09 Sep Suitcase – a day in the life
They stuffed me full of dirty washing – always the same on the way home. All that neatly-packed, fragrant load I had to carry on the way out exchanged for dusty shoes filled with socks or knickers and soiled tee-shirts on top. At least they’re not sweaty people, my owners. I’ve heard from friends on carousels or luggage racks what some of them have to put up with. So, I count myself lucky in a way.
The lady at the check-in seemed OK. She put the sticky tag around my handle quite gently. I waved at my owners; I always do, but they never wave back. Then off along the mobile runway then sharp right to join the rabble. You never know what to expect – it can be quite fun on the mobile belt though you can pick up some nasty bruises if you bump into one of those hard suitcases that seem keen to push you around if you’re soft skinned like me. I’m a medium-build, rather neat suitcase if that doesn’t sound too vain. A sophisticated shade of brown, I’ve heard my owner say, like a blend between the top side and the underside of a chestnut mushroom, or the colour of homemade mushroom soup. She gets a bit carried away with words sometimes. Anyway, got my tag. LGW it said. No, of course I don’t read, but I do recognise two labels that I’ve seen lots of times: GLA and LGW. I’ve spent months in the loft at home looking at those labels. My owner never takes them off till the next time she gets me out to pack up and go somewhere.
It was a long wait down in the loading bay. I got chatting to a rather well-spoken, shiny black chap with a huge padlock who said he thought all the flights were going to be delayed so it would be a long time before we got home. Somebody came and moved him away and I was left with a shabby, down-at-heel holdall for company. Not best pleased. Finally, we both got loaded up onto a truck and off we went into the night to be stowed away in that cold place underneath the plane. That’s the worst bit. All that shoving so you’re squashed up against your neighbour. It’s dark and noisy in there too so you can’t catch anyone’s eye or start up a chat.
Anyway, we landed and the men hauled us out – nice to get a bit of fresh air again. Onto a trolley then bang, they sling you onto the carousel and you just hope your owner is there ready to grab you. As soon as I hit the carousel I could tell something was wrong. Couldn’t see any other LGWs. Didn’t recognise any of the gang that I’d been with before we were loaded up. Started to panic. What if there’s nobody there to collect me? The bright yellow suitcase beside me said “Hey, mate. You’re in the wrong place. This is Manchester.”
And I’m still here. Still not been home and it’s more than a week. They’ll be getting worried about me.