This will shock a few of my fellow Kiwis, but seriously…thank you. I met some great people through the Fellowship of Lost Luggage, and dealing with this for the first time, in a foreign country? You can’t buy that kind of experience.
This could read something like “for the want of a nail the horseshoe was lost…”. Technical glitch meant delay, missed connecting flights and resulted in a few of us reaching Kuala Lumpur later than planned, minus a few bags. Midnight, at the Lost Baggage desk, found me sharing tired smiles with Mr and Mrs Whangarei, and C & N – two young women. What else can you do but smile? Luckily, I had a spare t-shirt in my carry on bag, so I was okay for another day, but others weren’t so fortunate.
The next day I happened to meet Mrs Whangarei in the queue applying for security passes (which we needed to get back to Lost Baggage), what a relief. She had a friend with her, who spoke Malaysian, and who helped us fill in the forms required. We’re handing strangers copies of our passports, paying fees here and there, signing our name to documents that say who knows what. Our passports were held hostage in return for Official Passes to the Back of Beyond. Through Security to Lost Baggage and filling out forms in triplicate before at last laying hands on the item.
Reunited with our bags, the tale might have ended there, but no…it turns out the flight home, a couple of weeks later, was just as eventful. Not only was I seated next to Mrs Whangarei, Misses C & N were also on the plane!
I swapped seats with Mr Whangarei, a few rows up, so he could sit next to Mrs. A few hours into the flight (Singapore to Auckland), we were diverted to Darwin because of a medical emergency. Early hours of the morning, while the plane waited on tarmac (for new flight path clearance?) I caught up with C & N. They’d been staying with a friend who’d worked at a university in Kuala Lumpur and travelling around some of Malaysia…areas that I would love to go next time. We’d had similar travel experiences and shared some good laughs.
It could’ve been a tale of inconveniences (I wouldn’t mind if you reimbursed me the return train fare it cost me to pick up my bag!), but all in all? I’m looking back on this with a smile.