Jul 4, 2006

JETSTREAM DELIRIUM
AIRPORTS, everywhere: I flit across the globe: Zimbabwe to Johannesburg to London to New York to Boston to Seattle. By the time I arrive home – after 45 hours of travel – I'm feverish.

But I have a new assignment and a new suitcase.

My luggage arrived taped at Heathrow. I didn't think much of it. But a stranger suggested: "repack it by the airline desk. Make sure nothing is missing. It's easier to file claims on-site."

***

The Delsey would not shut. I repacked, though the hinges weren't straining in the least. Huh?

The agent glanced over and said, "we'll replace it."

Just like that? Well, no argument here.

"If these Delseys are so dodgy, perhaps I should apply the money towards another model," I said.

She leaned forward, whispered: "Someone jimmied your case."

"But I didn't lock it!"

"Faster."

***

Every pouch, pocket and container was open. Yet all my shoddy belongings were inside, snubbed by the discerning baggage handlers – even my six-year-old European phone (beloved brick) and my four-year-old Yank one.

***

I sat beside a man launching a financial trade magazine en route to New York. As we chatted, the tale of the first theft – the cash heist in Joburg – emerged. Could I base an article on it?

Sure. Isn't that a handy way to recoup expenses?

***
Two days ago, Bill and I toasted Victoria Falls with a breakfast mimosa. And now it's time to collapse on the couch with Jake and Molly Cat.

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