Saturday, February 20, 2016

She's a woman of the world / And easy-living girl with love for sale

lounge at the Park Hyatt Saigon
Last week a few of us were having a drink at the Park Hyatt Saigon. It's a luxurious 5-Star hotel, right smack in the middle of District 1, close to other 5-Star hotels such as the world famous Continental and the Caravelle. Some nights there's a pianist (and sometimes the pianist is accompanied by that awful American lounge singer who doesn't have much of a voice and knows it - her lack of confidence comes through in her singing, and it's painful to hear). But the surroundings are stunning, the service impeccable, the chairs and couches in the lounge are low and comfortable. They also do high tea on weekends, which is truly excellent; tea served in gorgeously carved silver pots that I covet and want to stash in my bag if given the chance. I had the good fortune of living at the Park Hyatt for two days when I first arrived in Saigon - and then I moved to Go Vap for one month, but that's another story.

It had been a long day, and I leaned back into the couch cushions, sighed, and wearily looked around. There was an older American guy sitting by himself at the table across from me, drinking his way through a bottle of Bordeaux. He was busy looking at his phone, like most everyone does these days. Pretty soon afterwards he was joined by a very young Vietnamese woman wearing the tiniest booty shorts creeping right up her ass and super tall platform heels. A server rushed over to present her with an empty wine glass, and the now enthusiastic guy poured in some of his wine, saying something along the lines of how special the wine was.  I stopped focusing on them as my friend Sveta was saying something to me, but I did notice that the girl pulled out her phone and started typing into it. "Poor guy", I thought. "She can't even be bothered to spend 30 seconds with him before she gets bored and calls her friend". I chatted with Sveta a bit and out of the corner of my eye saw the girl give her phone to the guy. He said something into it, handed her back the phone; they got up and headed towards the elevators, half the bottle of Bordeaux still on the table, her wine glass untouched. Wait... what the hell just happened?

At this point, Sveta and the rest of my table figured out what was going on and we all leaned in closer to each other, furiously whispering about it, like gossipy old ladies. Not 15 minutes later, the guy came back down into the lounge, alone. The staff, who had not cleared his table, came to take her glass away and he poured himself some more Bordeaux, looking satisfied, staring at his phone.

And we all stared at him, eyes wide, totally agog, totally grossed out.

You hear about this kind of shit happening a lot. I mean, the hotel does have a martini bar at the far end of the lounge, where i've seen many a lady of the evening stroll in and out of before. But I guess i'm so naive as to think it would never happen so blatantly at a place as posh as the Park Hyatt's lounge, early evening, surrounded by rich Hong Kongese having tea and scones.  And as we looked around the lounge, nobody else seemed to notice, and the staff didn't seem to care. Made me wonder how often they are subjected to this kind of situation.

High Tea offerings. they don't suck.

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