Sometimes a fresh approach on a situation can yield unexpected results, even if the other 99 times you tried something didn’t work, you try again and it works the 100th.
Yesterday when I got to the apartment after exploring st Jorge’s castle for the day, I struggled with the lock on the front door to get it to open. I was full of dread, I would be locked out, living feral on the streets of Lisbon. However I had experienced several cantankerous doors in Italy last year and I would not be beaten. Eventually after much error and some trial it opened.
Well late last night about 2am, I heard rattling keys in the lock, over and over. I knew there were some others staying so I thought they were having the same problem as me and I sure as hell would want someone to help if it were me in the situation.
It was a Hungarian couple, they were inside the apartment fine but their door to the bedroom was locked and wouldn’t open, oh dear.
It soon became a quest to pick up Thor’s hammer or remove the Excalibur from the stone.
The guy was trying, then the girl was trying then I tried, no luck, not budging, no way, no how.
They apologized for keeping me up, I said it was ok as I’m still adjusting and it’s normally mid-afternoon for me not the middle of the night.
As bad as they felt they tried contacting the host as a last resort and were talking about sleeping on the floor.
Turns out the girl had flown from Hungary to see the guy who was studying his phd in Lisbon and they don’t allow girls in the dorms so this was the alternative, the door, it seemed, was determined to rain on their reunion. By this stage we had given up and had retired to the kitchen.
It was his first time using airbnb and I assured him, it isn’t usually like this and I had some tricky doors before in my travels too. Things happen as a traveler and you have to improvise.
I wasn’t about to let this couple spend the night sleeping in the hallway.
So I took another shot at the lock with the careful approach of a safecracker.
I applied pressure to the handle gently to try take the friction off the lock and I had even checked my doors lock earlier to understand the mechanisms operation while they were trying theirs, joking as I did my research, if I get locked out too we might all end up sleeping in the hallway.
With some coaxing, finally there was a clunk and the door opened.
The Hungarian couples eyes lit up like I had just sawn a rabbit in half and pulled a lady out of a hat. I performed a theatrical bow, ushering them to their room and bidding them goodnight, their thanks echoing after me as I went to bed.
Kiwis, is it ingenuity or luck that follows us everywhere? Who can tell, but I’m happy to let people think it’s the former.