I was going through old emails to look for plane bookings when I came across this post I made on one travel blog (already deleted, but yay for emails!) about my first overseas travel. Please forgive me for the grammatical errors. I didn’t bother correcting them because I’m trying not to be obsessive about it.
the beginning of the journey.
My real plan was to visit my friend Joy in London. But that was to be in December. Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific kept teasing me with really low plane fares to various Asian countries. Kept salivating but putting it off at the last minute.
Until I got an email that says “zero fare”.
Oh wow! My chinita eyes popped! I quickly relayed the news to my friend Glenda, who was hesitant at first, but allowed herself to be coaxed into coming with me. That night, I booked return flights to Hong Kong for two on October 8-11.
I then went on to searching for cheap accommodations. A co-worker had recently visited HK and told me about Cosmic Guest House where he and his family stayed. I made a 3-day booking there as well.
And then, I went through my days excitedly looking forward to the trip.
Excitedly until yesterday, that is.
In the afternoon, I got a call on my mobile. No phone number registered, just the word “withheld” and that usually means a call from outside the country. When I answered, a Chinese sounding girl spoke.
“May I speak to Myy-leeen?”
“This is she,” I replied.
Either she couldn’t hear me very well or couldn’t understand me, but she looking for “Myy-leeen” and I telling her she was already talking to “Myy-leeen” went on for about a minute.
Finally, she said, “Mylene, this is from Cosmic Guest House.”
“Why did you not come yesterday?”
I paused, feeling a fearful tugging in my innards. “But I wasn’t book for yesterday,” I said. “I booked for October 8 to 11.”
“No. September 8 to 11,” she insisted.
“No. Why would I do that when my flight’s booked in October?”
“Well, would you check your records?”
“OK then. I’ll have access to my email in about an hour. I’ll get back to you later.”
“OK, and then call me.”
“No, no. I’ll just send you an email.”
Not one to wait, I left work early and dragged my heavy feet home to check my email.
“Please make it say October 8th. Please make it say October 8th,” I mumbled to no one, dreading the inevitable.
After a few seconds, my fears were confirmed. I had booked us for September 8 to 11. I checked the cancellation notes and found out that I would have to be billed for the first night because I didn’t show up. Ouch.
Glenda was very good-natured about it, too, offering to split the cost of that one night, even though it’s so obviously my fault.
It’s not Cosmic’s fault but with that boo-boo, I decided to make a booking in another hostel. (Superstitious? Perhaps.) This time, I checked the date and read the fine print. Alas, I was to be treated to another jolt.
After I had made the booking, I was confronted with this note: “***Cancellation Comments*** The arrival time of my guest house should not be later than 20:00.”
But our flight was due to arrive in HK only at 9:10 pm! That would be (I made a mental finger counting–go figure) 21:10 plus (the booking confirmation says) about an hour of travel from the airport to the place. Does this mean Glenda and I wouldn’t have anywhere to sleep on that night? My friend’s going to kill me!
I went back to the original site where the details about the guest house are on, checking if I might have missed another fine print. This is what I saw:
Included in Price
Linen, Internet Access
24 Hour Reception, 24 Hour Security
WiFi Access, Internet Access
- Luggage Storage
- Currency Exchange
Air Conditioning, fan
I immediately sent an email to the guest house:
Hi, I’ve made a booking with your guest house. It is only after the booking was confirmed that I see this note:
***Cancellation Comments*** The arrival time of my guest house should not be later than 20:00.
My flight is due to arrive at 9:10 pm. and I will have to travel from the airport to your guesthouse. Please inform me the soonest time possible if I will be able to check into your guest house, so I can make changes to my booking.
I woke up heavy-hearted the next day because of the boo-boo and this mix-up. (The Law of Attraction will have a field day pointing out my mistakes! Sorry, universe.) I dreaded checking my email, but did anyway (because I’m sooo bad at waiting).
It’s alright. I will reserve a room for you on 8 October,2008.
Hong Kong waits for me (and my friend). Meanwhile, I’m off to the book store to buy a Mandarin phrase book.
What did I say about memories? Apparently, I told my friend about it before booking the flights. How considerate am I? Also, 24-hour reception and 24-security, oh please. Not unless you consider those tall Nigerian dwellers/business people security officers.
I looked mighty happy, though, didn’t I? How could I not be happy? I was touching Bruce Lee’s star.