Sometimes I feel like I am being watched by a hidden camera. You know those funny videos that pop up on YouTube when an old man is shocked when a big breasted lady’s bra falls off and he is left with a stupid smile not knowing which way to look. The camera crew then jump and shout “surprise” and he tries his best not to have a heart attack. I had one of these moments last week.
So to set the scene. I had heard that the CSI Miami actress Eva LaRue was in town and was trying desperately to get a one on one interview. If you have ever seen CSI Miami you would know why. She is the sexy Latin looking detective, you could say I had a few reasons for wanting to meet her.
Now we all know that in Dubrovnik it’s not what you know it’s who you know. A few calls and I was getting closer to the prize. Then at 16.30 I got the winning call. “She will be free from 17.30 to 18.00 and has agreed to meet you,” came the voice. Bingo! I was to meet her in Hotel Villa Dubrovnik, which was an added bonus as I had never stepped foot in the hotel before. At 17.25 I entered the reception “I have a meeting with Eva LaRue,” I announced. Now that’s not a sentence I have said before in my life. “She is on her way please take a seat,” replied the polite receptionist. 17.30 came and went. 18.00 came and went. No sign of Detective Natalia Boa Vista!
I was just about to leave when out of the lift appeared the actress. “And this is Mark Thomas,” the friendly director of the hotel introduced me. It was then that the “hidden camera” moment happened. “Oh, Mr Thomas I have a gift for you,” I heard over my shoulder. The receptionist produced a golden bag laden down with a present. Now, this was odd. Could it be a present from the hotel? But why would they give me a present? Was it a joke?
I opened the bag and to my complete and utter surprise there was something inside that almost knocked me off my feet. Of all the presents I could receive in Dubrovnik this was the most shocking a bottle of salad cream. Now I realise this means nothing to you so here is some background. By far and away my favourite sauce is salad cream, it is kind of like mayonnaise but so much better. I put it on everything. But unfortunately you can’t buy it in Croatia.
About three years ago, or maybe longer, I wrote a column about my passion for this sauce and how a group of fifty English people had turned up in Hotel Splendid all with a bottle of salad cream (but that’s a long story for another day). Now one couple from England had read this column all these years ago and remembered that I loved the sauce. We had been in contact over Twitter a few times as they are both huge fans of Dubrovnik. Not only did they remember I loved salad cream but they had gone to the trouble of bringing a big bottle of it over with them in their luggage when they came to Villa Dubrovnik for a holiday in May this year. So imagine my surprise when I opened the bag to find a bottle of my pleasure!
I literally thought it was a set up; I was waiting for someone to jump from behind a curtain and shout “got you!” I was in a hotel that I hadn’t been in before ever and a bottle of my favourite sauce was waiting for me, unbelievable.
I was so wrapped up in the situation that I completely forgot that Eva LaRue was standing right next to me. She looked as puzzled as I was. Eva LaRue was now in second place in my interest compared to this bottle in the gold bag.
Of course I got straight onto Twitter to thank the English couple. It just goes to show that it is the little things in life that bring the most pleasure, and how fascinating that they had read that column all those years ago and remembered to pack a bottle for me. I shuffled down to the terrace to once again catch up with the sexy detective all the time thinking about my gift. Once again I waited for her. This time it was much easier to wait as she was doing a photo shoot for bikinis (yes it is a tough job) with the sun setting over Dubrovnik.
Finally I got my one on one (and yes she was still wearing the bikini). Here is was sitting alone with a Hollywood actress, watching the embers of a Dubrovnik day with the sun setting, sipping mojitos and with a bottle of salad cream in my bag. I have definitely had worse days.