January 19, 2009

Facing the unknown

When he returned, he nodded that I was to pick up the suitcase from the car and follow him inside. Inside the double doors to the left there was a conference room with a long table, boardroom-style. To the right a metal sign saying, "Dr. Delos’s office upstairs". Through a second set of opened doors, I saw a room with a small bar on the left, a small bathroom on the right, and three rooms with dark, nondescript chairs and tables. If this were a hotel, I’d call them sitting rooms or lounges. But they weren’t done up in any particular style; they were dark and uninviting. No celebrity decorator at this chateau.

No elevator so we had to carry our suitcases up the one flight of stairs to what Europeans call the first floor (Americans would call it the second floor). At the reception area we were greeted by a dumpy young woman who seemed to think we were retarded because we couldn't understand her Mediterranean-accented French. We thought she was retarded because she couldn't understand us in any language we tried.