Yesterday I was supposed to go on a Hot Air Balloon excursion. The price, about $125 per person, was high but I thought it was lower here in Turkey than it would be to ever do it in Europe or the US, so I went for it.
Our hotel manager had offered to book it for us for about $150, so when we went directly to the balloon company, BF told me not to say our hotel’s name, and he bargained down to $125.
So far so good. But the employee wanted our hotel name to pick us up in the morning, at 430am. To please BF, I did not give him our hotel name, and we agreed that I would send an email later in the afternoon with that information. We went back to the hotel and I diligently redacted my email about pickup. I pressed send and kept emailing family and friends. I assumed they received my mail and would pick us up at 430am.
On the following morning, we got up, sleep-deprived, waited in the cold, at 430am. Twenty minutes later, I got really worried. BF kept saying that in Turkey everyone is fashionably late, and we should wait some more. After one hour, we decided to go closer to where the balloons were taking off. We saw about 30 of them already high in the sky. And never found ours.
Later that morning, I went, really angry, to the balloon company to ask why they never showed up, and they said they never got my email! WHAT?? They said if I could prove that I sent the email I would get a refund. Very sure of myself, borderline arrogant, I logged in to my email account, only to realize that I did send an email, but the address was incorrect! I had written “ballons” instead of “balloons”. I started shaking, thinking about the $250 I just lost myself, for not double-checking, and for going too fast.
This is a common mistake I never learn from. I have done similar things over and over again. The only thing I always seem to get right is booking and taking a flight, train or ferry boat.
The company owner leaned over my shoulder and asked to see the email. While he checked twice the address I sent it too, he never noticed my misspelling. I was so relieved. I never knew if he faked it, because he asked me to send the email again and saw that I didn’t get an error email, showing my good faith at least on that.
Note to self: Always spend an extra minute or so to double check things. It can be checking the table when you leave the restaurant, to make sure you don’t forget your phone or wallet, checking schedule for a flight or a meeting to get there in plenty of time, and checking email addresses to avoid costly mistakes.