As promised, I’m posting regular accounts of our summer adventures abroad. Yesterday around noon Central Time, Gus and I set out on an almost 6-week stint in Italy and a bit of Switzerland. The travel part of Day 1/Day 2 was fairly unremarkable–the usual complete inability to sleep on a plane, especially when you are in the very last row (very jiggly), the galley behind you is lit up like a 5th Avenue window at Christmastime, and your neighbor’s flesh does not abide by the universally -recognized imaginary plane extending above the armrest, whose boundary is sacrosanct. We made it from DFW to Frankfurt just fine, if not a little bleary-eyed, stiff, and a little violated from being leaned on for 9 hours. The second leg of our trip took us from Frankfurt to Venice to start the tour with 40 Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Wind Symphony members and their instruments. When we got to Frankfurt, I realized I didn’t have a boarding pass for Venice, and my baggage claim receipts only had Frankfurt as the destination. I rectified (or thought I did) the situation at the Lufthansa counter in Venice. He reassured me the bags would make the plane. I suspected otherwise.
Sure enough, the bags did not make it to Venice on our flight. Ours were the only ones out of the group of 40. The line at the lost luggage counter was quite long, and the caffeinated/sleep-deprived teenagers were restless. We sent them on the the charter busses to the hotel, and we’d get a cab when we were done. Watching airline-abused people wait in line to shout at people who had nothing to do with the missing-luggage status they were currently enjoying, was irritating on one hand and sad on the other. The behavior on display–rudeness, yelling, crowding around the windows separating the prey from the predator–was appalling. I started to realize why Americans are often characterized as entitled, boorish, and lacking a certain perspective. Bright note: turns out the main instigator of popluist missing-my-luggage mayhem was Canadian. A foul-mannered Canadian in the wild–very rare indeed! We had the choice to have the luggage delivered to the hotel the next day or wait for the next plane, most likely carrying our luggage. We opted to wait, since they are playing a concert in Venice tomorrow, and he needs his tuxedo first thing. A 2-hour wait turned into 3 when that flight was delayed, but eventually, the belt started churning, and our bags came flying out of the chute. We took an expensive cab ride out to the burbs, but we are here, fed, and trying to keep our eyes open until 10pm. Having suffered much worse travel kerfuffles, we are undeterred for adventures aplenty. Tomorrow is a tour of Venice and then they perform a concert at a local venue.