Friday, July 10, 2009

Mrs. Schott - Part I

"OH NO! I don't have my passport!!"

What should have been a pleasant, relaxing moment to eat croissants and sip café crèmes in the tiny hotel dining room before a day out in sunny Paris turned into panic. My sister was frantically rifling through her bag looking for what couldn't be found. Suddenly she remembered we had stopped at the nearby Hotel InterContinental's bathroom on our way home from dinner the night before, and she had hung her little passport bag on the bathroom stall door! She lept from her chair and ran out the door "I'll be back!" leaving me and my croissant very nervous.

When she came back less than an hour later, this is what she told me.

After running the few blocks to the InterContinental, she slipped into the cool, elegant lobby and straight to the Concierge who was standing at his perch. Before she could utter a word, he said calmly with a welcoming smile, "You must be Ms. Hart, we have been expecting you."

He went on to explain that a certain Mrs. Schott had found Nancy's passport bag hanging on the bathroom stall door and delivered it to him with explicit and emphatic instructions: "Place this passport in the hotel safe, and if you do not see Ms. Hart this morning, we will contact the American Consulate to see if she has contacted them."

With relief and gratitude filling her heart, Nancy asked if he had stationery for her to write a thank you note to Mrs. Schott, a guest in the hotel. She wrote a lengthy, heartfelt message and returned to me in our tiny, shabby hotel lobby where every half minute felt like an hour to me. She held up her passport with a radiant smile.

That night, after traipsing through Paris all day up one side and down the other, our legs throbbing and our eyes drooping, we fell into bed early and slept hard. When the telephone rang suddenly at 10, with a stranger's voice telling me she was Mrs. Schott and could she please speak with Nancy, I was suddenly wide awake and handed Nancy the phone, whispering "IT'S MRS. SCHOTT!"

Next post I'll tell you what happened with Mrs. Schott. I promise it won't take me two weeks to tell the rest of the story.


Susan said...

It better NOT take two weeks! You have me on pins and needles! This sounds like the beginnings of an awesome story!

Arti said...

What a heartwarming story! There are still good-natured and very considerate and honest people around... in the world. Can't wait to hear the rest of the account. And Ruth, you're one great storyteller!

Peter said...

Such a nice story ... at least until here! I guess and hope that the soon coming post will be as positive! :-)

Virginia said...

I found you from Peter's blog. I love this story as it's almost the same as my Nov. 08 trip when my friend Karen had her wallet stolen in the Metro and her passport was inside! Well of course our friend Peter and ALice from Arradon DPB saved the day. We went straight away to the Amer. Embassy. A few hours later and all was taken care of except the moolah of course. I look forward to your adventures.

Ruth said...

Susie - there, it was only a week!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Arti. We have found very gracious people in Paris.

Ruth said...

Peter, now you know because you have read the next part, posted today.

Ruth said...

Virginia, how good of you to come for a visit at PD. I am trying to post once a week, but lately with our daughter's upcoming wedding I've been distracted.

Good of Peter and Alice to help out! I have my own lost passport story too - the night before we left Paris on one trip. Spent the morning at the Consulate and got a temporary passport in the knick of time to leave for the airport. Phew!

Jeanie said...

So cool! More posts -- I've been waiting with baited breath, as I'm having serious Paris withdrawal! I'm almost through my Paris posts, and it's just killing me!

Oh, I see you have already posted Mrs. Schott's finale! I must read more!