• Petra Vandecasteele

PART 1 – The Luggage Drama(…s)

“I can’t believe this is happening,” sighs James when he puts the luggage in the car.

“We specifically agreed that we would only take one medium-sized bag per person that would qualify as hand luggage, so that we would travel light. And now you both have one medium bag each PLUS one big suitcase.” “But we share the big one,” I try to justify. “How on earth is it even going to fit into the boot?” It won't. Enya and I look sheepishly at James. We don’t quite understand how we got to that point. “Women,” he mumbles as he shoves the one bag onto the back seat.

Having had several forced openings of our luggage – including cutting of padlocks and other locks – with resulting theft, we now have our bags/suitcases cling wrapped at the airport before check-in. It may not be the most eco-friendly solution, but so far it is the most effective.

We are relieved to collect our luggage intact at King Shaka Airport in Durban and swiftly head towards the car rental section until we hear a woman scream, “Stop! Stop!” We turn around and see her wave frantically at us. “You’ve got my suitcase!” We’re totally confused. How can this be?

Long story short… when the luggage came out on the conveyer belt I took the first black suitcase wrapped in plastic I saw, thinking it was mine. I don’t even know what brand it is, but luckily she did. And thanks to her wit she found me before it was too late. Imagine the look on my face had I opened her suitcase hours away from Durban. Not to mention the resulting logistical disaster…

After convincing airport security to let us back in and retrieve the other suitcase, we have a big laugh and take a selfie. In fact, what is supposed to be a selfie of Enya, myself, and Bulelwa (the other lady) becomes a growing group selfie of dancing and singing ladies. James being the only male in a group of probably 15 women thought it’d be better to remove himself from the selfie scene and take the picture for us instead.

Travel Tips:

  1. If you decide to cling wrap, remember to keep the plastic and have it recycled at the end of your trip;

  2. Add a label with your name and contact details. Should someone accidentally take your luggage, then they can at least get hold of you;

  3. Cost to wrap @ R90/bag. In Cape Town and Durban they only accept cash, no cards.

Read also Nifty Travel Packing Tips

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