Sandy DicksonView all articles by Sandy Dickson
Gone: my whole travel wardrobe
It was a terrible hour to get up anyway: 5 a.m., though I awoke at 4:30 and tackled the morning. I was going from
It was an interesting trip. At the airport, I got a boarding pass to
You can tell this trip was a few years ago, because there was a meal. When it arrived, I told the stewardess if they were short on meals, I wouldn’t have one. (I was still trying to digest the one from the previous flight.) She said there was enough, as they had a refusal (and 'refusal' may be a much more appropriate word than 'decline.')
Smart passenger. I shoulda stuck to my guns. It was the epitome of all the jokes ever told about airline food. They called it an omelet, but it was a hard pile of scrambled eggs folded over and perched atop a tiny but thick piece of ham. But there was a croissant roll. I love croissant rolls. This one was cold. There was a pile of hash browns, without much form because they were mushy with grease. And to think I had managed to get this far without slopping anything on my dress. Well, it wouldn’t have happened if my tray table hadn’t left a one foot gap between me and it.
The Chinese boy beside me was smart. He didn’t touch anything on his plate but the pineapple. The mother, however, took the remains of his plate and emptied it into her plastic silverware bag then tucked it into her purse. It’s a good thing he ordered the omelet and not the fruit-filled pancakes, though it would’ve been more fun to watch. During the process of cramming the croissant in the bag she lost some crumbs in her lap, but she quickly retrieved and ate those. (Even without the pancakes, that was amusing to witness also.)
When I got checked in to the hotel, the bellhop took me to my room and gave me the key. There was no luggage rack for the suitcase, but no problem. I just opened my suitcase and slid it under the bed as is my habit in such instances. I changed to something more casual, hung my banquet dress up, then washed the spot of grease off the one I wore on the plane and hung it up to dry. I put a few toiletries in the bathroom and then left the room, key in hand, to see if I could find an iron for the wrinkled dress I had unpacked.
Successful, I returned to my room with the iron, ready to tackle the wrinkled dress then relax a bit before leaving for the banquet. What a shock to find that none of my personal belongings were in the room! No toiletries, clothes, purse, or even suitcase under the bed. Could this be the work of an employee with a master key who had seen me leave? Yet there was a suitcase rack. Someone put it there and took all my stuff?
I decided I surely must be in the wrong room, even though it looked identical to the one I just left. No one could work that fast. But I checked my key against the number on the door and it matched! I thought of at least confiscating the luggage stand and transferring it to my real room, but I had no idea where it was and the only way to find out was to go back to the desk and get the matter straightened out. I arrived at the desk, key in one hand, iron in the other. I had promised to bring ithe iron right back, but five minutes later?
The girl gave me a surprised look, so I set the iron on the counter and said, “It’s a skimpy outfit.” She didn’t quite know what to say.
I continued, “This is going to sound strange, but…” and I proceeded to tell her about my room. The manager overheard the conversation and I could tell by his expression that he did indeed think I was loony. They looked up the room number I was assigned to, and it was 420. They had also given me two 420 keys, one of which I was still clutching.
He had the same bellhop who had originally taken me to my room, go back with me to #420 to see for himself. Indeed, there was nothing of mine in the room. Then he took me to room #406, which he thought he remembered taking me to before, and there was all my stuff. He concluded that he had reached into his pocket and grabbed the key to 406 to unlock the room he put me into, but then slipped it back into his pocket, where he also had the key to room 420, where he was supposed to put me. After he got my bags in, he had reached in his pocket and grabbed the key for 420 without noticing the discrepancy. So now, he left me in that room (#406) since I already had it looking rather lived in.
I was glad I hadn’t lost all my stuff, and it was a relief too, to know they realized they weren’t dealing with a lunatic after all. I was also thankful that I discovered it early in my stay when I wasn't tired from arriving back to the wrong room late at night without the same bellhop on duty. And a bit more complicated would be if I unlocked the 420 door and found the room occupied because the bellhop would have given the other key in his pocket to another party! Yikes! Now wouldn't that have been a surprise to both the occupant and me!