Murphy”s law states” if something can go wrong, it will”. An addition to this law reads” usually at the worst time”.
It was my very first time using the Airbnb site when travelling solo. I chose this because it was the cheapest option
ya I know that I am a cheapskate.
A week before the trip I got an email from my host giving me a briefing of my stay. Firstly, there is no reception, secondly he also doesn’t stay there and lastly, he gave me two codes, one to open the front door and the other to open the ladies bedroom which sleeps four.
After reading this email I went straight to the print icon but then paused for a moment and asked myself “when am I gonna stop being old fashioned by carrying loose printed papers every time I travel, can’t I just store everything on my phone?”
The mouse was already on the print icon, so I clicked the icon anyway
not knowing this would save my life.
The flight was extremely long, 18 hours from Johannesburg to Washington via Accra. And from Washington another 3 hours to Tampa, so you can imagine how exhausted I was.
Arriving in Tampa, I decided to have lunch at the airport so that when I get to the hostel I can just throw my luggage on the floor, take a very long hot shower and then jump into bed for nothing less than 8 hours of sleep.
So I got on to a bus from the airport to the hostel and what was nice about the bus is it had WiFi so I kept track of the route and realized that the bus stop is 3 blocks away from the hostel.
Walking out of the bus to the blazing hot sun was finally a relief. Remember that I haven’t bathed for just over 24 hours, my carry-on bag is heavy and jet lag is killing me as well. You know the feeling that you get when you have to do the last squat of a set of 4 squats of 20 reps, that’s exactly how I felt. I only had 1 more push left in me.
So I put the bag down to take out my sunglasses and as I stood up, BOOM! my phone fell and before I could pick it up, I knew it was over. And indeed the phone was dead.
What now? I only had 1 phone and no cash on me. I can’t request uber to take me back to the airport and just go back home. I did not authorize my credit card for international use and I don’t have enough money on my debit card to buy a phone.
To add on my problems, this hostel is in the ghetto, there’s groups of guys in every third house whistling, greeting and blocking me as I walk to ask fro my numbers.
Luckily when I got to the hostel, there was a guy checking out and he was kind enough to let me use his laptop to transfer funds. He then told me that this is not the safest neighborhood, I will be much safer in the house or in a car.
You can imagine how nervous I was since I was the only guest in the hostel that night.
I rushed out to the nearest cellphone shop which was 2 blocks away but unfortunately they couldn’t fix my phone nor sell me a new phone since all their phones were sim locked. He offered to call a taxi for me so I can go to town.
The challenge was having to walk outside to the ATM, how am I gonna call 911 if I get taken
like the movie taken? I guess that’s why we need to have faith, to give us hope that there is God who is always looking out for us. On that day, He was all that I had.
I managed to get an unlocked phone in town which was pricey. Then when I got to the hostel, BOOM! there’s no WiFi.
But then I had my global sim card and guess what? Yes, you guessed right, it had no data. I called customer service to recharge my account, guess again, my credit card declined. So now I only have my debit card, I can’t even view the balance and now I have to blindly use it to by data,
I could be using my last penny you know.
It has been over 10 hours from the time I dropped the phone to now that I have a new phone that has data. I am all alone in the hostel and still nervous. All I want now is to talk to anyone from home, hopping they will reassure me that I will be fine.
I download WhatsApp but fail to login because I couldn’t receive the verification code.
After a series of misfortunes, I still managed to have lots of fun.
Moral of the story
I’ll leave that part to you, I honestly don’t know what to say or how I can advise you. Thinking about this experience still exhausts my soul.