Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 926: My Dream Trip To Italy and France
By BGE from Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada, Spring 2005
Page 30 of 38: There Are Guardian Angels Everywhere Today...
Hurling fountain...was it something that I ate?
This day begins the same way as the last few. I’ve been busy calling my insurance company at home, checking in with a family friend who had been through this before, calling the Canadian Consulate again and again... and then the most amazing thing happened.
I have been in contact with one of the members from Slowtrav, my travel site. 'Happy in Paris'... or Dave, as we know him on Slowtrav... has invited me to meet him and his wife for lunch in Paris. I called him yesterday and told him what had happened with my luggage, hoping he would give me a rain check on lunch, until I get this sorted out.
This morning Dave calls me back. He tells me I must report this theft to the Paris police, if I am to have any hope of reclaiming any insurance coverage. Dave gets me the name and phone number of the local detachment, calls them to ensure that there is someone there who speaks English and then tells me how to get to that police station. He also encourages me to go after the airline for creating this kind of situation for their passengers.
I spend the next 4 hours in the police station, with very nice people who go out of their way to make me comfortable, while we complete a statement… en francais, s'il vous plait! I speak a little French and the young officer speaks a little English, so we do quite well, I think.
After this long procedure, I go home again, have a little bit of lunch and head downtown on the bus to meet my son at the Louvre. We are both tense and crabby with each other. I wish this whole thing had not happened and I wish I could deal with it better, but I seem to be really off balance and I’m so very tired of it.
I get on the bus, and go home.
This is when I wish with all my heart for a “do-over”... you know, one of those days when you can go back and do it all over again and make it better?
At midnight, I am still awake, still trying to come to terms with everything and still incredibly angry that there is only one more day for me here.
I suddenly think to myself, “Why can’t I stay longer?”
Well, why not?
On a whim, I call my travel agent's office in Kitchener, Ontario. It is 4:00 P.M. there and Ryan answers the phone, believe it or not. That’s flow for ya!
I tell him the whole sad story, and he says, “Wait right there, Brenda! I’ll call you back!”
Half an hour later, he calls back and tells me that he has pled my case with the powers that be at Air Canada, and he must have struck a nerve with the person on the other end of the line, because she told him to call me and tell me the good news. She said I can go to Charles de Gaulle Airport on Saturday instead of Wednesday, get on the same flight as before, at the same time as before, and no charge! Honestly, no charge?
“Air Canada NEVER does this! They ALWAYS stick to the rules and there are NEVER any exceptions. I think I’m going to have to sleep with someone at Air Canada for this!”, Ryan tells me... and I laugh! Out loud!
Really? I mean, really, truly?
Yes, truly, I have been re-booked to fly home in 3 days, not tomorrow as planned.
I call my best friend at home and talk this whole thing through with her, and afterwards I feel like a huge load has been lifted off my heart. Writing in my journal after I am in my bed, I realize that I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel... and it's not a freight train!
Best Things Today:
~ Dave from Slowtrav is an angel in disguise!
~ Ryan, my travel agent from Flight Center, is another angel in disguise!
~ Air Canada... a guardian angel? Stranger things have happened! Wait til I tell my son this great news!
Worst Things Today:
~ seems like the worst just might be over, please, God...
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