Election Day has always been an unofficial holiday at our house, so I was torn over taking an Avalon Waterways river cruise down the Danube during the first week in November. Luckily, the ship had an internet connection, which meant if I were willing to get up at 4:30 a.m., I could still be part of the action at home.
It was just my luck the internet satellite wasn’t working on this journey – they could, of course, put on CNN in the reception area for us. Which is a great compromise for anyone but a stubborn first-born like me, used to getting her way.
Instead, I called for a cab in the middle of the night to take me to the nearest hotel. I could tell the driver thought I was a prostitute, working the various tourist spots. I guess my laptop was to record my earnings, huh? The desk clerk at the Hilton Danube was just as fuzzled when I strolled in and asked to buy a wi-fi connection.
It was worth every penny to set up – completely alone – in the lobby, log on and hear my husband’s standard greeting over the little speakers: “Hey, pretty girl!” We chatted for nearly 2 hours, and at one point he even turned up the television set so I could close my eyes and see myself cuddling up next to him.
Only the election results weren’t what we wanted to hear. And, just like that, being in a foreign country, alone on a worn couch and a glass coffeetable, wasn’t so special. Not to mention I still needed to cough up 5Euros to get back to the ship. Oh, and I hadn’t been to bed and it was now 7 a.m.
The lobby traffic was picking up, and a Japanese family chose my space to plop down all around me. Great. Couldn’t they tell I was on the verge of crying, I was lonely, and just in a crappy mood in general? I suppose the next thing you know, we’d be taking pictures, too.
And no sooner did that thought roll through my head than the teenager whipped out his little pocket Sony and started snapping away. Get outta here – you can’t watch that coincidence and not laugh.
No matter where you are, some things, thankfully, never change.