flat-foot traveller challenged

Exactly two years after my visit to the Tabernacle in London’s W11, then to meet with a friend and a solicitor and relax, I am back in town. to meet with an international expert to discuss a project that, if I can pull it off, may well draw together all my research since my postgraduate days in 1980… The  expert turned out to be not only very sympathetic, supportive and helpful but tuned in to being straight without taking over! So the afternoon ended on an even better note than it had started when I found I did not actually have to work too had to combat my dislike of being in town.

Only the evening then got a bit interesting, as I learned the hostel I had booked never had replied to my query a week ago that I need a lower bunk as due to knee injury I am unable to climb up – and they were not interested in resolving the issue today. In the end I filed a complaint with the booking agency and left it at that: I had. to my surprise, found another place to stay. with a very helpful receptionist and loads of space – I feel I could be in Buckingham Palace what with the security and the amount of room…

Sitting in the Tabernacle community centre, I had decided that in the dark, with heavy luggage and without a map, I was not going to hunt round limping for a bus stop, so I booked a taxi.  Their switchboard looked up the address I was going to – but as it turned out, did not pass on the information to the driver but said “customer will give directions” – which I may be happy to do in my home town, but am unable to in London. So I told the driver, I did not want to go round the houses and as he clearly did not know the destination, he should phone his switchboard to get details. He did not – but gave his satnav a street name – which turned out to  mean I had a 10-minute walk uphill, before I could call the cab company and make sure they knew I was not happy with the service received and expected some gesture… after a lot of emmhing on their part, I decided I was not going to be strung along and coolly  informed tfl,  the authority in charge, of the matter.

Said knee injury and, as it happens, tendonitis in the other foot, were by now screaming at me and my worsening cough. But the, as it turned out, climb-down into a v ery low bunk was not too testing. How I will get up tomorrow is another matter.

Why am I sharing all this? I am reminded of the Buddhist monk who walks with a colleague and ends up carrying a woman across a river. The colleague after a long while can’t stop himself and asks how he could have done that given their vows not to touch women. The first one replies ‘I put the woman down long ago, you are still carrying her.” It seems the only way to assert one’s rights and then – let the matter go. Possibly easier away from home and having been given a big morale boost for my research…



~ by Barbara S on February 14, 2017.

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