My blog readers and twitter followers are oh so familiar with my luggage mishaps. What can I say — I’m a magnet for such encounters. Over the years I’ve had my bags lost (Florence), misdirected (Russia), delayed due to connecting flights, so on and so forth. But nothing was as traumatising as what I’ve experienced the other day.
Jorge, my very reliable driver in New York, was scheduled to pick me up at around 9AM at my hotel so I can catch my 12:30PM flight. I called my hotel’s front desk around 8:45 for luggage assistance. Blond Ben, the bellman, came up to my room. What a delight, I thought. We made the obligatory small chatter as soon as I opened the door. Where are you from? Philippines. Oh, you speak Tagalog? Yes. A friend of mine is Filipino, yaddi yaddi yadda. I gave him five bags — three of them oversized, brimming with stuff. I was still packing my hand luggage so I told him I’ll stay in my room for a few more minutes and he can go downstairs. He asked if I have a car or if I’m taking a cab. I said I have a car waiting downstairs. I instructed him to meet my driver, Jorge, downstairs and to save time (I’m in a rush), he can put my bags in the trunk. Quick, easy, efficient. I tipped him ten bucks for the favour.
I went downstairs about ten or so minutes later and my beloved Jorge was there waiting for me. After exchanging hugs, I lit a cigarette. I need my nicotine fix before that long car ride to JFK. I asked him how’s the traffic and he said it wasn’t that bad. Jorge then took two of my carry-on bags: my tote bag and my roller case. “Where’s the rest of your bags,” he asked.
I thought he was joking at first. I’ve worked with Jorge for years and he doesn’t flinch at the amount of luggage I bring. Ok, maybe except the time when I had an urgent meeting in NYC so I went there overnight and brought just one suitcase with me. He’s used to seeing me with more baggage than none.
“What do you mean?”
“Where’s the rest of your bags?”
“The bellman was supposed to bring it to you 20 minutes ago!”
To cut the long story short, the handsome Ben suddenly became numero uno on my personal shit list (Eva Mendes is high up there; I’ve just found out that she’s dating Ryan Gosling.) He inadvertently put all of my bags in this big, black SUV with OTHER passengers in it. And that car left! Nowhere to be found. Ditto with my luggage. My furs were there, my Prada was there, those wasabi peas my sister asked me to buy in bulk when I went to Tokyo before coming to New York were there, my New Year’s outfit was there, my vibrator was there, my soul was there.
I don’t know what drugs the bellmen were taking for suggesting that I wait for my bags because chances are, the other car will come back to the hotel to return the luggage. And then what, miss my long-haul flight? Then they suggested that I go to the airport and they’ll send another car to deliver my luggage. Like what, when I’m inside the airport?
I am NOT leaving Manhattan without my luggage. PERIOD.
I tried to keep my calm. I went to the front desk and asked to speak to a manager. Instead of letting me speak to authority, the guy at reception simply told me that they are aware of the situation and the Bell Manager is ‘working on it.’
I don’t know what miracle they did but they eventually got hold of the other car.
Jorge and I drove to where the car was and we were able to retrieve my bags. And I made my flight.
Can you imagine? What if the other car was a cab or a private car and not from a car service?
I don’t know what the moral lesson of this story.
I’m just happy to be reunited with my tranny box.