“300 Euro Mistake“, filed on 5.17.17: I awoke Tuesday morning at 5 to catch a 7:20 am train to Cannes. Finished packing, tidied up, had a coffee, called for an Uber. Everything felt right and well-ordered. I left the apartment keys on the kitchen counter and dragged two bags — a 24-inch upright suitcase and a leather carrying bag — onto the third floor landing, and then for some drooling, jelly-brained reason closed the apartment door with my computer bag still sitting inside.
Did I just do that? My mind went into freeze-panic mode. I’ll be missing my train, but how and when can I get back into the pad? My goal was to somehow do this, snag the bag and catch a 10:19 am train to Cannes from Gare de Lyon. Four hours hence.
I texted Romain, my Airbnb contact guy, but he didn’t answer until 7:40 am. When he finally replied he said I couldn’t get back in until the cleaning person arrives, which would be about noon. I begged him to call this person and offer a 50-euro reward to show up by 9:30 am. A few minutes later I upped it to 75. Romain said he’d try — “It’s not an issue of money” — but that I shouldn’t get my hopes up. A few minutes later I said I’d gladly and happily pay the cleaning person 100 euros to show up early, no questions asked.
Two or three minutes later Romain revealed that he himself had a key to the apartment (new information!) but not the street door or foyer-door key. But he would figure something out. He offered to meet me at the place by 9 am. When I got there he was waiting across the street with my computer bag. I gave him the hundred euros and a pat on the shoulder, and tore off to Gare de Lyon.
When I got there the ticket lady said my 70-euro ticket on the 7:20 am train was worthless (no redeeming), and that I’d have to pay full price — 185 euros — for a first-class ticket on the 10:19 am. I hadn’t the will to protest or plead. I paid, found my seat, finally relaxed. The 10:19 train arrived in Cannes around 3:35 pm. An hour later I picked up my pink-with-yellow-dot pass.
If you count the two Uber rides I took between 7 am and 9 am (don’t worry about the other one), I forked over 300 euros for that one dumb-ass mistake.