It’s hard to believe that I haven’t written all week. Well I have but only in my journal. Tom and I are enjoying London at our leisurely pace. We get up when we naturally waken, enjoy breakfast and then we’re off – 10 a.m. We return here after supper. Yes, we could see more but this pace suits us. Now for the last few days.
God Works in Mysterious Ways
God’s angels have literally surrounded us. We ended up taking a taxi from the airport to our Air b&b. Not our intention of course. We started by having a caring London information agent at the airport setting up an Uber ride for us. Tom and I are obviously not suited for Uber. The first one cancelled. The second one we thought was booked wasn’t. We gave up after an hour of failure, and called a taxi. The info agent was an angel for sure, but this taxi driver must have had direct instructions from the Almighty. He had to park his unmarked cab (Mercedes) and come searching for us, as we stood their waiting for a SkyX taxi. He loaded us and all our luggage and we finally pulled out of the airport, travelling in total luxury.
Tom looked around the cab, saw no credit card signs and said, “You do take AMEX or VISA, I hope. That’s what the cab company said.”
At the next traffic light and our driver looked around at us. “You paid over the phone?”
“I have no way of processing a card in the taxi.”
“We have no English money.”
“Can we stop at a bank?” I asked.
“We stopped at a bank fairly close to our Air B&B. I hopped out. The bank machine defeated me. I went inside and waited in line. (Always lots of lines in London). At the wicket the clerk callously said, “you have to go outside to the machine. We can’t take your cards – not any of them. Even though I was desperate for the “loo” at this point, I had the sense to say, “Is there a limit on withdrawals.”
“Yes, 300 pounds.”
I returned to the machine and requested only 300 pounds. Almost immediately the paper money spewed forth. I tore back to the car, well aware of the cost of keeping a taxi waiting in Canada.
Problem number two – we couldn’t find the Air B&B. We found the street and drove back and forth. No sign of number 19. By this time Tom and I were both desperate for the Loo.
“We’ll check at this hotel,” the driver said.
“Good,” I replied. Throwing caution to the wind, I added, “Can we go to the ‘loo’ here.”
“Certainly,” he replied. “I need to go too.”
He shepherded us into the hotel and helped us find the appropriate places. By the time I returned to the foyer, the driver had instructions.
He parked the car, unloaded us and then dragged our two biggest suitcases, with a carry on top of one, to the bottom of 25 steps. We all looked up. “I’ll help,” he said.
He took us to our building. We had no key. We called. The person who answered said, “follow the instructions in the email, I sent you.”
We had no email. We, of course, were not yet on wifi and not using our cell phone because of roaming charges. “Please send it again.”
We turned on our phone and got the email.
“You’ll be ok then,” the driver asked.
“Yes,” I replied. “How much do we owe you.” In my head I was expecting the entire 300 pounds. Uber was supposed to cost between 60 and 70 pounds from the airport. This accommodating driver sighed and said, “Would 70 pounds be okay.” I grinned and handed him 80 pounds and we thanked him profusely. We even told him he was our angel for the day.
Eventually, we got keys, got inside and said, “We’re here, in London, a dream come true.”