.

You sit on your private seaside terrace with spectacular views of greenery and landscaped blooms, meters away from the rising tide and then you start to think…

Don’t you sometimes wonder how you could possibly miss the opportunities to enjoy the simple pleasures of life? Like how the sun spectacularly sets amidst rippling cool seawaters. Or how the air smells refreshingly  pure with just a hint of ocean mist and cow dung. Or how the chirping of crickets lull you to a peaceful slumber and quasi catatonic stage. Or how the presence of your family and friends give you a warm and comfortable fuzzy feeling. This is the life. And this is how life should be. Peaceful. Content. Serene. Sober. And grateful.

With a seemingly endless selection of cable TV channels, an extraordinarily comfortable bed with 900 thread count bed sheets. The fluffiest sort of pillows that just swallow up your big city-person head. The luxurious feel of a semi-public peek-a-boo bathtub  filled with the tantalizing floral aromas out of a resort-branded bottle of bubble bath soap. Grime-free transparent shower panels manufactured to not leave anything for personal privacy. And of course, those little take-me-home hotel bottles of shampoo and bodywash for your ever growing collection of ultimate vacation memorabilia.

Yep. This is how life should be. Comfortable. Luxurious. Everyday should be a vacation.

Great concierge service means being driven to your room in a sparkly white service golf cart with a butler to carry your Speedo bags, your laptop case and the pretentious sports bag containing your smuggled goods of canned beer and assorted junkfood and the plastic of container of corned-tuna-that-you-must-have-for-breakfast-but-really-you-just-don’t-wanna-pay-for-the-1,200-pesos-per-person-for-breakfast-rate. What a nice butler you have turning a blind eye to your poor smuggling talents.

Amazing welcome services mean when they bring you your complimentary welcome drinks, they ask you if you’d prefer wine because you look like a stress-driven hag. Ah. Sympathy for alcoholic anonymous members.

Prompt delivery means when you want ice, they hand deliver it to your villa and ten minutes later because you think the ice has taken imperfect shapes and is not your desired frozen texture, they deliver another bucket pronto. Maybe if you demand an ice carving of Shaquille O’Neal, they just might give that.

Technical assistance means sending their IT person because you can’t connect to the wifi and the kind sir fixes your computer bugs as extra service. Hello free internet. Hello email. Hello Facebook. Wootwoot.

Outstanding Bar services here. You could lose your non-alcoholic resolutions at this place. An order of double shot bailey’s comes with mixed nuts with an aesthetic value worthy of Masterchef of the Universe positive criticism and if you bat your lashes the kindest bartender will give you seven extra red super plum cherries.

Superb Facilities and amenities include a 4 feet infinity pool, 3.5  feet plunge pools and numerous fountains, which spout perfectly synchronized jets of crystal clear chlorinated waters, boasting hues of royal blue which sparkle against the midday sun and becomes intensely translucent when the sun sets and darkness falls. Swimming is great physical exercise for vertebrates especially if your vertebrae falls under the scoliotic slash osteoporosis-bound category. And if you swim one lap in this pool and fail, you most definitely are on the verge of lung collapse from all the torrid smoking of your adolescence. But… BUT… don’t you worry. Beneath the contemporary and industrial designs of these hydro magnificence runs the glorious fountain of youth. Carry on. Swim forth and reproduce.

Yep. This is how life should be.

Butlers. Golf carts to ride to your room. Perfect ice. Fastest wifi ever. Beer. Baileys. Smuggling isn’t considered a crime punishable by law. Breathtaking views of the ocean when you wake up and when you sleep. Super sanitized bathrooms. Unlimited stationery. Free pens. Your own private pool. All with seven cherries on top.

But life isn’t like this.

When the vacation ends and we go home to our non-airconditioned humble abodes, the fantasy ends.

Buy one take one bedsheets from a popular local department store. Stiff neck pillows. Kabo-and-balde and a dysfunctional shower head which leaves you the impression of having someone spit on you. A refrigerator full of take-out fast food and remainders of yesterday’s lunch. An open bottle of local rhum. Freezers which take forever to produce one tray of miniature ice cubes. Disgustingly disappointing internet service provider. And ho-hum views of your next door neighbours firewall. No cherries. No pool.

But it’s your life. And you chose to live that life. And it’s your house. Moreover, it’s your home.

That tiny little piece of real estate and that old school roofing with flawed architectural home structure is the only place you could call home. With the endearing boisterousness that comes with the presence of your loved ones and the redundant yipping of your beloved canine. Yes. That is home. And you realize that no other place could ever be like this; even the most idyllic spot in the entire galaxy could never be at par with the simple excellence of your warm, lovingly built home.

You don’t actually miss the opportunities to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. You just miss the opportunities to be thankful for all the little things you take for granted everyday. Like watching obstructed views of the sunset from your shabby chic garage. Or listen to the polluted but familiar air rustling the leaves of the mango trees outside your window. Or enjoying the innocent laughter of random genetically unrelated children smashing your figurine collection. Or how the presence of your loved ones make you feel that nothing else in the whole entire world matters but them.

Your vacation has ended and your departure from paradise catapults you back to reality.

Some will say ‘we’ll always have paris’. But you – – – YOU will always have those hotel bottles of citrus scent shampoo and body wash proudly displayed on the bathroom cabinet. To remember the fun times. And to remind you that you could always bring a little piece of paradise, relive a little bit of the fantasy , and share a little bit of luxury to wherever home may be. J

Girl Meets Boys.

