My discovery on my year long journey, that most people are good, became evident again this morning.
It happened during a transition drama, when I was rescued by an Arabic man who speaks French.
When I left the Konak Otel on the Asian side of Turkey this morning, a gentleman, who works only on the weekends walked with me to the ferry, pulling my luggage down the street, over an intersection and then to the ferry.
The ferry was about to leave, but it waited for me. The cloudy morning was beautiful and mysterious with views I wanted to remember.
When we docked, my first goal would be to take a taxi to the Faith Hotel. I had an address and a reservation and a phone number. The taxi driver took off, but stopped when it was obvious he didn’t know where the hotel was located. How many times does this have to happen?
He asked and received no answers. Finally, he called someone and then twisting down stone streets, dodging people, taxi’s and other vehicles, he came to the Hotel Faith Istanbul. He dropped me off. I paid him, and gave him a tip. Then I went into the hotel and faced a young man who said the worst words:
“We have no room.” “What? I have a reservation. See.” I showed him the number, and he pointed to empty slots where keys would be if there were empty rooms.
“I’m going to sit right here until you give me my room.” I sat down with my arms across my chest. He told me to wait for twenty minutes. I did. The manager came down the stairs and gave me the same news.
“It’s the wrong hotel.” Said the first man. “Well, what should I do?” “This is number two hotel,” he said. “Well then where is number one hotel?” “It doesn’t have a number,” he told me.
“How do I get there?” “Walk down the street, turn left. It’s a short walk.” I started out as he told me, and asked several people if they knew the hotel. “No,” was always the answer until one man told me to walk to the corner of the street, turn right and then left and you’ll come right to it.
I didn’t know who to believe and then I saw a real estate business in an old building and a man was sitting at a computer. That was my hero Nabil. I showed him the address and did my best to explain the situation. He caught on real fast and let me use his computer, where many of the keys are different from the American key board. But never mind, he was patient. He went next door to another business where the gentleman spoke a bit more English. We saw my booking right there on the screen.
Zeynettin was the second hero. He was the person who saw the mistake, where the American lady (me) switched the letters from Fatih Hotel to Faith Hotel.
Zeynettin made a call to the right hotel and got the directions. Nabil and I walked a block or so for a taxi. He gave instructions to the driver and told me how much to pay him.
We got to the hotel…and guess what? There were no rooms.
“I have a reservation.” “Yes, please have a seat.” I went into the community room where people were eating breakfast. A lady came in with a plate of food and I told her that I hadn’t even registered yet. But she motioned that it was okay to go ahead. So that was the second breakfast today.
In about one hour the owner of the hotel came to me and explained the mistake, but not to worry, he had another hotel and his relative has a hotel, so he would make certain I’d have a room for the night.
He took me to the Tulip hotel which is near the famous Blue Mosque. The gentleman who owns the hotel speaks very good English and is an interesting fellow, who has taught school and studied religion.
The owner of the Fatih Hotel was willing to take me to his own home if a room wasn’t found. I thought that would be a perfect solution, but I kept thinking about his wife. Would she like it if her husband brought a strange person home?
Anyway, back to where we started this conversation: my thesis that most people are good was brought home again today.
My question lingers, however: why didn’t the taxi driver just look at the address and take me there?