SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010 8:05 PM, CDT
Right Choice #8
Jeff is here! Johan picked him up at the airport and drove him straight out to the hotel. What an incredibly long grueling flight it must have been.
Once Phil left I suddenly realized that I didn’t know Jeff’s flight schedule. Johan called asking, so he would know when to go pick Jeff up, and I had no idea. Everything happened in such a rush. I only knew that Jeff was on his way to be with me, and he was flying through Paris. I hadn’t yet figured out how to call back to the states from the hotel phone, I had trouble remembering phone numbers I had memorized years ago and I couldn’t think to figure out Jeff’s flight schedule on-line.
Desperately I began punching numbers into the hotel phone. A Loud, obnoxious beeping was my reward. After several failed attempts, the hotel operator came to my room. Patiently he asked what number I would like to call. I showed him the number to Jeff’s office. Carefully he pushed one zero and waited. He pushed three more zeros and paused again, then he dialed the office series. Ryan came on the line. I explained what I needed to know. Ryan didn’t know offhand what Jeff’s flight details were, but he would track down the information and e-mail it to me. Okay. I was gaining control once again. Talking to Ryan reminded me that I needed to reach out to friends and have them talk me through my predicament.
I sent out a Facebook notice and contacted friends on their message boards. I gave out the hotel number, hoping someone would figure out how many zeroes they needed to dial to call me back. And friends did. Kathleen called and she had me laughing out loud at the fix I’d managed to get myself into this time. And I decided that it would be okay to take over Kevin’s blogspot – people who followed Kevin might want to hear about my latest mis-adventure in travel. So I started capturing my story and passing it along to all of you. And in this way the lonely hours passed, and I didn’t feel so alone stranded, sick and miserable in a hotel in the middle of South Africa.
I probably called Johan ten times asking him when Jeff’s plane would get there, and when Jeff would get to me. The last time I called Jeff answered and said he was turning into the hotel property. When Jeff walked into the room I had lots of good news. I hadn’t thrown up in ten hours. That was big news. Plus, I had made a choice that morning.
Komodto wanted me to choose whether or not I wanted to move rooms now that Jeff was arriving. She wanted to know if I wanted to move down to a ground floor room. It would cost more money since it was a double room instead of my single. It would mean moving out of the increasingly dank, stale fourth floor room that had made me feel oddly safe since escaping the hospital to its brown hinged walls. But it meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about taking the stairs if something happened to the lifts and I needed to get out of the building. Now my shuffle-walks could include the outside garden. The new room had a big enough bed for Jeff and I to share. He wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor. I chose to move to a new room as soon as Jeff arrived.