Obviously my cats were not happy. Despite my attempts to pack a suitcase in secret, they knew I was planning an escape. On Wednesday, while I waited for the airport service, the three felines sat around me in a circle, glaring. Think BF on the big Metro Gwapo signs, only adorable and furry. They appeared to be casting some sort of spell to prevent my leaving. Whenever I stood up, Saffy would meow shrilly–the same meow she utters when she rolls on the floor next to my feet and falsely accuses me of stepping on her.
I was expecting the airport service at 9.40am, but it was 9.45 and there was no sign of the car. So I called the service. There was no record of my order. I’d had a strange conversation with their dispatcher the previous night. Just before midnight, I dialed the same number I’ve dialed for ten years. “I need a taxi to the airport at 9.40am,” I told the woman who answered. “This is not a taxi company,” she replied. I said sorry, I must’ve dialed the wrong number. I tried again. The same woman answered. I tried a different tack. “Are you a car rental company?” I asked. She said yes. “Then I’d like a car to the airport at 9.40am.” Turns out it was the exact same company that has provided my airport service for a decade, only she didn’t want to use the word “taxi”. Picky.
And a nitwit. She confirmed my order, but didn’t record it. The morning dispatcher apologized and said she would send a car over immediately. Meaning the car leisurely drove up at 10.10. I had to meet the contact who had my passport and visa at the airport entrance at 10.30. Then I saw the building guard turning the car away, saying
“She doesn’t live here anymore.” No! I got to the car before it could drive off. Apparently the driver had been given the name of my sister, who moved out two year ago.
“I have to be at the Centennial terminal at 10.30, can we manage?” I asked the driver. “We’ll see,” was his noncommital answer. “Let’s take Nichols through the Fort,” I said. “Okay,” he said, unimpressed by my sense of urgency. He proceeded to take the long way. “This is the long way,” I pointed out. “Oh, did you want to go through the Fort?” Suffice it to say that when a driver asks me for directions, it is not a good omen. He tuned in to an easy listening station and proceeded at 15kph on an empty road, stopping every so often to let arthritic ants cross without peril.
to be continued