Monday, October 26, 2015

In which I turn out to be a country girl after all

Lastweek, my sweet young publicist and I spoke on the phone to go over the details of this week's book tour, which is centered around New York City. My publicist seemed concerned about me coming all the way from Nowheresville, Appalachia, and carefully explained that I would have to switch planes in Charlotte.

I found that amusing, because of course I am a sophisticated traveler, as evidenced by tonight's dinner at a French restaurant cum local bar down the street, where I handed the waiter the closed menu and told him loftily that I wanted steak frites and a glass of red wine, thank you. And he brought it, and it was good.

However. I picked my suitcase up at LaGaurdia, started to walk away, and found my way blocked by a young woman who wanted to see my certification. I goggled at her, and she said, patiently, the way one speaks to a small child, "either your boarding pass or your luggage ticket." I showed her, then realized all the other passengers were walking away with their boarding passes held upright.

We don't do this in Bristol. No one steals other peoples' luggage in Bristol.

Then I didn't know whether or not I was supposed to tip my driver. I understand taxis. I've never had a driver before, not one I was in charge of. I emailed friends, but, not getting an answer in time, comprised by tipping him a pathetic amount.

I knew to hand Wesley, the doorman at my hotel, a dollar after he'd carried my tiny suitcase from the curb to the reception desk. (The suitcase is so small that no one bothered to suggest I needed help getting it to my room.) then I got in the elevator and the button for my floo r wouldn't work. The elevator went up a couple of floors, then stalled, while I repetively and vainly pushed the button for my floor.

A very chic looking young man got on. I said, "I'm trying to go up but the button won't work." He said, "you have to insert your room key." Then he said, "I had trouble with that my first time, too."

So kind. So perplexing. We don't even have elevators in upper East Tennessee.