Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Madrid - Candy Lee, Rod and Me - Episode 3

Morning came much too soon but Rod was busy in the bathroom, struggling with the loose shower-head, as I stole a little more snooze time. “I’ll pick Candy up and come back for my bag”, he said. “OK. I’ll be in the cafe on the street corner”, I replied, having removed my earplugs and resigned myself to the fact that sleep was over. Down in the street I did what I do best – I bought a big, fat newspaper, ordered coffee and settled into a corner of the cafe. Beyond that, my plan was to offer what assistance I could to resolve the phone dilemma, bid goodbye to my day-tripping companions, then make my leisurely way to the Prado to re-acquaint myself with its treasures. I might, I thought, even call at the tabaqueria across the street for a Gran Canarias cigar to enjoy solo, mid-morning.

It was way past 09.00 when Rod finally appeared – alone. “She’s not there!” he said, mystified. I ordered coffee for both of us while we pondered this unexpected complication. Rod began to elaborate: “The guy at reception doesn’t speak English so he showed me the register. Her name is there but he insists there is a man in that room number.” “That was fast work”, said I, “She was alone when she went in the door last night”. Whether alone or in company, we concluded that she must still be there, so we drank up, consigned our bags for safe keeping to our landlady and her dog and made our way down to the Hostal de Paris – or whatever it was called – to rescue what we could from this fast-dissolving scenario. We felt bad about leaving Katie at the estacion, bewildered and without phone contact, but could think of no other effective course of action.

The reception guy at Hostal de Paris was patient and helpful, once more going through the circular arguments - mainly by gesturing - over Candy’s whereabouts. Standing there, at the desk, I noticed that it was right next to room number 1 and then I had a glimmer of remembrance. Candy had told me, somewhere, sometime in between glasses of red wine, that she had been offered a transfer to another room because hers was right next to reception which was prone to noise and disturbance. I reckoned that, if she was in room number 1, she would certainly have heard us by now. Rod, at once enthused by this new possibility and, at the same time, frustrated by the difficulty of getting the reception guy to understand the concept, was on the point of knocking on every door in the place. We were all spared that indignity by the reception guy himself who, in another flash of inspiration, remembered that, in Hostal Americano, two floors above us, there was an English-speaking receptionist who might be prepared to help out.

We rushed, hopefully, up the stairs where we found a serene, charming young man prepared to oblige us by agreeing to mediate in solving the mystery of the missing American lady. He deserted his post to accompany us back down to Hostal de Paris and explain the dilemma, in Spanish, to his counterpart. “Ah!” said our man at the desk and, after laboriously checking all his booking entries (yet again), picked up the phone and dialled another room number.  We all waited in hope for the magic words senorita Americana to fall from his lips. When he put the phone down he was smiling. The good news first: It was Candy he had spoken to and we were invited to knock at her door...

3 comments:

Ilomai said...

We could have visited the Thyssen Bornemisza or Reina Sofia together, and then had some more of tha wonderful Spanish wine. I talked to Rod about his day trip but did not realize you were alone in Madrid. Oh, well....

Carmen said...

Ohhh ..! I liked the mystery of the missing American woman in the Paris Hotel. A very interesting day .. losses, disappearances ... and many guest artists.
You didn't be bored.
Carmen

claudette said...

Can not wait for the next instalment, its all getting very interesting .