Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lost Union Jack Bag

On the day to Rome the preparation to get off the boat is intense: have the right documents, the right currency, the gear for rain (umbrellas) and for sun (sunscreen and glasses), plus get up to have some breakfast before leaving the ship at 7:30 am. This is not anyone’s idea of a relaxing holiday to do all of this for oneself. Then add doing all the above for Alex and Duncan.

Rebecca and I went for breakfast as separate times, me meeting her coming out of the dining room just as I was going in. She hadn’t eaten. She left her London bag at a table and now it was gone. What was inside the bag is what was making the adrenalin pump through her system – the tickets for the chartered bus, the pass to get on and off the boat. The bag, of course, isn’t a simple bag, but a long shoulder bag that has the Union Jack smartly printed on the front, and on the back and the shoulder straps – easily identifiable at a distance. We already are troubled with our sense of fashion over the bag, since it is not one that we have seen anyone else carrying. You know the bags that travellers use so that you can tell if they have been to certain cities: Barcelona, New York, London – just the city written over and over again. I have seen lots of those.

The lost bag?
  Who can misplace a bag that looks like this
?
But no one carrying the Union Jack bag, the design we thought would blend in with the Queen's Jubilee. I thought it might turn out to be a fashionable bag when I bought it, but it looks like the bags are only fashionable to me.  Not popular!  But still, lots of room, soft, light-weight, and ... well, I have never carried the Union Jack everywhere I go, before.

“I have lost my bag and it is seven minutes until we leave,” is what Rebecca said to me. She didn’t need to say anything at all. I could see the panic in her body. The attendant who was pressing a sanitizing cloth into everyone’s hand who enters the dining room stopped for a moment to look inside of his his lost and found cupboard. Nothing there. He pointed us to the other end of the dining room, where we asked one of the servers – who off loaded us onto a head waiter who calmly heard the story and the bag carefully described and then asked, “Could you show me exactly where you were sitting,”

Rebecca walked to the booth where we always sit – chosen the first day of the trip by Duncan who thinks it is cool to sit in a round booth. The attendant walked around the corner where a similar booth is, back-to-back, to ours. There was the bag. And that was enough adrenalin to get us through the whole day without having to take a nap until we got home.

Arta

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