Sunday, 14 November 2010

angels in my midst

So I have been back in Basel now for a week, Beirut seems another world away. I spent my last night in Lebanon enjoying a drink with a Belgian man who was staying at the same guest house. (Note to self: Never tell a Belgian that you drink their beer with lemonade. Ever!)
It almost feels as if I was never away except for the fact that I now have a new phone which I bought in Beirut Duty-Free at 3 in the morning. I actually had a lot of fun picking it out. I met a very nice sales clerk, clearly bored ( His dream is to work with Oracle databases) , who made it his personal mission to find me the right phone. He started by asking me a few questions and then said I was clearly a creative type who would probably not appreciate lots of technical complications. (Such insight made me fall in love with him immediately!) He then brought out lots of very different phones which he introduced to me personally and let me 'wear' around the shop. I even performed a few spontaneous telephone roleplays so he could determine if the phone and I were a true fit. Eventually we decided on a pretty pink ( but very smooth) phone. Even better I now have a new number which is great because I could never remember my last one even after I had just said it :-) It also has lots Arabic style ring tones which means I can stay true to my Lebanese sistas.


In the spirit of my lost phone ( and temporarily misplaced passport) I actually managed to lose my wallet this weekend. On the one hand it is good to know that I am capable of losing things at home not just when I am away but it is also a little worriesome. Clearly I am not at my best right now - then again tell me something I don't know. Anyway as soon as I realised it was missing I began turning my apartment upside down, which is actually quite difficult when it is already in an upside-down state. It's almost like reverse tidying. Of course I had no luck and started making a list of all the things which I would have to cancel when my door buzzer went. I looked down my intercom video and there was a man and his daughter at the front door. I didn't recognise them so I thought perhaps they had got the wrong buzzer. Then they rang again so I answered.
The man asked me if I was Joanna which a little bit exciting ( maybe I had just won the lottery or a publishing contract!) and a little bit alarming. He then told me his daughter had found my wallet and she wanted to return it. Bless bless bless.
It turns out I had dropped it earlier in the day over in Klein Basel when I was visiting a student for a private English lesson. Markus and Ella ( my personal angels) had taken the wallet home and tried to find me in the phonebook (which I am not registered in.) They had then tried Linked In which drew a blank and had finally decided to call a guesthouse in Murren that I had stayed at last July with my sister. Apparently the card to this hotel was the only one I had in my wallet other than my credit cards etc. Anyway the hotel confirmed my existence and gave him my street but not the number. So then he and his daughter had traipsed up and down my street looking on doorbells until they saw my name. Ella was so happy and proud to give it to me. The look of delight on her face made the whole experience even more wonderful than actually getting my wallet back. I told her she was my little angel and she beamed. I also gave her a reward because I truly believe that this kind of golden-hearted tenacity should be rewarded.

So now I am finishing my weekend with the reassurance that the universe is watching out for me even when I feel it isn't.

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