Today for the first time in 8 and a half months I left something in the back of a songthaew ( redbus/taxi ).
It wasn’t anything expensive or vital. It wasn’t a thing of great beauty or importance. It was just an empty bag. An empty,old dirty, worn out bag. I am unreasonably sad about the loss of my old, dirty, worn out bag. We have a history you see. A full and wonderful history.
Somewhere in the middle of the Nevada desert, it was waiting. Waiting for the moment that fate and an excess baggage problem would bring us together. Waiting to be found. I could feel it drawing me ever closed like a fish on a line pulled inexorably to the shore. I turned a corner of the tat filled mall in a tourist trap laid out in the sand. And there it was. I didn’t know it at the time, but we would be together for an age of adventure, spanning continents, conquering new worlds….
OK so I’m probably getting a bit carried away now but it was a REALLY good bag.
We have been together on many adventures, starting with the honeymoon in Vegas and LA, it’s still got the hotel stickers on. Although we bought it together it was soon ‘my bag’. My husband thinking (probably quite rightly) that it was just too small for him. But you would be amazed at how much you can fit inside. It could happily contain the necessary requirements for me and small person for up to a week’s worth of travel.
It’s been with me on buses, planes, trains, motorbikes, boats, cars. And travelled to many destinations including. Paris, Rome, Nagoya (Japan), Holland, back to America (twice), Macau ,Hong Kong, Phuket and all over the UK .It has suffered in the bowels of many a national express coach the length and breadth of the country, been trundled through as many railway and underground stations as you could mention and been the mainstay of many a house move, not to mention yomping through the country lanes of rural France filled with groceries from the nearest shop that was 2 miles away through rugged forest and field paths.
From Rural France to Thailands second city, my trusty bag has continued in it’s service. Due to its slightly worn ( already once replaced) shoulder straps, the ever-so-slightly awkward zip and the slowly growing hole in the bottom it has been demoted from essential travel bag to family workhorse. Accompanying me on the weekly water run and on trips slightly further afield to Tesco Lotus to assist in the conveyance of ‘the big shop’. It was todays ‘big shop’ that led to my distress. For unknown reasons we jumped from the back of the songthaew, paid the driver and watched him drive off into the distance. It was only then, a minute too late, that I realised my bag was not on my shoulder. I must have set it down as we got in and got carried away eating sno-cones and chatting with small person and not realised that I had left my wonderful bag inside.
I KNOW it is unreasonable and quite ridiculous to become emotionally attached to a travel bag. I know. But that doesn’t alter the sadness I feel. I KNOW that I needed to get a new companion as after 13 years of faithful service it was more than a little frayed round the edges, and yet I haven’t . I KNOW its just a piece of luggage and I haven’t lost the memories contained within its canvas shell and I KNOW I will find a new bag, but my goodness it will not be easy, it will have a VERY hard time living up to it’s predecessor.
Jer Gan Mai