Body Mind Soul, Concierge ABC

Nina’s ABC

Once I had a guest who requested I make him a hotel reservation in the Bahamas. Of course, we meet many guests from all over the world. Some visit Miami from China, Japan, France, Germany, Indonesia, Thailand, or India. Guests with German names do not cause me any difficulties. My native language is Dutch and Dutch and German are quite similar. Indonesian names are fine as well. In the past, before I became a Concierge, I used to live and work in Jakarta. Chinese names are difficult because I do not speak any Chinese. Japanese names too. Sometimes I struggle with the correct pronunciation of Spanish or Italian names. Giselle speaks both languages fluently, so I usually ask her how to get the pronunciation right. I also noticed that most guests from Latin America have very long last names and then there can be a lot of a’s in Indian names.

Exuma Bahamas Children

Exuma Bahamas, Photo by Andrew Kaufman.

Getting back to my South African guest, I was about to make him a reservation while he waited in front of the Concierge desk. I called a hotel in the Bahamas, requested a room with a view and began spelling out his name. Because of guest confidentiality, I will not repeat his name here, so lets say it went something like this:

A for Apple

E for Elephant

V for Victory

L for Love

Z for Zebra

K for Kite

and so forth.

The guest thought that my spelling was rather unusual. While I was making his hotel booking, he decided to write down the official spelling for me on a small piece of paper.

A for Alpha

B for Bravo

C for Charlie

D for Delta

E for Echo

and so forth.

When I completed his reservation, he handed me the piece of paper. I thanked him and placed the piece of paper away with some other guest’s notes and letters that I have kept over the years.

Exuma Bahamas Lady

Exuma Bahamas, Photo by Andrew kaufman

Sometimes, even though my guest has long left, I look at it. I have always known the correct spelling. I just prefer it my way. My own ABC is made out of things that mean something to me. I do not always say the same thing. It depends on how I feel on that particular day. I make it a point to always choose upbeat and positive words. It keeps me fresh and makes me live in the moment.


M for Moonlight

O for Orient

M for Miami

E for East

N for Noble

T for Tiger, Today, Tomorrow…


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