Woke up this morning and immediately checked my phone.
I have a ticket made out in my correct name, flying to Ethiopia on Sunday afternoon!
It felt like Christmas, coming downstairs to find Santa had left presents by the chimney!
It’s been hard, the last four days, to stay interested in packing, reading tourist information, and working on my lectures, when my trip was “in jeopardy” according to the Toronto organizers.
It’s difficult to deal with people you don’t know well by e-mail, especially when there are language and cultural issues. I don’t respond well to blasé comments like “It will all work out in the end, you are not out of pocket here, don’t worry”.
I don’t like being powerless, so I did not really mind the initial situation, which amounted to “We made a mistake, you have to fix it”. If I could have fixed it I would have been happy to do so, but it turned out that I could not.
Once I realized I had to leave the solution of the problem to the same people who had the attributes necessary to create the problem, I was unhappy. The difficult issue was how strongly to express that displeasure, and to whom. By my standards, I was very calm and restrained, but by Ethiopian standards I may have come across as rude and pushy. At that stage, my goal was not to make friends, but to express exactly the right amount of frustration, anger and indignation to motivate the maximum degree of effort to fix the problem as soon as possible.
It seems to have worked and I have my ticket.
Would I have it by now if I had not made a bit of a fuss? There is no way I will ever be able to find out.
Now I can book my internal Ethiopian flight to Lalibela and get the discount for passengers arriving on the national airline except … oh dear, my travel agent has today off! Guess it will have to wait one more day…