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French Revelation
Steve Wulf
February 11, 1991
Forget about beaming us up, Scotty. Club Med 1 is magnifique, and no one made us dance the hokey-pokey
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February 11, 1991

French Revelation

Forget about beaming us up, Scotty. Club Med 1 is magnifique, and no one made us dance the hokey-pokey

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Obviously in need of some form of competition, I sought out the Trivial Poursuite game listed on the day's activity sheet. This turned out to be a two-team affair, with a G.O. reading questions off Trivial Pursuit cards. My team was predominantly French, so there was something of a communication gap between the Americans and our capitaine, who bore a remarkable resemblance to Tommy Lasorda. Needless to say, we were trounced. The winners were given a bottle of champagne. Told it was Mexican champagne, the Gallic Lasorda announced, "I would not feed that to my pigs."

The luxury became so routine. Massage for me, facial for my wife. Drinks. Another show with the ever-clapping, heel-clicking Francky. (In this one he introduced every one of the 75 or so Mauritian waiters by name.) At dinner in L'Odyssée, the more desirable restaurant upstairs, we were seated with two other couples, one from Brooklyn (Beth's a lawyer, Steve's an insurance broker), the other from Berlin (Edith's a filmmaker, Horst's a gynecologist). The dinner conversation was so delightful that we barely escaped being vacuumed up by the Mauritians. We also missed the balloon-popping lambada contest downstairs. Damn.

At the roulette table sometime near dawn, my chips stood sentinel over 4, in honor of my birthday. Twice it hit, so the children are headed back to college. Me and Club Med are now 40.

G.M.'S LOG, TUESDAY, DEC. 4, 1990.
A WAVE OF NAUSEA WASHED OVER MY BOW.

You haven't had mal de mer until you've had it in French.

The day began innocently enough when we were awakened by the clanging of duty-free wine bottles bumping into one another. Dear, did you leave a wake-up wave? Since the nautical hall was again closed, we headed into Saint George's, the port city of Grenada, right after breakfast. Grenada is known as the island the U.S. rescued from the Cubans in 1983, but what I didn't know was that this was the spice island Columbus was looking for all along. He left, though, before he discovered the nutmeg and cinnamon and clove.

The spices, constantly hawked on the street, give the town its flavor, and the hills give it its character. We built a lot of character this morning, visiting churches, schools (so many different uniforms!), shops, the Houses of Parliament and Fort George. The weirdest things about walking through Saint George's were the Christmas decorations and the reggae carols. It didn't look, or feel, a lot like Christmas.

Laden with spices and fragrances and a toy steel drum, we headed back to the Club Med 1 in late afternoon. I found a birthday present, a Club Med T-shirt, on the bed, thanks to Francky. I was touched. Or maybe that was the first sign of seasickness.

The next sign came during cocktails—no more champagne, thank you—and the third sign came during my gala birthday dinner when Dave from Cincinnati said, "Gee, you're looking a little pale." This after three glorious days in the sun.

"I think I'll just get a little air," I said. Flinging the door open, I went out onto the bow deck and greedily gulped the gale-force winds. I returned to the table in time for dessert, presented to me by several serenading G.O.'s. One of them was Olivier, the chef de sport, the No. 2 G.O. on any Club Med staff. Earlier in the evening Olivier and I had talked about playing some golf at our next port of call, Barbados, and suddenly the thought of a land sport had tremendous appeal for me. Not only did I make Olivier promise we would play golf tomorrow, but I also enlisted Steve from Brooklyn.

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