Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dubai has been fun, but it’s time to blow this gold jewelry stand and head to part deux of our friendmoon in the Maldives! We were in no state to pack last night, thanks to our little booze cruise around Dubai, so alarms went off at 6am. I had been staring at the ceiling since 3 am, probably more out of excitement than travel insomnia, so I was more than ready to get moving. We quickly packed and headed down for our final breakfast at the Mina a Salam. I’m really gonna miss those damn latkes – have I mentioned the brekky latkes? They legit taste like someone’s Bubbie is in the back shredding potatoes. We hopped in a cab to the airport and showed up way too early – but you never know what an international airport is going to be like, and there is no way in hell I’m missing a flight to the fucking Maldives.

The Emirates departure terminal looks just like the baggage claim, with rows of giant white columns and tons of open space. We power-walked our way to check-in where we were “helped” by a woman who woke up on the wrong side of her camel this morning. She moved slower than dirt and glared at us the entire time. When Steph asked for a luggage tag you would have thought we demanded her firstborn child. Perhaps she was just hungover from “ladies night” and we took it personally. Nah, she’s just a bitch.

We had some time, so we decided to peruse the Dubai airport and get some ideas of how to stay busy during our seven hour layover on the way home. I’ll explain how that happened in a later bog (cough::Trump travel bans::cough). Turns out – there isn’t shit to do in the Dubai airport for seven hours. Or any other airport for that matter. We walked through the Duty Free shops for a good thirty minutes before we even reach a terminal. How is it possible that all these people didn’t reach their shopping quota in the bottomless abyss of retail carnage known as the Dubai Mall? What on earth could you possibly have left to buy? I will never understand the fascination with shopping on vacation. Or shopping at home, for that matter. My second post-mega millions entourage position is personal shopper. No wait, driver. Pool boy, then driver, then personal shopper. Priorities.

The flight was uneventful. After our sixteen hour haul to Dubai, this four hour flight felt like a quick joyride over the Indian Ocean. Jorgie spilled her wine all over the floor. Steph’s two seat mates decided to snuggle with her at one end of her row instead of moving down to the empty isle seat on the other end. And apparently there was some seat-reclining drama a few rows behind me. But I was watching Westworld and drinking free Pinot Grigio so I didn’t notice a thing.

We arrived in Male, the capital and main island of the Maldives, and whizzed through customs and baggage claim. We quickly found our resort representative who informed us that we were just waiting on two couples who were on our same flight. No problem – we’ll just people watch while we wait. For the most part, the arrivals hall looked like the Olympic trials for the three legged race – lots of awkward couples attached at the hip. To be expected, given our destination. One thing that did shock me, however, was how pale many of these tourists were. Do these people not know the importance of getting a base tan before you leave for a sunny vacation destination? Especially one this close to the equator. Enjoy your vacation in the burn unit, morons. I also noticed quite a few people covered from head to toe in clothing to avoid the sun. I got the impression that their plan for the entire trip is to somehow avoid the sun coming into direct contact with skin. In the Maldives. Now, I’m not saying you have to be tan to visit the Maldives, but, wait yes, that is exactly what I’m saying. The other two couples showed up at a painfully leisurely pace and we walked out of the airport and on to our resort’s boat.

The girls and I quickly jumped on the boat first and headed up to the small upper deck to get a good view. Snooze ya lose when it comes to seating positions on a boat, am I right people? Apparently our resort mates didn’t get the boat etiquette memo and so they decided to all come up to the top deck and squish in with us. The first couple sat on either side of the girls and I. I found it odd they didn’t want to sit next to each other until I realized it was so that the guy could take a photo shoot of his girlfriend from across the deck. Hopefully he can photoshop my resting bitch face out of her “I;m on a boat” pictures. The other couple was painfully awkward and looked like brother and sister. Once we were all cozy, we headed off to our resort.

Upon arrival, the island looked similar to the pictures, save for one little problem. It’s very close proximity to Male, the main island. Why is this a problem? Because Male is a shit hole. I knew it was only a boat ride away instead of a flight, but was not aware (a) how ugly Male is and (b) just how close it was. Being able to see buildings in the distance kind of takes away from the deserted island experience. I had emailed ahead of time and asked for a room on the side of the island that doesn’t face Male (out of sight, out of mind), but as soon as they walked us to our over water bungalow it was painfully obvious that my request was not granted. I kept my cool and didn’t lose my shit on anyone. Maybe I’m turning over a new leaf in the Maldives. We kindly requested that we be moved to a room on the other side without another island in our skyline. They promised to look into it and let us know. A few hours later they called and told us we could move to the other side tomorrow at noon. Apparently being patient and agreeable does work…sometimes.

By the time we checked in and got settled it was about 5 pm in the Maldives. We caught the sunset at the “Chill bar” on our island, which serves weak and over priced cocktails. The Maldives is a dry country, which means that booze is illegal, except at the resorts which have special license to sell to tourists. This means no BYO duty free booze for happy hour in your room. Which in turn means that you either pay out the ass for booze or stay sober. Given the fact that nightlife here consists of a cover band at an island bar full of couples, we’ll probably be opting for the sober route. I could use a week to dry out anyway, lets be honest. The Hermosa Beach summer season has not been kind to the old liver.

I had made dinner reservations for each night ahead of time, to avoid restaurants being booked and having to eat in the over priced buffet at the resort. Tonight was teppanyaki night. We walked along the sand lined paths through the resort to the restaurant on the other side of the island. It’s basically a mini Benihana’s on an open aired over water bungalow. A nice Sri Lankan chef gave us a little cooking show after which we stuffed our faces and went to bed.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pay attention to the general itinerary of today, as it’ll probably repeat quite a bit over the next few days. My general plan for the day is to not do a fucking thing and enjoy my first full day in the Maldives. Today I was up in time to catch the sunrise around 6am, after which I hit the gym. We then hit up the breakfast buffet. It’s no Middle East Disneyland buffet, but as our only free meal of the day, we’re gonna make it work. We were surprised to find a few other group of friends at breakfast today – all girls, of course. A blind person could tell which tables are friends because they are the only ones actually talking. Most of the tables of couples just sit there together silently chewing and avoiding eye contact. Some of the men play on their phones while their wives or girlfriends glare at them. It’s almost painful to watch. That’s a lie, it’s funny as hell. I wonder how long these people have been here if they have ran out of things to talk about? Isn’t the plan to eat breakfast together for the rest of your lives? Yikes.  The girls and I may ignore eachother for hours while we read on the beach, but we at least have the decency to communicate while we break bread. We aren’t savages.

Steph and I lounging in our pool

After breakfast we headed back to the room and blew up our rafts. We never go on vacation without rafts. The only way you last more than an hour in this heat is if you are partially submerged on your raft at all times. Around noon we took a break from floating in our private plunge pool to change rooms, at which point we started floating in our new private plunge pool. At 3 pm we headed over to the resort spa for our 90 minute deep tissue massages. The spa menu says that deep tissue is recommended for men. Leave it to us to book the man massage. Senor Boston strikes again. Not only did I get the man massage, I gave my masseuse specific instructions to do her absolute worst. If you aren’t sore the next day what is the point? The spa is absolutely beautiful. It’s set in over water bungalows, with each treatment room it’s own little bungalow complete with a view of the crystal blue water and the sound of the little waves serenading you throughout the massage. It was heaven. There is a big whirlpool overlooking the ocean in the main spa area that you can relax in after your treatment. We walked up to find a very unattractive couple making out in it. But hey, at least these two spoke to each other. I cleared my throat and they took the hint.

We chilled in the spa for a bit until it was time for sunset yoga on the beach. The setting was beautiful. Yoga mats set up on a powder white sand beach overlooking the sea and a group of bungalows. We were joined by three couples – the men obviously did not want to be there and didn’t have a fucking clue what they were doing. The yoga instructor was kind of awesome. He was definitely the soup Nazi of yoga – every move had to be done just to his specifications. No taking liberties with poses or going half assed. He constantly yelled at us to “continue the normal inhalation and exhalations”. Steph does a great impression. The poor men were grunting in frustration and stumbling around like baby deer. Yoga Nazi fucking hated them. He corrected their every move with daggers in his eyes. One couple strolled in ten minutes late and then spent the entire class giggling and falling in the back. Yoga Nazi was visibly pissed at their lack of respect for his art. You could tell he spent the entire hour questioning what wrong turn in his life led him this point – the yoga instructor for a bunch of spoiled pricks who can’t touch their fingers to their toes. The girls and I looked like fucking yoga goddesses in comparison to the rest of these people. And we suck at yoga, so that’s really saying something.

After yoga the girls headed back to the room to shower for dinner while I went to the front desk to sign us up for any activity on the schedule with the word “complementary” in front of it. There were two activities that looked good tomorrow, but I was soon informed that they were already booked up. I know you’re all thinking that this probably pissed me off, and it did, but let me explain why. Before we left I emailed the resort to make our dinner and spa reservations and I specifically asked if it was necessary to book activities in advance if they are likely to book up. I was told no. So instead of the free snorkeling trip tomorrow, they informed me that they could schedule us on the earlier snorkeling trip – the one that costs $70 per person. Instead of telling the resort worker who apparently fancies himself a salesman to go fuck himself, I just kindly informed him that we are here five days and will wait for the next free trip in a few days. Luckily for them I was very relaxed after my fabulous day of sun, spa and yoga. We had dinner at the Etesian restaurant at the resort. It’s pricey, but the food was fucking awesome. I even took a picture of it for you. Bed time tonight was at about 9:30 pm. We are getting crazy in the Maldives.


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