April 05, 2009
I picked up the phone today to make the Paris hotel reservation, for the first leg of our trip.
It was a bit late to make the call -- just after 10 p.m. in France -- but the woman answered and sounded friendly.
"Hello?" she chimed.
"Hi, I'd like to reserve a room for April 14 to 17. Do you have anything available?"
"Let me see... Yes, I have two rooms."
"Are they facing the front?" This matters, because when I wake up I want to see girls in billowing scarves and Converse toting satchels of books, and guys with scragggly haircuts and skinny jeans texting one another to meet up for "un ptit cafe au ptit cafe." At night I want to hear the zydeco band that plays at the oyster bar across the street. I don't want the back courtyard, and I certainly don't want a ventilation tunnel out my window, not if I'm flying 6000 miles and running around like mad to renew my passport and --
"Yes, I have one on the third floor, just above the square."
I was about to take it. It is an ideally situated, super cheap, cute and clean hotel in Paris. A miracle, that is. I couldn't believe they had something available on such short notice. In April.
But I stopped myself.
"And what is the price?" I asked, calmly.
"I see. Could we do 44?"
"That's okay." I gave her my name and told her what time I'm arriving. Then we started chatting about my trip -- how I'm passing through, what a great neighborhood she's in.
And then I asked again.
"Could we say 45?"
"Ok," she laughed. "45."
Gained: 12 euros.