We had dreadful trouble with luggage this holiday. Especially the buggy. Considering that every time we took it to the steps of the plane every time, it was impressive that it was lost returning from Ireland to Brussels and then once recovered, lost again on the way from Rome to Palermo. I must say, this cast a pall over the first couple of days in Sicily. Lugging around a 10 kilo baby will tire you out. Also, due to my superior Italian skills, I spent a lot of time on to lost luggage in Palermo airport. This also cast a damper. After 3 days there was great news, the buggy had been found. Mr. Waffle and his papa drove into Palermo (an hour and a half from our guesthouse) and tried to pick it up. In this they were somewhat hampered by Italian bureaucracy. As they kicked their heels in the baggage hall waiting for someone to come and deal with them, Mr. Waffle senior saw a familiar purple and pink elephant. Yes, it was Dumbo, attached to the buggy, you understand. Showing the kind of enterprise which has made him a captain of industry, he tucked it under his arm and walked out, dragging his son behind him. The whole rescue was achieved without filling in a single piece of paper. This was perhaps why Mr. Waffle was nervous when we checked back in for Palermo Rome and they said suspiciously “Hmm, I seem to recognise your name, did you lose some luggage?”. I’d say that the amount of paperwork associated with the buggy heist has made our name mud around the greater Palermo area.
For greater economy, we were flying point to point airlines and we had two hours in Rome to rescue our luggage from our Palermo flight and get it checked in for the Brussels flight. In retrospect, this was too short. Our Palermo flight was delayed by an hour and it took a good 35 minutes for the luggage to arrive off the plane. We were busy formulating emergency overnight in Rome strategies, when Mr. Waffle decided that the Princess and I should go ahead and stall the Brussels flight. Again, in retrospect, this was not a great idea. We scooted off to the international terminal, a brisk 20 minute walk just in time to see 2 besuited Virgin officials leaving their post chatting amicably. Frantically, I cut in front of two innocent souls at the top of the adjoining queue and panted “is the Bxls flight closed?” “No, madam, you can check-in here”. Fantastic. Now all I had to do was wait for Mr. Waffle and the luggage. “Madam, you need to check in immediately”. “Um, yes, just need to make a quick phone call”. Zoom off to sound of despairing sigh behind me. Arrive at phone booth to find that it will not take 2 euro coins. Reckon that this is the minimum I will need as Mr. Waffle has Belgian mobile. Curse at great length. Princess looks shocked. Appalled Italian lady presses 20 cents on me in the hope it will help. Go back and stand in front of check in lady. “My husband is just coming with the luggage.”. “I’m sorry madam, but we can’t wait any longer, you’ll have to check in now”. Princess begins to wail in sympathy. Forgetting that I am in English speaking land say “Not now darling, Mummy is very tense”. Mummy is not made any less tense by smirks of surrounding English speakers and reluctantly hands over passport and tickets and then – insert Chariots of Fire music – Mr. Waffle comes running around the corner, dripping sweat and carting our luggage. Hurrah. Nice check-in lady says we will have to run. We do and arrive in good time to queue with other punters. And miraculously, all our luggage makes it to Brussels too.
At a wedding, you often get friends of the happy couple’s parents and so it was here. I remarked to a nice Canadian lady, a friend of the Waffle seniors’ for many years that Mr. Waffle looked very handsome in his best man gear. Inocuous comment, you might feel. She considered the remark carefully and said “You know, he is, he used to be very geeky, but he’s grown out of it”. As a friend of Mr. Waffle’s said later when I related this to him “I would never have said that – I might have said that he was good at maths or excelled in classics…” Clearly, the Canadians believe in telling it like it is.
on 07 September 2004 at 20:47
On behalf of the rest of the people of Ireland who blog on 20six, I would like to apologise for what Locotes has just said. You are not, in the eyes of the vast majority of us, a baggage.
Arrangements are now being made to have his green knee-socks, russet kilt, waistcoat and green hat taken away for storage in a safe place.
on 07 September 2004 at 22:31
Hello lads. Locotes, I am touched by your comment and accept it in the spirit in which it was offered. Jack, go and stand in the corner.
on 08 September 2004 at 18:18
You’re most welcome.
*points and laughs at jack in the corner*
on 08 September 2004 at 23:26
Oh this is more of it… he gets to call you a baggage and all I get is the kind of treatment a tense mummy resorts too when the Cork Dry runs out…
on 10 September 2004 at 11:39
Now now lads, let’s put it all behind us..