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Kian Barker
Shakabarker Tours

Kian Barker



Collecting Guests

Greetings and Salutations,

One of the things I encourage my staff to do, is use certain polite phrases or terms. It just seems more courteous and professional. It is an attempt to bring hospitality closer to home and ensure a better comfort zone. So on our
tours we have guests, not pax or clients. We "collect" guests; we do not 'pick them up'! When we have guests helping with the tours, like making a salad or assisting with a spotlight on a night drive, we show our gratitude and thank them.

In one particular instance I thanked a female guest who had operated the spotlight on a night drive.  Women, as I have mentioned before, are better than men, except if the men are hunters. Anyway she was really great and
located lots of animals with the spotlight. At the end of the trip I said 'thank you' to her and added that 'if she ever needed a night time job, let me know'. Well she said she already had one! At this point I was at a loss for an answer and she rapidly put me at ease by saying she was a night duty mid-wife. More recently I was caught out with my own wise crack. I stopped to collect a group of young ladies and their parents and when I greeted them, they said happily: 'you have come to pick us up!' I added that you pick up prostitutes and collect....' but I was cut short and told that they were hookers, in fact they were The "Hookers"! The expression on my face must have elicited their response, which was 'No, really! Our surname is "Hooker!"'. In social situations there is a an apt term called a pregnant pause. In this instance full term had passed and then some...

After introducing the tour we headed out into a darkened landscape of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, I had a great time with the "Hookers". Game was plentiful, nocturnal animals bountiful, hyena did their best. On returning to town I dropped off the Hookers and on returning home was glad not to be asked: "How was your evening, Darling?" What do you say?: "Spent the evening out with the Hookers", or: "The Hookers paid me to take them out"? or, "Had a night out with the Hookers"? Because that would have been how the fight would have started...

Hasta la vista

The Knait Whrydah under the radar

Posted by Kian Barker


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