Monday, October 25, 2010

And then there was the time when... 9/07

There we were, my husband and I, in a particular Country, in the end of January and let me tell you, that Country knows what snow IS...believe me. 

So we're holed up in a little one roomer but with a little tiny water closet tucked in the corner.  One paid more for that amenity but it was well worth it.  It was just a little commode with the requisite water tank above and one pulled a chain initiating the flushing action.  An excellent commode, all told.

So there we were, as I was at pains to say. Before my husband went to work and took the vehicle of course (where would I go, and who did I know anyway?  I had not been in that particular Country but weeks then) we drove over to a place to have something to eat.  After that, my husband dropped me off at our place of rooming and he went on off to work.  Bear in mind, there were no cell phones and one had to really ingratiate oneself with the owners of the place you lived if you wanted to use their family phone.  So, to us, that was a no option unless it was an emergency.

Well, I thought I had one.  I walked up the many steps and lumbered into the room.  I took off my snow boots, heavy coat, etc etc etc and stood by the lukewarm radiator trying to get warm.  Then, I thought to check our Per Diem packet.  I went to where I generally put my purse and it was not there.  Alarmed, I looked everywhere..and that wasn't far.  It was a small room.  Not there.  Now thoroughly alarmed, I thought about our two passports in that purse, our money and ID of course, our Per Diem pack, just everything.  But most of all, the passports.  NOT good.  Not when you up and move every 6 to 8 weeks to somewhere else. 

I flew around the room looking again.  No purse.  Then, grabbing my coat I ran down the steps, out into the snow and ran...yes, RAN all the way to the place we had eaten our breakfast.  Not easy considering it was heavy snow and in my fear and haste, I did not put on my boots and I was still carrying my coat!  As I piled into the place where we had eaten, the owner came straight to me with my purse in his hand.  He made gestures that I had carelessly  just gotten up and left it on the floor.  Then pointed to my coat and bare feet. 

I thanked him profusely over and over and over.  I accepted the offer of a ride to our living quarters as I was barefoot and it was very cold out there. 

You know, that affects me to this day...in the here and now.  I keep my purse on my person or between my feet with my ankle thru the strap.  I check to see if my wallet is still there while going down a road and coming back from wherever I have been.  I can feel that it is my wallet but if I can steal a glimpse as I am hurtling down the road, I feel even better. 

One thing to never do..lose your passport while abroad.  As I said, that marked me till this minute.  I remember it as though it was yesterday.  Speaking of that, we were asleep one night..must have been 0100 or thereabouts and a woman's screams woke us (and the whole floor!) up.  We found out later that she had a nightmare that she had lost her passport.  I will say it was.  Poor woman.  She hadn't but the dream that she did affected her very strongly.  Had I thought of it, I probably would have screamed when I left all our things behind.  Thank goodness for an honest innkeeper.  I found that sort of behavior all over that Country; very kind.

Now the next Country over, ugh.  They don't like Americans at all..not even when we are quiet, trying to exhibit model behavior.  Truth to say, we weren't wild about them either as a Nation..not after having fists shaken at us as we drove along.  But, that was that Country.  All else were wonderful. And they appreciated our trying hard to be good citizens. 

Till next time..Red heart

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