Tales of catastophe, sex and squalor from the Alpine Underbelly...

Belle de Neige

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Je Suis un Skieur

A chalet bitch friend once said to me "The quickest way to lose all faith in humanity is to serve it food and clear up after it..." Never a truer word was spoken as far as I'm concerned. It's astonishing some of the rancid living habits one is exposed to on a daily basis in this job. For example, why do some female guests feel it's perfectly acceptable to leave their dirty, stained period pants in the middle of the floor for you to pick up? Or leave a rank Gillette shaving razor on the sink with crops of (astonishingly long) pubic hairs sprouting out in all directions for you to see when you're cleaning up?

Some other choice grievances I have picked up in the last few weeks:


Towel thieves
If you're ever staying in a chalet never, I repeat NEVER take towels out of the cupboard without asking the chalet host. You must understand that you are interfering with a finely tuned system, here. There is a finite number of towels. There is a finite number of bathrobes. If you fuck with the system the host will run out of towels for the next changeover before the laundry comes back. This will mean she'll have to wash them herself, in house. And this will make her angry which in turn will make her clean the toilet with your toothbrush.

Bleeders
People that pick themselves in the night - spots, noses, scabs etc - and decorate the freshly laundered, crisp white sheets with specks of claret and puss. Fucking disgusting, can't you just leave yourself alone?

Fingerprinters
Retards who think it's necessary to open French windows by flattening their hand against the glass and pushing. Use the fucking handle, numb nuts. Furthermore, what is it with children and French windows? It's like, do they really need to dip themselves in butter and marmalade and then press themselves up against every available glass surface? Or lick the windows just after they've eaten maple syrup?

Child abusers
People who think it's fine to let their children play around your feet in the kitchen during service under the mistaken presumption that you think they're cute. I don't think they're cute. I'm seconds from cutting off each of their digits with a bread knife and serving them to you as a canapĂ©.

Interferers
Those who take it upon themselves to rearrange things. Cleaning products in the cleaning box, items in the kitchen drawers, the contents of my dry goods cupboard. Be my guest! In fact perhaps I'll rearrange the set up in your bedroom while we're at it. I could swap the toilet with the wardrobe and take a shit in your knicker drawer.


As you can probably tell, after three months of this shit, fatigue has started to set in, not lessened by the crew of drunken oafs whose recent rambunctious behaviour has rendered the hot tub unusable for the rest of the season. Who knows what the disgusting foamy stuff that started appearing on the surface of the water was, but suffice to say, it got into the filter and now the thing won't heat up. Hot tubs, as the guy who installed it told me in no uncertain terms, are absolutely disgusting things. Basically a giant Petri dish of gunky old bathwater riddled with every other person who's ever been in it's bodily fluids. Small children have been in it too, so think on.  Luckily it's currently warm as toast outdoors (that disappointing noise of trickling water you hear when you go outside in the morning) but as soon as the temperature drops we're going to have a giant ice cube on our hands.

Anyhoo, it's not all bad. The skiing has been truly incredible. Unfortunately though, it's now got to that time of the season where seasonnaires, cocky from three months of every-day skiing, start getting a bit complacent and hurting themselves. Today, from the safety of the bubble lift, soaring a hundred feet above the piste below, I saw a guy without a helmet wipe the entire length of a run. From top to bottom, at bone-cracking speed on sheet ice, unable to stop. About half way down, his limp body hit an obstacle and began to tomahawk. After completing a course of two or three complete rotations he had pretty march yard saled his entire outfit, skis, goggles, gloves, poles. His body bounced like a child’s toy thrown down stairs. He eventually came to a stop in a forlorn, unmoving heap in the crevice below one of the steel chair-lift supports at the foot of the piste. Whatever he was, he certainly wasn’t conscious.
           
  Scenes like this remind me why skiing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

That said, I do firmly believe that people who won’t even try it are weedy pigeons.

I appreciate that to the uninitiated it looks like the occupation of a bunch of rich snobs with too much time and money on their hands. Ridiculous to nail oneself to a sharp plank covered in wax and then cry when one falls to one’s death off the side of an icy precipice. Having to spend weeks being cold, wet, terrified and having a bruised arse in order to ‘get the hang of it’. Hmmmm. No thanks. I hear you say. I’d rather coil one out on my own chest and then fester in soiled undergarments for a week.

Well, fair enough. But there’s a reason people love it so much. Singing, laughing, shouting your way down any accommodating hill you can find with a bunch of elated ski bum friends. Speed junkies that turn every run into a race, flat lining everything. Caution to the wind. I am a mountain worshipper. Je suis un skieur! That feeling of the sweeping turn, covering huge, epic expanses in only a few seconds. Freedom to explore places unreachable by others. Soaring on clouds. You can’t beat it. It’s the best feeling invented by humans since we discovered our genitals. In the same way that they leap out of aeroplanes and attend Glastonbury when it’s under eight feet of mud, people persist. Because it’s the best fun you can have that doesn’t involve some form of coitus.