A very special hotel, with a very special owner.
James adjusted his tie and buttoned up his coat as he checked his reflection against the mirror inside the lift. Coming to the ground floor, he gestured to the taxi that is waiting for him.
“Morning” The driver said.
“Morning uncle…” James replied as he checked that he brought along all his qualifications and certificates.
The cab started moving and through the rear mirror, the driver could guess what James is up to.
“Job interview ah..?”
“Yes…how did you guess? “
“So obvious…” the driver laughed and pulled up into the expressway.
During the journey, James chatted with the friendly uncle who is already semi-retired.
Relating his experience of having worked 5 years in a 5 star hotel chain in Malaysia, James told the driver that he relocated back to Singapore recently because his parents are getting on in age.
“I really love the service industry..” James shared. “ The people you meet, the guest from all over the world..”
And of course, with a great team to assist him , James was also proud to admit that the hotel he worked in attained several tourism awards.
“wah… not bad ah….you look so young… didn’t know you so experienced…” The driver said.
The driver asked James which hotel he is going to for the interview.
The address he used for the taxi booking is incomplete. It shows the entire stretch of road at Changi instead of the hotel itself.
“There’s 3 hotels in the vicinity.” The driver said. “let me guess… V hotel ? the 4 star one…?”
“haha unfortunately no…” James said as he looked at the matured trees lining the quiet road to the hotel. “I’m going to Hotel Del Anna..”
The taxi jerked and the driver came to a stop by the side of the road abruptly.
Turning around to look at James, he asked him again what he just said.
“I’m going to Hotel Del Anna..” James repeated.
The taxi uncle gave him a weird expression and turned back to his steering wheel.
James found it weird when the driver stopped chatting with him after he revealed which hotel he is going for his interview.
Pulling up to the hotel refashioned out of a old colonial black and white bungalows, the driver gave James his change before mumbling under his breath.
James thought that was weird but he alighted anyway.
It’s a nice cloudy day and he could hear birds singing in the trees. Walking towards the main entrance, James smiled when he saw a pair of wild peacocks prancing about by the yard.
Pushing open the main door, James looked at the main lobby and dropped his bag containing his qualifications and certificates.
“bloody hell…” he cursed.
There are 3 tattooed man throwing fists at a punching bag hanging off a beam.
A man weighing close to 100kg just lifted and body slammed another half his size onto the sofa in the lobby.
“huar !…huar…huar huar..! ahhhhhh!”
On his left, he heard the wooden thuds of a man practicing on a wing chun dummy similar to the one he saw in the movie Ip Man.
There’s a lady crying while sitting down by the check in counter while the bellboy is arm wrestling with the counter staff.
A large bald man walked out of a room with a massive leg of lamb still dripping with blood.
James jaw dropped an inch when he saw the drops of blood streak across the lobby and right behind that man, followed another lady singing like an actress in ‘the sound of music’ with a mop.
She twirled, sang and mopped up after the man. She even had time to smile at James.
Amidst the din, the chaos, the madness that is going on in the main lobby, James’ ears could pick out something distinct.
The click of heels.
A pair of heels worn by a confident, powerful woman.
As the sound drew closer, James’s eyes looked up to level 2 and came face to face with the owner of the hotel. Dressed in an evening gown in bright daylight, the owner’s hair is done up as if she is about to attend a wedding dinner.
Her complexion is fair and her hair silky smooth. The owner stepped up to the railings overlooking the ground floor and made eye contact with James.
James could not tear his eyes away from her slim shapely body accentuated by that tight evening gown. She oozes class and sophistication with a hint of sexiness.
The picture in front of him is one of such contrast that he thought he was looking at a split between heaven and hell. That beautiful sexy lady on level 2, and the chaos of mad men on level 1.
“Can all of you SHUT THE FUCK UP!” The lady screamed and it’s like someone hit the pause button.
Ip Man wannabe stopped his tango with the dummy, the dudes with the punching bag stopped sparring. Everyone stopped what they are doing like they were frozen in time.
James swallowed a gulp of saliva as the lady addressed him directly.
“Welcome….. to Hotel Del Anna…”