Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apology for the Evil

 Travel brings surprises, it is important to keep a positive attitude and be flexible.  Today as we leave the beautiful Villa la Angostura clouds have formed over the Andes mountains, the first clouds we have seen on this trip. As we drove to the airport to fly back to Buenos Aires, we chatted about the funny, odd and bad things that have happened these three weeks in Patagonia.  When we arrived in Bariloche, a driver was supposed to meet us at the bus station.  No one came and eventually we hailed a taxi and found our own hotel.  This was a bit of deja vue all over again, as a few days earlier arriving in Neuquen we were told a driver would be waiting, holding a sign with our names.  The airport was very busy and there were twenty drivers with placcards, none with our names.  We waited, and waited and waited.  After about 40 minutes, when the airport had completely cleared out, we got our own taxi and found our hotel.  Thank goodness for some Spanish skills.  At the hotel we asked if they has sent a driver as promised, and they acted like they did not know anything about it.  We stayed at that hotel for 6 days, and on the last day, as we were leaving, they slipped the most amazing apology under our door:  "Good morning, we ask for excuses him for the evil moment that you spend last week in the airport with the service of tranfer(sic), since they got confused moving other passengers."
  And then there was the time they gave us the wrong room and we had to push a bit hard to get the suite room we were promised. But you don't want to read about travel problems.  How about travel serendipities?  Well, as we arrived at Loi Suites Arenales, our hotel in BA, the lobby seemed very warm.  It was deserted.  It was in the high 90's and the front desk apologized, saying their airconditioning had broken and it would not be fixed for several days so would we be willing to move to their sister hotel, Loi Suites Recoleta?  What do to but smile and be flexible.  We were tired, it was hot. But then they called an air conditioned taxi and he drove us about 12 blocks to a beautiful 5 Star hotel just around the corner from the world famous Recoletta Cemetary where Evita and two centuries of Argentinian oligarchs are buried. At the new hotel, the desk clerk paid the taxi driver and warmly welcomed us.  He apologized for the inconvenience caused by the broken AC at their sister hotel and gave us a suite.  Then his face fell a bit, he looked at the computer and saw we had paid $85 per night for an online rate at the other hotel.  He pointed to his rate placcard and said, we will honor your price, but the room you are in normally costs $450 per night.  I felt like we should apologize to him for the "evil moment" he was suffering.  But our room is perfect.  The hotel is great. Just mellow out and enjoy the journey.   

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