Monthly Archives: February 2015

If I thought I was a hot mess upon arriving at the hotel, I didn’t know what hot mess was

I make my way to the bathroom and the next thing I know a cleaning lady joins me. The bleeding won’t stop and she asks ‘doctor?’ I reply ‘si.’

The extent of my first aid knowledge in Spanish is quite limited. Dolor de mi cabeza (I have a headache) isn’t my primary concern and I can’t describe what the problem is. Though it’s pretty clear what it is so maybe I don’t need to translate.

The next person to come through the ladies room door is a manager. He introduces himself in English and while I am not confident of his medical training, I’m happy I have a translator. He informs me that a doctor has been called and will arrive shortly. He told me to take a seat in the restaurant and he would alert me when the doctor arrives.

I head back to sit with Marisa to figure out what’s going to happen. The bleeding had subsided a bit, but my arm was wrapped in gauze and now my primary concern was glass in my arm. I would be heading to Chile on a 10 hours plus bus ride in the morning and healthy was the only way I wanted to enter a new country.

Marisa and I wait and wait and I apologize profusely for being such an idiot. Our waiter returns and lets us know that if we accept, he would like to give us tapas and wine on him. What are we to do but accept his offer?  Seems like that’s the dinner we were both looking for anyway, minus the injury.

If I thought I was a hot mess upon arriving at the hotel, I didn’t know what hot mess was.  I was still bleeding, some older blood was drying and it was just disgusting. Marisa was such a good sport and she was really a calming presence.

After what seemed like an eternity, the manager came over to our table to notify me that the doctor had arrived. He then escorted me to the ladies room. And, thankfully, he stayed.


Um…one napkin?!

Marisa arrived soon after I sat down and we ordered wine, and caught up on our days.  We were both pretty exhausted and agreed the bread, wine and cheese would be great in our pajamas.

Mid-conversation, I realize one of my arms is gushing blood and I try to stop it. Upon further inspection I realize my elbow is where it’s coming from. And then I realize the whole table where I am seated is covered in broken glass.

Marisa calls the waiter over and shows him my arm. He brings a napkin and simply asks what he can do.

Um…one napkin?! We’ve already gone through all of them on our own table. At this point, I am starting to feel woozy and I’m starting to shake. Maybe the mate I shared with Rafael earlier that day? Maybe the panic that was starting to set in?

I’m not sure what Marisa told the waiter but soon after he comes back with gauze and brown stuff but we don’t know what it is, we’re not sure what to do with it and I’m certainly not about to do first aid at the table.

What I didn’t watch was the table

I found the private party on the patio. All of the tables were high tops (which would have been preferred had I looked nice and had I not been carrying so many bags). Instead I chose a low top table just along the inside / outside area where I could hide my stuff under the table. I threw everything under the table and figured that sitting down, and from the waist up, in a simple cotton black tank top, I could pass for somewhat presentable in what some may consider, the nicest hotel in Mendoza.

I said somewhat.

And so I people watched while waiting for Marisa.

What I didn’t watch was the table.

Sitting inside would turn out to be, by far, the least of my problems that night

Rafael and Gustavo had extended the invitation to join them at the dinner party they were hosting that night. Look at me with multiple plans! Unfortunately, I had to decline because I had confirmed with Marisa that I would join her for a wine dinner at the Park Hyatt Mendoza. You may recall that Marisa had very kindly offered to host me in her apartment in Mendoza, after we had randomly met in a tasting room earlier that week.

Rafael and I stopped at a roadside market and a supermarket so he could pick up some last-minute items for their dinner party that evening.

Since it was my last night with Marisa, I wanted to give her a hostess gift. Throughout our conversations, Marisa had shared how much she missed cooking. She couldn’t bear to use the pots and pans in her rental because they were so crappy. At the supermarket, Rafael and I picked out a nice pan. We headed back to the house to pick up Gustavo so they could both drop me off at the Park Hyatt where Marisa and I had made plans to meet.

Reflecting on the ride back into the city, I decided that I absolutely loved being outside of Mendoza. The countryside is dotted with vineyards which is what I had originally imagined Mendoza to be. Mendoza proper is actually a city and the wineries are a good drive outside of the city limits.

Rafael, Gustavo and I said goodbye outside of the Park Hyatt promising to stay in touch (spoiler alert: we have). I crossed the busy street and headed up the elegant staircase into the hotel. As the doormen welcomed me into the grand lobby, I realized I was under dressed and I couldn’t do anything about it.

I was wearing a long skirt, a cotton tank top and flip-flops. I hadn’t had a chance to put a brush through my hair since the morning. Not only did my attire help me stand out but the daypack and plastic supermarket bag with a gift wrapped cooking pot was far from discreet.

Finding a table on the outdoor patio was my first mission. This way, I could hide my bags and footwear under the table. Problem was, all of the outdoor tables were high tops.

Sitting inside would turn out to be, by far, the least of my problems that night.