Usually our system works.
Sometimes it can lead to what we euphemistically refer to as, ‘rocky periods’. As in, “I guess we’ve just survived another rocky period…”
The system is such: We arrive in an unknown town, use the GPS to direct us to the central area (in the most recent case, this was Bruges, Belgium). We ditch the car and start walking into hotels until we find something that strikes us as fairly decent, priced well and well located.
- This works best if it’s not already 7 pm and one’s blood sugar hasn’t plummeted into one’s ankles.
- This works even better if the hotels aren’t sold out and talk about it being ‘rather late’.
- This works even better if the couple doesn’t get back in the car and start driving outside of the centre where one partner says, “Whatever! Let’s just take that cheap chain hotel by the train station.”
- This works even better when one side capitulates and does a complete reversal, taking the other side of the ‘discussion’.
- This dictates that the other partner also switches sides. Now each person is working on the complete opposite side of their previous position and…voila!
- They are now back to the centre of Bruges.
- But now it is 7:30 pm…
We found one small hotel. The young man behind the counter was talking on Skype when we arrived. “You look very happy,” I said.
“Yes!” he said, ”I am talking to my sister!”
“Where’s your sister?”
“In Afghanistan. I did not know anything about my family for almost four years. And now I am talking to my sister!”
I wish I could say we took that room. I wanted to give him our business and give him even more reasons to be happy but it seemed quite certain that the dim lighting in the bathroom might have been for a reason. Instead, we wished him every happiness and kept walking.
And that’s when we found a place called Hotel Bla Bla. It made us laugh. The sign telling us that everything had recently been fully renovated and upgraded encouraged us, and when we met the friendly hotelier David, we knew we had our new home in Bruges.
We’ve now spent two nights in the sparkling and funky Hotel Bla Bla in picturesque Bruges…
We’re off to Amsterdam where we’ll be sharing a rented house in central Amsterdam with my cousin and his daughter.
We’ve got the address programmed into our GPS.
No system required.