Arriving back in Munich, we went through the motions of collecting our luggage on autopilot. Each of us was more than familiar with their portion of the tasks that would get us out of baggage claim, through customs and on the S-bahn home with the least amount of time and fuss. Considering all that we had crammed into our four pieces of luggage, that everything went so smoothly was a surprise. The majority of our trips in the last year have landed us in the Lost Luggage office, reporting damage to bags that were almost always a missing wheel, or two… and once three.
The worst luck was primarily reserved for my trips and my bags. It started when I borrowed Oliver’s brand new Lufthansa edition Rimowa suitcase for a business trip. Returning to MUC, the bag that greeted me coming round the curve on the carousel was wrapped in security tape, Chicago security having popped the locks off without even checking to see if they were really closed or not. When my trips to our US office started to increase last year, I splurged on a matching case. I’ve been steadily punished for this decision ever since, losing at least one wheel on every trip, culminating in a true low point when I lost a wheel going in and lost two more coming out. When the bag came out in Munich, minus all but one shaky looking wheel, I was nauseous. Pushing the luggage cart straight to the back stall, I made it to the toilet just in time. Food poisoning and only one wheel? Lufthansa eventually covered the repairs, but the 50 euro cab ride home I blamed on the breakfast omelet was paid for by me. After having placed bets with each other at check-in as to which bag would suffer the most damage, being able to wheel two of four heavy bags onto the train felt like quite a victory.
We’re home – which is still Munich for another few months – and both we and our luggage are in one piece. As always there was too little time to see everyone we wanted to see and to do all that we wanted to do, but we did our best. A week later, I think I’ve finished all the laundry, but my feet and hands are still a mess from the desert. Leaving my family and California is always a little sad, and this time was compounded by the fact that we’re moving to China. After a wonderful day walking around the City with my parents, good bye came early by way of a fried alternator that left us stranded at a Daly City gas station, a maddening 10 minutes away from SFO. So instead of lingering over mediocre coffee at the airport, goodbyes were quickly waved through a cab window after grabbing the first car to drive by in over 20 minutes. Note to self: cabs will not be dispatched outside of San Francisco, even when you start offering large bribes. Extra points go out to my parents, stranded at the gas station, forced to spend the night in Daly City until the car could be worked on the next day.
Other than a note from Fergus’ babysitter that she’d found him one day wedged behind the washing machine and dryer with no way of getting out by himself, there was surprisingly little needing our attention, few fires to do be put out. So far. The big China meeting with the big boss happens Monday, after which there will finally facts to share.