Saturday, December 15, 2018

Lost Luggage

We have done a lot of travelling since we retired, China, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Florida, Hungary, Mexico, and we have never had any problem with luggage. In fact, we actually wore out one set of luggage and had to replace it. We upgraded to VERY distinctive teal coloured hard sided bags to make them easier to pick out on the many baggage carousels they ended up on. We used to be very careful about what we put into checked baggage and always split our clothes between bags, especially on long trips so if anything did happen, one of us would not be without clean clothes. Our daughter had luggage lost as did our son, but we had been lucky, so we got a bit careless. I packed my suitcase differently, so we got out of the habit of splitting clothes.

This trip I had everything except the clothes I was wearing in one suitcase, and the clothes I was wearing were based on the -12C temperature we were leaving behind in wintery Nova Scotia. As well, on our return trip we were spending one night in New York, so the clothes I was wearing were going to deal with the cold temperatures there. My shorts, sandals, resort weight pants and short sleeved shirts were all in my suitcase. So . . . . . of course this time the carousel in the San Jose airport only produced one nice bright teal suitcase. You worry, but keep waiting, assuming it will come out in the next batch. But, when the workers started removing all remaining suitcases from the carousel and neatly lining them up by a pillar, I knew I was in trouble . . . . my suitcase was lost!
only guy warmer than me.

You fill out paperwork, you describe the case and try to recall what all was in there. Fortunately our itinerary included four days in San Jose, so the airline had four days to locate my luggage and get it to me, because we had no address of the Villa on the west coast we were renting. It was on the top of a mountain on an “Unnamed Road”, and I could not positively locate it on Google Maps. I had instructions, but they were a bit sketchy and we were prepared to call the phone number provided to actually find the house. I had my doubts if the airline would be able to get my suitcase to me after four days.

I had sneakers, jeans, a t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt, a hoodie, and a raincoat. One pair of socks and one pair of underwear. The first day you're hopeful and simply deal. Jeans and a t-shirt were not so bad, and the sneakers were my most comfortable pair. Regis was very helpful, calling the airline and VISA to arrange to replace things, but she also managed to rub the fact my suitcase was missing in on many occasions . . . “Art, can I borrow your knife to open this?” . . . “Art, did you bring a flashlight?” . . . . “Can I use some of your shampoo?” . . . . Always followed of course with “OOPS, sorry, that's in your suitcase isn't it.”

Me in my new clothes
When no suitcase showed up after one day, I decided I had to go get some replacement clothes, especially underwear, but you still hope it will show up. By the end of the second day I thought I might be in trouble, so we decided to go get things I might need. I had to buy shirts, pants, shorts and shoes as well as little things like a cork-screw. We used up one whole day just shopping. I actually enjoy shopping, but Regis does not, and by the end of the day I was not having fun trying to get everything I needed. It was nice however to get back to the hotel loaded with shopping bags and be able to grab a quick shower and change into light tropical clothes at last.

By the end of the third day I had decided that the suitcase was GONE, and I kept recalling things that were in there. Two beautiful tropical shirts passed down to me by the wife of a good friend who had
The lost is found!
since died, my “Pick-pocket-proof” pants, the folding knife Ryan had given me, a pair of Tilly pants not made any more, or a pair of crazy swim fins lent to me by a friend who is determined to get me swimming.

On the fourth day, I got up in the morning feeling the case was history, but went online to check anyway. Things had changed – it was being delivered! I went down to the front desk to inform them to be on the lookout for my luggage and the clerk behind the desk smiled and moved to one side, pointing behind him to my suitcase sitting against the back counter. All is good!

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