I’m in Pretoria. At the Court Classique hotel. I have to wonder about an establishment that uses an alternative spelling in its name. I approach the lobby, walking through a gaggle of ducks. No, a gaggle of geese. But they weren’t geese. So according to Google (my love, oh Google, my dear) a brace of ducks, or a flock of ducks, or a flush of ducks, or a paddling of ducks, or a raft of ducks or even a team of ducks. Ducks abound. Quack, quack, quack. I ask my driver/protector, “Do you hunt?” He replies, deadpan, “Not ducks.”

We avoid the ducks and continue to the lobby. I notice there is a preponderance of feathers. Not duck feathers, but fluorescently dyed feathers strategically placed in what could be considered lovely arrangements. Or not. The lobby boasts a display of hot pink feathers amid a profusion of silk Gerbers and Snapdragons and other such flora. The restaurant, aptly named “Orange” professes vibrant orange feathers surrounding, almost suffocating, a single rosebud in a vase on each table. As I walk to my suite, more feathers, in increasingly non-natural shades, appear.

Not exactly my version of “classique” but hey, who am I to define fashion?

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