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No one is to blame in Amsterdam
Sensing that we were going to be late, I asked my friend to call the hotel. He tried calling from the house phone and then from his mobile phone. Both times, same result, same loop.
"Press 1 for Dutch, 2 for English."
Whether you pressed 1 or 2, it repeated itself. Was this some kind of trick?
We knew it would take us 20 minutes to get from this part of Amsterdam to the Museumplein by foot and then by tram. Having learned my punctuality lesson in Germany years ago, I really loathe arriving late.
In this case, we were late because we decided to wait for a friend to return to his home. Even a swift hello and good-bye was worth the wait.
By the time we arrived at the two star hotel behind the Concertgebouw we were half an hour late. I said to the lone receptionist,"We've been trying to call you for an hour. It keeps going into a loop."
The young man shook his head, "How can that be? I've been sitting here all night next to the phone. What number did you call?"
As it turned out, the number we called did not match his number. I asked my friend, "Did you copy the correct number from the email?"
"Yes," he said. "I double checked it."
Our French friend from London came downstairs. We apologised for being late and explained how we tried to contact him. He too apologised. His mobile phone wasn't picking up a signal so he couldn't call us.
"Where did you get the number for the hotel?" I asked.
"Errrr, I think it was from an invoice," he replied.
Something went wrong tonight, but no one could be blamed. After all, our friend was French not German. And it's Amsterdam not Frankfurt.
2 March 2004 Tuesday