Wednesday, June 27, 2012

An Adventure


 Today was an adventure and I didn't even leave Andilana Beach! The first thing was to make a reservation for the horses. Armed with only my glasses and a pair of books for the book exchange, I marched right up the wrong path to get to the other hotel— thankfully I figured out it was the automobile route, so I didn't make much more of a fool of myself than I was supposed to.

I reached the book exchange place with the small sign about the horses, asked about the books, quickly exchanged, and then started desperately asking about the horses— where are they, where do I make the reservation, etc?

I understood that it was down at the beach ('en bas'), asked for a stylo to write down the telephone number, wrote it down and the pertinent money/time details, and turned to find a young woman asking me if I needed help. I asked again where the horses were, (same answer), asked how to make the reservation (poor women probably thought I was a bit sun-touched, because it was written on the sign in bold black lettering, "Reservation avec le téléfon" or something of the sort. Anyway, I made a quick escape by double-checking the number (and a good thing, because the last digit was an 8 instead of a 6!), went down to ask Dad about the telephoning… hoping against hope that he'd do all the hard work from now on.

No such luck. I asked the cleaning lady for her cellphone, called the horse reservation, garbled the French language dreadfully as I made a reservation for 4pm this afternoon… and asked where I should be for the horses. (Horses, not ride, because I still wasn't certain of the terminology for that, despite the fact that I looked it up no less than three times.) "Uh… parlais-vous anglais?"
A very long pause. "A little."

I asked where the horses would be. "Chanty Beach." By now everyone on the island must be asking themselves who the crazy girl is. Chanty Beach was on the sign.

I didn't dare ask where exactly Chanty Beach was… figuring it out over the phone would be excruciatingly painful. Instead, at 2:45pm we finally asked the waitress with the taxidriver friend where Chanty Beach was. Halfway between here and Hellville.

It was out of the question to go today— perhaps tomorrow, on the way, and Dad and I or someone else would go— I can't exactly be unescorted, since I'm a minor and don't know the language.

I tried to find the cleaning lady, but she wasn't there. I found someone else, gave her 2000 AR for phone credit, called the horseback riding lady back, told her it wasn't possible today, but tomorrow? At 2 o'clock?

Yes? Perfect.

I had to talk to six people. In French. And it was actually pretty easy, and I didn't even have to make weird noises like Mom did this morning to explain the minor flooding upstairs in the bathroom!

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