An uneventful flight in cattle class. Flying internationally is one of the places my childhood training in dissociation comes in handy. I can sit in one of those squished seats overnight and nap and watch three movies: the new West Side Story, a documentary about a big wave surfer, and a father-son saga set in Tuscany—how fun! Or I can play a little 500 Rummy and before you know it, I’m on the other side of the world.
My favorite part of this trip was gradually hearing an array of languages all around us—in Zurich and later in Firenze (Florence). What a delight to move out of my monolingual world at home.
All went well, including a tight transfer in Zurich, except for just one little thing.
Once we arrived in Florence, we were pretty spaced out and followed the crowd out through a set of double doors, and suddenly found ourselves heading toward the exit—without our luggage. We were now shut out from the secured area where you pick up your bags Oops.
We went to an information booth and asked for help. The woman, harried and distracted, told us we had to go to the Lost and Found and she gestured vaguely to her left.
Neither of us was sure we’d understood what to do, but we headed in that direction and there indeed was a room marked Lost and Found. There was a buzzer on the wall but clearly there was no one in the office. We rang once, then twice, then three times and then we waited and waited and waited. Finally a cheerful man appeared at the window and asked for our passports, scrawled something an a sheet of paper for each of us, then told us to walk outside, make a left, walk down a ways, make another left and then look for door #8 and said he’d meet us there.
We walked and walked with our carry-on and finally found door #8. We had to put our things through security again. And the man led us in a circuitous way out to a place we’d been before, only this time we saw the baggage carousels and a sign warning us not to leave our luggage behind.
There was Karyn’s bag and there was mine. We’d successfully made it to Italy!
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