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Messages from Hunt

from the book I-Land – A double Irish and a Dutch

Seven o’clock in the morning and Avoka hears the pinging of her phone: “A good morning coffee cup from Hunt.” She smiles and sends a message back. “What a lovely thing to start the day” and sends a song, Good Morning, Good Morning, with a remake video of a traditional 50s couple. Hunt replies with “love it” and a big kiss picture. Avoka gets ready for her first course. This week her courses are crowded with a professional tennis player group and she gets many positive feedbacks for her courses.

Avoka has a day off and spends some time, in the nearby city but she’s happy as she comes back to the room. The country really seems to be poor and there are not many choices when buying something. Back in her room her phone rings. Hunt is asking, “Where are you sweetie; did you hear that?” Avoka says, “What?” Hunt says, “There was a shooting in the National Museum in Tunis; they killed over 20 people.” Avoka turns on the TV and watches the picture on the news channel reporting the present happenings. Avoka says, “Oh, no, I just see it on the TV.” Hunt asks, “This is not that far away from you. Seems like they are targeting tourists and this will keep your guests away. What are you going to do?” Avoka says, “Well, I’m not sure if I’ll stay. I’ve got discussions going on for a Dublin role, so I will see. The way they plan me in here I don’t like it much anyway and the country is very poor. I’ve told you what happened on the first day, so honestly, this is not really my cup of tea. And this news now doesn’t comfort the idea of staying here really. The only good thing is the people like my courses.” Hunt replies, “Well, I see, but it’s nice to hear your voice. I’ll send you some pictures later on. Have a good evening, honey!” Avoka replies, “Yes, you, too sweetie.” They finish the phone conversation and the next is calling. Ian who she had met in Dublin shortly before she had left for Tunisia. He’s asking if everything is alright, and that he had heard about the shooting in the museum. They chat for a while and Ian asks if she wants to return to Ireland. Avoka explains she thinks about it and that she has talks going on with that internet guru and agrees to stay in touch with him, and that they try to meet together as soon as possible. Avoka puts the phone down and gets ready for dinner.

Down in the restaurant, she’s sitting with Lucy the dance teacher who does the standard dance courses, who is asking, “Did you hear this?” Avoka replies, “Yes, my love just called me.” Lucy says, “Yes, my boyfriend called me, too, asking if I’m coming back.” Avoka asks, “And what are you going to do?” Lucy says, “I will only stay for one more week anyway, but you? You are supposed to stay seven months, aren’t you? Look at the tourists here. It really looks like business as usual. Did the Management say something to you, how to deal with it and what to say to the guests?” Avoka replies, “No, not yet.” Lucy says, “But this is strange, I’m sure the guests will come up and ask about.” Avoka agrees, “Probably, I’ll just tell them to contact the team leader. They have more info about the whole issue.” Lucy says, “Well, that’s a good idea; that’s what I’m going to tell them, too. By the way, have you heard something from Switzerland? You said you wrote them an email about the incident in the disco and that they told you this bullshit about the dancing in the show?” Avoka replies, “Well yes, I had a talk with this Marcus, this older guy who is running around here; you might have seen him. He is the Area Manager for the animation teams worldwide.” Lucy asks, “So what did he say?” Avoka says, “He listened then he explained not all of their guests would be such sex maniacs.” Lucy says, “Well, I think, at the moment, here with this senior men’s golf group, they really hit it, but it’s also because they have those offers running at the moment for really low budget travel and of course this reflects on the niveau of the guests. I think in summer this might change; when the prices go up the niveau rises as well, but honestly, you will always have some of these guys here in this resort.” Avoka agrees. “Yes, that’s true.” Lucy says, “And regarding your work hours that you want to work only the courses, what did he say about that?” Avoka says, “He said that he would see me for the courses but not for the night entertainment if this was a problem for me, and suggested two options. One could be a freelance contract or otherwise, we would need to go separate ways. So, I said for me it’s fine with a freelance contract but I would need to check the costs for the private health insurance. But it’s okay and I already agreed to it in writing with Switzerland. So, this is in process.” Lucy says, “Wow, I’m excited how this works out, but as I understood you wouldn’t mind leaving anyway, would you? Especially after what happened today, it wouldn’t be easy for them to find someone else.” Avoka nods. “Yes, true, but I think this will also leave its marks on the guests. I don’t think there are many tourists who want to travel to Tunisia right now.” Lucy says, “That’s right I wouldn’t book it and would cancel the booking if possible.”

