Oh my God! What happened to my finger? I dare not look down in case I might find it.
I squeeze my throbbing index finger with my left hand. Perhaps if I apply enough pressure, it will revert to its pre-accident state.
This is not supposed to happen. Not at one o’clock in the morning in a small village in the south of France. Not after our gourmet one-star Michelin restaurant celebration for dad’s 85th birthday. And certainly not when all seven of us are back in our tiny hotel rooms and I cannot cry for help.
I should have known better; remembered that hotel rooms in France are not required to conform to the high safety standards I’m used to in the U.S. But that’s what gives them their charm. And yet, I’m cursing at the lack of directions on how to close the metal shutters. You see, these antiquated hinges act like sharp knives, and if not folded in a manner known only to the French, result in a chop, akin to the guillotine. Why would this come as a surprise when all ten rooms sit on top of an antique store with bureaus dating from the eighteenth century, and rats scuttling under the rafters?
Perhaps my finger is no longer bleeding? I release my tourniquet grip and squint, hoping that a quick glance will minimize the injury. There’s a deep cut. Do I need stitches? If so, is there an emergency room in Rignac?
I have no Band-aids. Is anyone awake? I listen. The cats are screaming. They sound like newborn babies waiting for a nipple to soothe their hunger. A throat in the room next to mine sounds raw and infected.
My neighbor is coughing. I hear the phlegm in her chest. She cannot sleep and through the walls, her bed creaks as her feet hit the linoleum and tap their way to the bathroom for a glass of water. I know her husband is asleep; his snores cause the wall to vibrate.
I take a risk and tap on her door. This is my last hope, or I shall have to wrap a towel around my hand all night.
She opens the door, turns on the light waking her husband up. He sees me and within seconds, I have a couple in their seventies, taking care of me as though I were their own daughter. I feel strange. No one has nurtured me like a daughter since I was a kid. Those few seconds remind me of what it must be like to have a mother still alive.
I cherish the warmth and kindness offered to me by this couple.
Do you have any weird stories to share about something that happened during a vacation?
L'hôtel est très, très, très . . . je ne sais quoi. Pauvre Sonia; la mésaventure terrible!
Mais la ville, c'est très bien!
Robert the Skeptic says
Off the top of my head I recall we had a bit of trouble trying to check into our hotel room in Kyoto. Though my daughter speaks excellent Japanese, the desk clerk kept insisting (in broken-english) to her that he didn't speak English. It took her about three bouts of this repartee between them before he realized she WAS speaking Japanese to him!
I guess he just assumed there was no way a petite little blond westerner could possibly speak Japanese.
Pseudonymous High School Teacher says
Well. Now I feel like I should be commenting in French.
Glad to hear the couple were able to help you out and that you are OK.
You are very funny, and I hope you are also OK. Glad you found some help, no fun bleeding alone!
How's the finger now? I love the kindness of strangers everywhere. It always gives me such hope in humanity. I think we are better than people actually assume we are.
OUCH! Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. That's the best part of travelling.
Angela Ackerman says
YIKES! Talk about scary! That's so nice though about the couple next door though. It puts a bit more faith in humanity when you experience the kindness of others.
Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse
Je ne savais pas que to parles aussi bien le francais. la prochaine fois, tu devrais ecrire une histoire en francais. Merci our la visite.
Well I bet HE felt stupid after that. Can she still speak Japanese?
Yep. I was lucky to get help.
My finger is fine now. I swear I thought it had been chopped off.
I love traveling and meeting others too.
Yes, people are still kind, thankfully.
Merci, Sonia, mais une histoire en francais? I think not; a post in French would be a major challenge. My French isn't really that good, and I don't think any of my readers are French-speaking or French-reading (except for you and potsoc).
Michelle Davidson Argyle says
Oh my gosh, I hope you're finger is okay! Thanks for the video, too. It looks lovely there. I'd love to go on vacation to Europe. I haven't been since I was 16. I'd rather not chop my finger, though. Ack!
Phivos Nicolaides says
Glad to know that you are ok. Have a great day.
Another hotel casualty. And, of course it had to be the middle of the night. While it's annoying/awful to have to hear neighbors snore or clear throats, didn't they turn out to be the "best of neighbors"? If people in the U.S. were awakened by another bloodied hotel guest, they would more likely rear back in horror or tell them to go call the front desk for help or dial 911.
Left a comment but doesn't appear to have gone through. Gutsy neighbors not like here in U.S. who would more likely rear back in horror, tell you to call the front desk or dial 911.
That couple sounds very sweet…glad your finger is still with you!
Miss Footloose says
Sonia, yes those hinges look lethal! Did you end up getting stitches? Hope your tetanus shot was up to date, too. These types of incidents/accidents always are always more difficult to deal with when not in your own home environment.
I once broke a leg in three places in an African rainforest. A long story, but all ended well. I should write a story about that some time 😉