Thursday, October 26, 2006

Una Aventura Pequena

This afternoon, a man from an internet company came over, ostensibly to install internet and cable TV in our apartment. Not surprisingly, he wasn't able to do it; perhaps we'll work it out next week. After this had been established, I walked with the man to the apartment door. There's a small "foyer" area outside our door, which you have to exit by way of another door before you get to the hallway, and I stepped into this foyer to turn off the light after the man had left. My apartment door slammed behind me. I was locked out.

Thankfully, I was wearing shoes. But I had no cell phone, no money, no glasses, no reading material. Andrew, the only other person with keys, was at school. The woman who serves as a doorperson a few hours each day had already left. I had things to pack for Marrakech; I had things I had to do.

I went to a cafe next door and explained--in Spanish!--that my keys were in my apartment and I had no phone or money. I asked to use their phone. They didn't seem amused or charmed by an American girl in minor distress, but at least they let me make a call. However, Andrew was on his way into class and wouldn't be home for 3 hours. "Just have a coffee and wait for me," he said. We hung up, and I looked around. The only possible thing to read for those 3 hours was a Spanish yellow pages. The afternoon stretched before me.

Before I left my building, I'd jammed another phone book into the front door so I could at least get back into the lobby. I milled around the lobby for a while, wondering what to do next. Then the elevator opened, and it was Teri, the doorwoman. "Hola, hola!" I said, accosting her. I explained--in Spanish!--that my keys were in my apartment (I have no idea how to say "I'm locked out") and asked if she had keys to all the apartments. She did not. But she was very concerned, and she seemed to know what to do. She buzzed the apartment across the hall from mine, the apartment whose terrace is next to ours, and brought me upstairs. She explained my plight to the girl who answered the door, and I was led through the apartment to the terrace. There, beyond the tall spiked barrier, was my own terrace, and the open door to my living room. I understood what was happening when the girl dragged over a small ladder. I threw my Birkenstocks over the fence, hiked up my skirt, and scaled the barrier, leaping home.

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