It wasn’t the dirty walls, the spikes stabbing me from the mattress, or no top sheet – just a dirty smelling wool blanket, or not because there was no toilet paper, soap or a towel.
No, I left the hotel in Kusadasi for the final provocation…I slipped off the toilet seat.
The seat wasn’t attached, it was just sitting there to fool you into thinking there was one.
I slept under three dirt-smelling blankets, wondering how many people before me fell under the smell. And I had one more night to go.
In the morning, I had to ask myself: is this what I really want? Does this demonstrate the self-respect I have worked all my life to earn?
Besides that, it was pouring down rain, and that doesn’t usually thwart my plans, but since the only recreation was to walk fifteen minutes to the beach, and with a ghost town beach waiting for the clean-up crew to spruce it up for the summer season, I said,
“NO! This is not what I want.”
I put everything into my suitcase, stumbled down the four flights of stairs, knocked on the door at 9 a.m. when the young lady studying tourism was still asleep, and handed her the key. I wanted to be civil about it, so I simply said I needed to leave.
“I’ll call my father about returning your money.”
“Okay, I’ll wait right here.”
She came back about ten minutes later with news from her father.
“He said not to give you your money back because we gave you a special price.”
“Wow! A special price?”
“Yes, do you want to stay?”
“No, I want to leave…and then I got my dander up. “The room is dirty, the curtain is taped to the wall, the bathroom needs work and the walls are filthy and the blankets need to be washed. I cannot stay here.”
She looked shocked and didn’t say anything. So I added, “You are going to be in the tourism business, you must know better.”
She and I said goodbye, and I left to catch a bus.
I got off at the bus stop and saw the light change, so I began to walk across a busy street and from the other side three rows of cars were coming at me. I stopped, turned and walked back to the sidewalk. Then I walked the other way to the bus station.
There I saw a man near just the very bus I needed to take to Izmir. He smiled and stashed my suitcase in the luggage compartment while I purchased my ticket.
When the bus left, the man smiled at me and put his hand on his heart. My day just got better.
Plan B would be to go to the airport and see the possibility to change my flight ticket from Sunday to today or tomorrow. Fussing around at the airport after a thirty minute drive in a taxi, I found the right window. The agent said there wasn’t a chance to leave before Sunday.
So I got another taxi, with a driver who didn’t know where the hotel was, but finally got me there, and because I was one day earlier than my reservation, I was lucky to get a room.
On Sunday, it will be five days that I left Istanbul and my hotel there. I’ve paid for two hotel rooms for five days. The reservationist in the new hotel in Izmir called the guys in Istanbul and told them I’d be there on Sunday, and they said my room is waiting for me and not to worry.
I won’t; the seat sits firmly in that hotel.