The Rude Chambermaid
Daniel Henshaw | Kristy Lankford
Nikola Cooper was an extremely well-travelled young lady. She’d laid her head on the comfiest pillows of the finest Parisian hotels, spent entire nights with no sleep whilst camping through electrical storms in the sweltering Australian desert, and had paid a Cambodian fruit seller just $1 to share a windowless room with his two dogs. However, no matter where Nikola had been in the world, she had never come across a member of staff as rude as the chambermaid at the Olive Tree Apartments on the Greek island of Corfu.
Nikola, who was travelling alone — something she did regularly, had spent the first two days of her trip sunbathing and planned to explore the island on the third day. Wanting to make an early start, the alarm woke her at 6:30am before she made herself an extremely strong cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal. By 6:45, Nikola had already eaten, showered and was busily planning her trip; she would hire a car and find her way to Achilleion before making a journey over to the Temple of Artemis.
Suddenly, Nikola felt an awful churning in her stomach. Perhaps it was the coffee or last night’s moussaka — it had been on offer, after all. Another sharp movement in her lower gut had Nikola clutching her belly. She quickly dashed to the toilet and sat down.
As an almost — and I apologise for such a description — liquid-like substance passed out of Nikola’s digestive system, there was suddenly a forceful hammering on the apartment’s thin, wooden door. The voice on the other side had the aesthetic quality of strangled goat. “Cleaning! Out please!” Due to the negligible politeness in her voice, the fact that the maid had used the word “please” seemed almost ironic. Nikola — unsure whether the moments in her bowels had finished — didn’t get up. She checked her watch; 6:48, which seemed a little early to be ejecting people from their rooms. Nikola didn’t mind because she was on her way out but she was certain that the Ouzo-sampling chaps in Room 85 wouldn’t be too delighted.
“One second please,” Nikola called politely to the unseen figure.
“Out now!” The maid’s tone had become more aggressive.
“Please, if you could just hang on, I’m using the bathroom. I’ll be two minutes!”
“You English all the same! Drinking all night, now you lazy in bed all day!”
“No, honestly, I’m about to-“
“I bet you have boy in there. Meet him in bar. No condom.”
Nikola couldn’t believe what she was hearing; a chambermaid who had the nerve to go around making horrendous generalisations about an entire nation of women. One positive was that Nikola’s digestive problems appeared to be over so she cleaned herself up and washed her hands. Nikola looked down at the horror last night’s moussaka had created and breathed in the horrific smell.
“Hurry now!” came the screech from other side of the door.
Nikola didn’t bother to flush it.