Potential Boyfriend Number 001.

Boy: Hi! Would you like to go to the movies with me?

Girl: What are we gonna watch?

Boy: (sings) Bad boys, Bad boys… watchu gonna do? Watchu gonna do when they come for you?

Girl: seriously?

Boy: seriously.

Girl: Ok.

Boy: The ticket’s worth a hundred and twenty bucks.

Girl: So?

Boy: i can’t buy your ticket if you don’t give me money. I would’ve bought it but i just had my car door fixed sooo…

Girl: ok shut up. Here. (hands boy money)

Give up when potential boyfriend 001 considers you to be potential girlfriend number 003 and potential mistress-not-wife number 005. Tsktsk.

Lesson learned: never go on a movie date without extra cash. Loads of extra cash. For popcorn. So you can stuff your face and will have reason to never talk to him.

Potential Boyfriend Number 002.

Boy: (flashes killer smile)

Girl: (blushes)

Boy: i’d like to take you out sometime… maybe in July?

Girl: huh? It’s april. Why wait til July?!?

Boy: my girlfriend leaves for the states second week of July.

Potential boyfriend number 002 is a polygamous athletic stud who makes  you laugh and sends delicious shivers down your spine. He never left his girlfriend, FYI.

Lesson learned: Thou shall not steal thy neighbor’s boyfriend even if she didn’t know about it.

Potential Boyfriend Number 003.

Married man.

With two kids.

Enough said.

Lesson learned: Behind every married man is a jealous bitch of a wife. And wives always win. Wives with children always always win. So walk away after three months worth of shopping sprees and fancy dates because it all goes downhill from there.

Potential Boyfriend Number 002.2.

Boy: (flashes killer smile)

Girl: (blushes)

Boy: i’ll call you at 1:00 am.

Lesson learned: Never ever entertain calls after midnight. Never ever accept invitations to date after midnight. It just bluntly means he wants to fuck around with you. And fuck around with you he will. And after fucking around with you, he just leaves your mind, heart, body and soul all fucked up. So fuck him. But leave it at that.

Potential Boyfriend Number 004.

Boy: You wanna have coffee?

Girl: Sure.

(4pm coffee. Great coffee. Great conversations. Great company.)

No sparks.

Lesson learned: Date around. Plenty of fish in the sea.

Potential Boyfriend Number 005.

Boy: You wanna go clubbing?

Girl: Why not?

Boy: You want a jagermeister? Flaming Ferrari? Triple shot of tequila?

Girl: Why not?

Boy: You wanna party?

Girl: Why not?

(4am. Lights. Sounds. Sensation. Flying high as a bird. Girl tripping. Boy missing. Now how to go home?)

Lesson learned: When life hands you lemons,  always count on someone else to bring in the tequila. And the vodka. And the mojito. And the rhum. And the beer. And the party pills. And the follow up party pills. But after you’ve barfed out all the seemingly good stuff, these boys are just too fucking hung over to take you out to lunch or watch a movie or meet your family or go to church with you. Good time boys are just there for the good times.

Potential Boyfriend Number 006.

Boy: Are you free for dinner?

Girl: When?

Boy: How’s about Friday?

Girl: Sure.

Boy: Great. I cant wait.

(8pm Japanese dinner. Nice. 10 pm. After dinner drinks. Nice. 1 am. You barfing. Him holding your hair while you barf. Nice.)

Lesson learned: Date around. Plenty of fish in the sea. But still hope for that one glorious bull of a man to come walking into your life.

Potential Boyfriend Number 007.

Girl: would you like to go on a date with me?

Boy: What? Are you asking me out?

Girl: if you answer yes, then Im asking you out. If you say no, then consider it a hypothetical question.

Boy: (laughs) ok. But please. Let ME pay for dinner.

(7pm dinner. Picks you up. Opens car door. Pays for dinner. Makes you laugh. Mutual interests in love, life, food and drinks and primetime TV soap opera.)

Lesson learned: Guys make great friends. Guys make amazing BFF’s. They also have a higher potential of being borderline effeminate. Be open-minded. Support the sexual revolution.

Potential Boyfriend Number 008 a.k.a. Potential Girlfriend number 001.

Girl: (looks at girl) (maybe the grass is greener on the other side.)

Other Girl: (smiles. And flirts with you.)

Lesson learned: Try something new. You never know. Viva la vulva.

Potential Boyfriend Number 009.

Boy is a call center agent.

Good looks.

Interesting personality.

Has passion and ambition.

And has nice clean fingernails.

Speaks with irritatingly compelled American accent.

Lesson learned: No one is perfect. Learn to accept and love the imperfections. If you can’t get over it, then walk the fuck away than live a life of supposed colonial misery.

Potentail Boyfriend Number 010.

Sings. Plays guitar. Has tattoos. 4-pack abs. Nice butt.

Loves music. Likes you.

Lesson learned: This rockstar’s girlfriends always stay backstage. Stage right. Stage Left. Backstage. Never centerstage. Applicable to real life. And groupies will drive you crazy. Especially flab-free groupies with 23-inch waistlines and insatiable lust for rockstar body parts.

Potential Boyfriend Number whatever.

Have faith. And God answers.

The best person to have a relationship with is yourself.

Eat alone. Ride a jeepney to nowhere. Max out your credit card. Buy a vibrator. Go on a solo vacation. Read a book. Use the vibrator.

And when you learn to love yourself, others will come to love you for you.

By the way, Potential Boyfriend Number 006 became Husband Number One.