The two girls are finished and walk over to the bar. Some girls from the kids’ animation team are talking about Tommy the Club Manager. Rita says, “Oh yes, this Tommy had his eyes on Alex. What kind of Club Manager is this, who chats up such young girls? I do find it kind of strange.” Martina, also a girl from the kids’ animation team, replies, “Yes, and I heard he is always like that. I’m really happy that we are only here to next week and leave after the Easter weekend.” Lucy looks surprised at Avoka. And there comes Lukas hooking the two girls Avoka and Lucy in his arms, “Ladies, how nice to see you in the lounge, what would you like to drink?” They both go for a Martini Bianco and Lukas makes his way to the bar. Lucy says, “Oh, no, please don’t leave me alone with him; we drink fast and then we go, okay?” Avoka agrees. “Okay, good idea.” Lucy looks over to the left side at the bar where Lilian is waiting. Lucy asks, “Have you seen this Lilian? She stands there almost like a hooker.” Avoka laughs, “Yep, and she talks like one, too. I can’t understand; she is so young, not older than 23, but do you know what she said last night?” Lucy says, “No, tell me!” Avoka replies, “Well, we were having a drink and I was happy that so far I had not to find any excuse why I didn’t want to spend my night with a sixty something year old and then she starts talking like “Oh yes, now you sleep on your own” to this guy who was sitting with us, one of the senior men golfer group. When we were just about to go she said, ‘Yes, without sex it doesn’t go.’ Lucy stares with her mouth wide open at Avoka. “She said that to the sixty something year old?” Avoka nods. “Yep, and he started saying, ‘Oh, I have to sleep all by myself, so alone.’ I just left quickly, saying I have to be fit for my yoga class tomorrow morning and went off.” Lucy gasps, “No way, Lilian, with a 60-year old guy? It’s strange anyway; they only employ these young girls here for animation, whereas they have an audience that’s more a middle age range. I remember years ago, they had more major people here.” Avoka says, “Yes, I don’t understand this either.” Lucy says, “The same for the shows; years ago, they really had professional people, especially the dancers, and now they have those teeny- looking kind of overweight girls. In particularly, for those ballet dance scenes, they are just, too fat, for that. And instead of taking someone like you who has how many years of dance experience in ballet, more than seven years, and who really has the look and moves for it? I don’t really know who makes the decisions here and why. But this whole thing lost drastically on quality. I wouldn’t like to have such young guys around for entertaining people from 40+ would you?” Lukas comes over with the drinks, “Ah, Lucy you are exactly my dream woman.” And he keeps staring at her. Lucy is just rolling her eyes. “It’s a good Martini, isn’t it? Avoka, don’t we have to go now, we have to be fit for the sunrise yoga class tomorrow morning, don’t we?” Avoka agrees. And they say good night. On the way, over to the staff house Lucy is shaking her head, “I can’t believe it; this guy is married and has kids at home. And his wife’s really, beautiful and she comes here sometimes, too, but he doesn’t leave any moment out and I’m so not interested in him. I don’t get it; what do some men have in their heads? He also knows I have a boyfriend.” Avoka laughs, “I don’t get it either. In the first week, I was sitting at lunch with a couple who had just arrived and when I had to do the sauna infusion this guy was in the sauna flashing all his pride towards me with a big smile asking me if I would do the sauna infusion. Not really something you do when you are here with your girlfriend, do you?” Lucy looks at Avoka, “Seriously?” Avoka nodded, “Yes, but the best part, last week I was standing at the salad buffet and guess who was there? The same guy–he looked at me, and he recognized me, too but he didn’t even say hello or anything else and when I went out to the terrace he sat with a couple and his wife, as far as I could hear and no, it wasn’t the same woman he had been here with a few weeks, ago.” Lucy says, “No way. Yes, some men, you don’t know what to say.” Avoka agrees, “Yes, and they were talking some business issues–some construction business. The classic wife for the money issues and the Latino girl-friend for fun in between?” Lucy laughs, “What a great combination.” Walking towards the entry door they both see dark men sitting on the sideway between the trees. Lucy stops, frightened, and then releases, “Oh my God, I thought it’s a terrorist.” Avoka says, “No, it’s a security guy, but I was just as scared as you. Any person I see here, that I don’t know, my first thought coming up is it could be a terrorist.” Lucy agrees, “Yes, I feel the same. I will be so happy when I’m back home. I can’t tell you.” They arrive at Lucy’s room. Avoka keeps walking to the end of the corridor and finally arrives at her door.

Back in the room Avoka looks at her phone. A sweet good night message from Hunt saying, “I sleep better when I hear from you.” She replies with a big kiss and the message “Me, too and my day is better when it starts with you.”

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