Stepping off the train and into the drizzling rain, I reminded myself there was only one more leg of the trip to my hotel. Praying there were no more stairs to the street I rushed to the end of the platform. I couldn’t carry my heavy suitcase one more step. Exhausted and wet I pushed my way through the crowd to find the path to the cab stand. Most of the signs where in French and my frustrations were running high. Arriving at the cue, there was one couple in line already. As I pulled my suitcase one more time I walked over towards the next taxi. The woman driver got out and opened her trunk. I warned her my suitcase was heavy. Suddenly, a woman came from the other side of the car and started speaking to the driver in French. The driver then looked at me and looked at the cab behind me and told me to take the next cab. I asked why, the stranger told me that I cut her in line, and she was next. I had no patients at this point, telling the stranger she was rude and marched over to the next car. As this driver got out of his car, he said the women were wrong to do that and I told him he had a nicer car anyway and got in. I handed the name of the hotel to the driver since he didn’t speak much English. As we drove through the dark and misty city, I watched the people go in and out of local stores. The rain didn’t seem to faze them in the least. As we pulled up to the hotel, I was relieved. I put my phone on the seat to sign for the ride and got out of the car. The driver thanked me as he handed me my suitcase. I was glad to be home for the night, heading straight for the front desk to check in. As the receptionist was getting my room key I reached for my phone. My lifeline to back home. It was my security, being in a foreign country alone. I couldn’t find my phone, in a panic I emptied everything out of my bag and onto the couch in the lobby, still no phone.
I started to panic and went over to the concierge to see if he could help. Handing him a receipt from the car, which was in French, he went into a back room and came out with his coat on. Mentioning that sometimes the cars go to the airport to get a pickup back, we headed to the hotel van. I was in shock that he was taking me to look for my cab. As we drove around, I calmed myself down and was reminded it was just a phone but to me it was my way of talking to my friends and feeling good until I got home in NY. We drove around for an hour but no luck finding the driver. We returned to the hotel and a young woman came out and greeted me. She was the customer relations manager and invited me to have tea with her. My head was saying “I don’t want any tea; I want my phone!” but I politely said yes. We walked over the to the bar area, sat down and chatted. It was her birthday and we discussed what special plans she had for the evening. I finally went to my room and was saddened by the thought that I could not see what my friends were up to or let them know what I was doing. I felt alone and cut off from the world I knew.
I put my iPod on to listen to some music and realized I could track my phone from it. I quickly went into the app and try to notify the driver. I went back down to the concierge to let him know I could see where my phone was. He kept calling it and finally the driver picked up. The concierge spoke to the driver in French and asked if he could return the phone tonight. The driver was planning to drop it off tomorrow, so I offered to pay him. He was off his shift, at home eating dinner but said he would return it within the hour. I was excited and relieved. I sat in the lobby eating something when he came into the lobby. He was no longer in his suit and looked tired, but he showed up and I was overflowing with gratitude. He didn’t want to take the money, but I insisted so he did. As I returned to my room, I started to think…what if I got into the first cab, would the driver return my phone? I don’t believe in coincidences; I believe in divine intervention and this was one of those times that the situation was out of my control but had a better ending than I could have imagined!