Sleepless in Lesotho?
I n the last episode — er…I mean article — of The Gate, I reported that I was locked out of the property where I prepaid for my room reservation in Lesotho; and that the security guard promised to call and get the front door of the property opened for me.
I knocked. I waited. Nothing.
Should I bother the security guard yet again? I really did not want to do that. There is not another place to stay for many kilometers; and I would not even know where one was located anyway. This country was Lesotho, where even fuel stations are difficult to find outside of Maseru, which is its capital city. Forget about finding another form of lodging. I might actually become sleepless in Lesotho; and I was well on my way of that becoming a reality at 1:30 in the morning.
I eyed the Ford Fiesta I rented, which I had been driving all day and had one wheel already out of commission. Will the front seat in that car parked in the parking lot be my bed for tonight? I kept wondering that.
After having resigned to putting my belongings back in the car in what seemed like an eternity, I heard a noise. Someone was walking towards me in the dark. It turned out to be the security guard checking up on me and my dilemma. “I kept trying to call him but he doesn’t answer,” he said.
That was not good news. Perhaps the person he was trying to call was sleeping soundly — like I wanted to be doing?
When the security guard realized that nothing had been accomplished, he went to the glass front doors, pushed them inward and somehow got the locked doors to open. Apparently with enough force, the latch on the inside gives — so the doors were not broken. There was a loud bang, though.
All right — we were inside…but I still do not have a key to a room.
Guessing that he was awakened by the noises of the doors being forced open, our voices and our footsteps, a large man walked into the dark lobby area. After speaking to each other for a few minutes in Sesotho, the man — who turned out to be the security guard for the Katse Lodge, which is where I was supposed to stay — asked me for my information. I let him know my name, my reservation number and that the room rate was already paid.
After searching for a few minutes, he found a piece of paper with a reservation on it. “Is this you?” he asked.
The name of the person on that reservation was not me. I am not a doctor.
“Then I do not have your reservation,” he replied.
My heart and stomach would have dropped at that latest dilemma; but they were just too tired to do so.
This day seemed to just keep getting longer — and worse…
Looking down a lonely road in South Africa on which I would drive to get to Lesotho. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.