I’m definitely in the laid back category. Someone who has yet to pack the night before holidays or who looks for the directions to where they are going moments before leaving the house.
I have never really thought too much about the advantages or disadvantages of being such an individual, until one day last year when my relaxed way of life clashed with a friends highly orgainsed one.
A group of us had arranged to go away for a few days to Malaga. As a group we were all very different but had shared a friendship for many years. I would not usually be rated within this group, as a person to organise anything, however I managed to find a beautiful apartment for us and I swallowed my indignation as they all expressed a degree of shock at my success.
On arriving in Malaga airport my extremely organised, pre planned to military precision, friend, was strolling beside me, en route to the taxi ranks.
‘Are you going to ring to say we are here?’ she asked nonchalantly.
‘ I’ve no number’ I replied casually, totally unaware of the slap in the face this would be to my friend.
‘What! Really? Go away, you’re only joking?’ she choked.
‘No. I really haven’t. I have an address ‘ I replied, noting her loss of colour.
‘His email address?’ she asked.
‘No, the apartment address,’ I answered, pretending not to have noticed her panicking.
‘But…How…What…’ she spluttered.
‘Don’t worry, it’ll be grand, the taxi driver will know the way,’ I smiled, hoping I’d reassured her.
Her step quickened and I watched her disappear at speed, to pass on the news to her sister ahead of us. Not too bothered and unable to change the situation I continued to stroll. I watched as two became three and then four as she passed the word that I’d no way of contacting the apartment owner.
At the taxi rank I joined the gathered group. A couple of them were smiling in an ‘only you could do this Tric,’ sort of way, but my poor friend was in a spin. We got into separate taxi’s and asked to be brought to the address I’d been given. Alarmingly, our driver did not exactly nod immediately and say, ‘Si’ in a knowing voice. Instead, he spoke at length to us in Spanish, occasionally raising his voice. It’s worth noting that none of us speak Spanish, although one amongst us thinks she’s fluent after a few drinks.
We smiled, nodded and shook our heads, repeating the address regularly to no success. Moments after starting our journey we pulled up opposite another taxi, our friends one. The two drivers continued to talk to each other, via open windows, while my friend shouted across to me, ‘They don’t know where to go.’ I smiled back and reassured her that they were probably brothers wondering what was for dinner. Who knows maybe I was right for not long afterwards we pulled up and were told our apartment was ‘down there.’
We followed the direction of his pointed finger and sure enough arrived at a square. ‘Yep this is definitely it,’ I said triumphantly, ‘I recognise it from the photographs.’
‘But where is the apartment Tric?’ asked my, by now more than in need of a drink, friend.
‘Sorry I don’t know’, I replied, ‘but it’s on a corner and there are only four corners so it can’t be too difficult.’
‘How do you know?’ asked my, now in need of counselling, friend.
‘Because if you zoom in to the photo you can see a small number 88, there on the corner and look above us, there is 88,’ said our new Miss Marple.
‘You are a feckin genius,’ I agreed and off we went towards the enormous front door. Standing, surrounded by suitcases in the small laneway, we stood staring at twelve buzzer options.
For the first time my heart sank.
‘Do you know the number, Tric?’ my, I’m never coming on holidays with you again, friend asked.
‘What do you think?’ I replied, which caused one of the gang to burst out laughing.
It was at that moment we heard a male voice, ‘Hallo. Hallo Tric, is that you?’
Turning I saw a face I recognised from his website, our host, Raul. Reaching out I shook my new best friends hand.
‘Hi, I’m Tric.’, how are you? ‘
I couldn’t help but note the incredulous look on my friends face. As Raul opened the door to let us in I stepped back to allow my speechless friend through. As she passed I winked in her direction saying,
‘See, what lady luck brings you if you give her the chance?’
And that is exactly the part I’ve wondered about many days since. My friend never leaves anything to chance, so she saw this as the perfect illustration of what happens when you don’t prepare properly, whereas I saw it as the perfect illustration of how things will always work out in the end. My friend has rarely ever given lady luck the opportunity to be a part of her life, and perhaps doubts she exists, but I’ve little doubt she does, for she and I have met many times during my lifetime. I’m also pretty sure that many of you less organised types reading this have been grateful for her help on more than one occasion.
As for which is the better way to be, I’m not too sure. What I do know is I’m too old to change the habits of a lifetime, so I suspect myself and lady luck have a few more meetings in our future.
photo credit: SERENDIPITY CHANCE COINCIDENCE FATE FORUITY LUCK PROVIDENCE OPPORTUNITY via photopin (license)
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/395137
photo credit: Yeha! via photopin (license)