Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Close Encounter with Lady Geneva

Work brings me to many places - exotic Africa to spacious Canada to mythical Greece and few others in between. Each time I landed on a foreign land, I would enthrall myself with the mission to touch the soil, sand or sea. I must plant my feet in the earth of the country and then at least my toes must be dipped in the sea. They have had the pleasure of skin-dipping in the waters of Aegean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and South Pacific Ocean too. They absolutely love the foreign feel at each dip.

Work brought me to Geneva last week. There was no sea, only a lake. I was strolling by its shores yesterday having stumbled upon it after a pleasant walk in the Botanical Garden.  What a splendid specimen Lake Geneva was - its sheer size and sea-like behavior were fascinating. She presented herself to me adorned beautifully with swans, ducks and boats.  The waves came to me, or rather came at me, laughing and then pulling away, teasing me like a coy lover, daring me to do what I was already dying to do.  But I looked away - loyal to my love for the sea and Lake Geneva was just it, a lake. A distraction.

But Lake Geneva was persistent - the temptress that she was. Its face was taking on a crimson blush as the sun set putting my heart ablaze with desperate desire to caress her and make her yield to me as she must.

And just as fate had it, I came upon an opening that could lead me nearer to her. The sun was insisting to retire and light was fading fast.  I looked around and noted that the park was almost deserted.   There was just me and Lake Geneva, we were alone, together. Lake Geneva saw what I was seeing and could guess what I was thinking. She beckoned at me shamelessly. Come to me, now, she demanded, while no one is watching, I could be yours, claim me.

My resolve was fading fast. My heart boomed within its shell urging me to quickly do what I was helplessly drawn to do.

I entered the opening and how she writhed with pleasure to have won me, to have me fall into her snare.

Then I fell.

Yes. Not fell for her, you silly goon, no, she was just a lake remember? The slab i was walking on was mossy and slippery - I should have known better. I slipped and fell down, butt-first into the water. If you watch Tom and Jerry, the slapstick part where the cat stepped on a banana peel, went somersaulting sky-high and then fell with a thump butt-first? Yes? Now, replace Tom with me and change the sound effect from 'thump' to 'splosh'. A big splosh. No, on second thought, make it huge.

And so there I was, waist-down in the water hlooking every inch the silly girl that I was. Romance, under the sorry circumstances, was the last thing on my mind. It was cold, the day was fading fast and I had a dinner appointment in an hour that I must not miss and as dinners must have it, it was not to be attended soaked through the way I hopelessly was.

Desperate to come out from the lake, I tried to stand but it was slippery and the attempt only made me slid further in. This is not good, not good at all, I thought to myself - some coherent thinking at last. You see, earlier in the day, my boss lost his wallet and with it all the company's credit cards meant to pay the hotel bills for us all. With that gone, we were dependent on my cash and cards. If I get swallowed by wanton lady Lake Geneva, how would Intercontinental Geneve be paid? And how were we to go home? And I certainly wouldnt want my boss to have to carry me, stiff and  lifeless, in a black plastic bag, no thank you. Imagine the cost of extra baggage weight he would have to pay. Without credit card too.

There was no one around to help me and frankly I wouldnt want anybody to see me like that, it would be too embarassing.

I crawled out. Yep, that did it. I crawled out hauling my aching butt and hurt pride while Lake Geneva laughed and mocked me.

To cut the story short, I rushed back to the hotel, took off my jeans and changed into the only pants I had left, pyjama pants (courtesy of the Malaysian Airlines, bless them), put on a warm sweater in replacement of my damp tee, donned on the soaking sneakers again (the other option were black heels) and was only late thirty minutes for dinner. For a Malaysian, this is acceptable, no?

End of story. Nobody knew about this though my boss did ask why my sneakers gave out squelching sound when I walked to which I just grinned and evaded the subject by  discussing his lost wallet. Pajama pants went unnoticed.

Lake Geneva, wipe that smirk off your face. I survived you.


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