Sunday, June 12, 2011

New York, New York I.

217. Feeling incredibly excited, as reality has finally sunk in. I am back to one of my favourite cities. Nevertheless, jet lag soon catches up, and instead of writing eloquently about how incredibly excited I am about being in New York, New York, I sent her a one-word email, "Zoeeeee!" 

Some ten minutes later, Zoe wrote back, with an important message. "Gazpaaaacho-y... Catherine wants a light-sabre from Times Square... she lost the second one in her first divorce :D"

218. "Can I borrow your converter?" she asks. Having brought with me a (borrowed) European-North American converter, I am for once actually more organized than Anna. "Sure, why not?" I tossed it over. As she caught the converter, something came to her mind. "Do you remember that getting converters was the first thing we did together?" "Uhm, what?" Jet lag is getting to her too, I think to myself. "In Belgium, I meant." 

October 2009. My international converter broke down on my first night in Brussels. A few days later, after patiently explaining to me where the cemetery, the GB and consequently the electronic store were and worrying that I would still get lost, Anna took me there. Since that day, the converter has remained in my office; Anna and I have become good friends, and are now beginning our sixth trip outside of Belgium together.

219. 8ish pm. Returning from 5 Napkin Burger and eager to sleep, only to find out that our swipe cards can no longer open the hotel room. 

Five minutes later. A phone call from the reception. "Geluck? It's me, Gazpacho. We are locked out of our hotel room, because apparently it has not been paid. Could you please come down and help us?"

8.30ish pm. Still at the reception. "At 3 pm," Geluck begins the story once again, after having been interrupted several times due to various phone calls to the reception, "I paid for one night for my room, and one night for their room. At 5:30 pm, we were informed that our rooms have been paid for, for the whole trip, an-" 
"Sir, you are yelling, and I don't appreciate that." 
"I am not yelling." Geluck says because, well, he is not yelling. 
"The room is not paid for," the African-American receptionist responded icily. 
"I signed two pieces of paper." Geluck can count. 
"I can't find the second one."
"So if you haven't found my piece of paper, I would be locked out of the room and out on the street too?" 
"You are not locked out of the room. Your room is paid for."

8.45ish pm. They have seemingly reached a compromise. 
"Can you please write down what you are telling me? Then I will pay for their room." 
"OK, sir, what do you want me to write?"
"Just what you have been saying."
With a slight shrug, the receptionist grabbed a nearby pen, started scribbling down on a small piece of paper. A few seconds later, a small poem was born.
    Room 508
    is not paid
    for I need a
Her poetic talent, like Geluck's apparent yelling, is not appreciated either. 
"This is not good enough." 
"What do you want me to write?" 
"What you hav-" 
"Here, why don't you write it, and I'll sign?" 
On an A4 sheet, Geluck tells his story once more time. 
"Please sign this. I need your name, your signature, and your ID."
"What am I signing?"
She glances at Geluck's essay for two seconds. 
"I'm not signing this." 

We are back to square one.

1 comment: