Art Factory Hostel Blog

Lost Luggage Update

I should file this under “stuff that only means very much to me, and no one else,” but hey, this is a blog, and ephemera informs the diary format.

I called the company that handles lost luggage for all the airlines at Madrid Barajas Airport. No news on where my bag is, other than it will probably take longer than normal to find it because of Alitalia’s ongoing problems. I could tell that AI wasn’t doing well, from the taciturn and grumpy attitudes of the flight attendants, all-male and, despite the ubiquity of fussed-over and oiled-up hair styles, all-straight, as far I could tell, unlike their counterparts in the U.S.; to the battered, fraying seats; to the bus that took us to the plane, as if the airline couldn’t afford proper gate access. It wouldn’t have surprised me if we had had to scale the plane’s sides like Batman and Robin.

On the phone, I gave the nice Spanish girl my number and address at the hostel (thank the gods for Skype!) and she assured me that they would eventually find my luggage.

I’ve never had trouble with lost luggage in the past because I only rarely checked any in, as when I went to Israel, Jordan and Egypt with my mom’s church group in the 90s. Like Rick Steves, I’m of the opinion that the best way to travel is light and fast, allowing only yourself to be responsible for your belongings. So I’ve always stuffed everything I need in one big backpack and sailed right out the airport doors as soon as I’d landed. Now, however, it’s more problematic to fit everything in one bag, all that’s allowed these days, what with a MacBook and some other electronics in a shoulder bag, 5 books including Lonely Planet’s Argentina, plus everything I own packed up, rather than just a month’s worth of stuff.

Next time I move: One big-ass backpack, no matter how much I have to sacrifice to get it all in there.

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