"i'm not sure we can seat you at this time."
of course he, like me, can see through the bank of 12 x 12 foot picture panes that three of the five tables outside are unoccupied. it is 2:00 in the afternoon and i seriously doubt a late-lunch crush is expected.
("try," i thought.)
this is our last day at the mandarin oriental. i, for one, shall not return. in my mind a luxury hotel should make its guests feel welcomed and comfortable--this particular hotel is very much of the air-kisses and let's-do-lunch-but-i-don't-really-ever-wish-to-see-you-again-EVER variety. i cannot wait to leave.
"i took the liberty of bringing you the reduced-sodium soy sauce."
("oh dear. do i look puffy?" asshole.)
i did get a table outside and i did order sushi. apparently i look bloated. sophie finally fell asleep for a much needed nap so i snuck out of the room to go downstairs to the allegedly kid-friendly place: the sushi bar. since i'm wearing an international spy museum t-shirt and nylon ripstop pants, i doubt i'd be welcomed anywhere else within this frickin' hotel. this whole luxury nonsense is taken so far even at the sushi bar that you aren't even given regular granulated sugar when you order iced tea--they bring you liquid sugar. god forbid you tax yourself stirring those damned granules. and that iced tea costs $4.50. no refills.
i spent lunch feeding the sparrows and robins hovering around the patio my bread, which thoroughly pissed off the staff. very satisfying.