Eat, fart, poo

Holding nose
Week 5

Making the transition from city life to retreat life was more challenging than I had expected on a number of levels. Firstly, I encountered the other work experiencers “ young (actually VERY young “ could have been my children young), hopeful, energetic, enthusiastic and bubbly “ it didnt take me too long to knock all of that out of them! I mean how much optimism can one redundant bear?

Mind the (age) gap

What was worse was that we were all shacked up in what was known as the work experience accommodation and being all girls, to me it quickly become known as the sorority. The sad thing was compared to the others, I was kinda the Sandra Dee of the group, but of course when I tried to share that with them (in a bonding moment), they looked at me blankly and asked if she was a friend of mine on Facebook. And as for Patrick Swaze and any kind of Dirty Dancing antics, disappointingly they were nowhere to be found. The closest we got to really living it up ˜after hours was watching an episode of Greys Anatomy and eating sugar-full chocolate (both big no nos in the media free, agave-syruped environment).

Hot (yoga) pants

Then came our uniform “ black and white leisurewear “ leggings, yoga pants, t-shirts, puffer jackets and most distressing of all, runners. On the up side, I walked around pretending I was one of those well to do mums who hangs out all day in her gym clothes looking fabulous. (What is that about anyway? When I leave the gym, I could scare small children and the only place I go is straight home to shower and change. What workout do they do that leaves their hair completely intact, their makeup unsmudged and not a sweat mark anywhere? My feeling is that they dont work out at all, but rather wear those clothes to be able to get in and out of those big, expensive four-wheel drive trucks they all hoon around in. Maybe the outfits come as a gift with purchase?) I digress … 

Anyway by day three of constant camel foot, while the guests were craving sugar and caffeine, I was hankering for structured clothes and leather shoes. So much so, I would sneak off into my room and when no one was looking, put on my boots and walk around the sorority getting a fix. The rush was incredible!

Room (secret)  service

As for our responsibilities, they were all highly cerebral and completely varied from waking the guests at 5.30am and washing dishes, to clearing tables and anchoring the morning walks. But by far my favourite was housekeeping. You know for all the profile-building tests the guest did on arrival to establish fitness, flexibility, blood sugar levels and the like, none compared to the insight one receives from cleaning their rooms. How they slept, what they slept in, who they slept with, what they are reading, drugs (prescription of course) they are taking …the clues are endless and often mmmmmmmind-blowing!  Housekeeping “ now they are people you wanna include at your next dinner party.

Fart food

If I was to ever write a memoir of a redundants time living on a health retreat, it would definitely be titled, Eat, Fart, Poo. Never have I encountered so many people obsessed with their bowels. I always understood the retreats promise for optimal movement to be about exercise, but it seemed the guests took it differently. Wind and shitting were constant conversations. How often, when, what sort, how long…it was endless. I was completely horrified when one day an extremely sophisticated, well-heeled and stylish guest provided me with intimate details of her farting episode during one of her private classes the day earlier. I got sound effects and all! Absolutely terrifying. But on the bright side, perfect fodder for my book.

Find out how Naomi gets on next week…

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Profile: Naomi Menahem is a multi-faceted communications specialist with core competencies in major account management and business development. She is currently enjoying the thrill of exploring her next career move in the middle of a global economic re-structure.


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