|(Image from American Museum of Natural History)|
Anyway, when my colleagues and I got to the reception desk, we were asked to fill a form. On it was written, this hotel is out of bounds to all female visitors, except spouses. Trust my jaw to drop and big mouth to talk, I read it out loud to my female colleague and I was jokingly spitting discrimination. Only for us to finish filling our forms and told the guys to go to one wing and the ladies to go to another. They actually split us! Even though we are all from one organization. We were all surprised, a male colleague of mine then said, what if we want to have a meeting? The receptionist was just smiling. When I got to my room, I told my female colleague that maybe they don’t want us to use their hotel to start ‘office romance’ or continue the one we started in Lagos.
The hotel rooms are quite beautiful, it has the Muslim praying mat and ablution kettle and I was left wondering, do they expect only Muslim guests or do they expect us to ‘convert’ before leaving. Well, I just brought out my Bible and put it by the bedside desk, hoping the cleaners have not be directed to throw it away because looking at it now, the inscription ‘Holy Bible’ on it is looking too bold and I am praying it is not desecrating their hotel desks.
Well, I am learning new things out here, new culture and all, even though I am of the opinion that the whole man woman separation is mostly hypocrisy. I will keep learning as long as I am here. To think that I almost turned down this particular client, I thank God I did not.
P.S: I love Muslims, I have Muslim friends and I think we can leave in peace and harmony if we just learn to tolerate each others beliefs.