What qualities I would look for in a second hand suitcase from Ebay

[Title suggested by Rachie]

I keep, as I mentioned in brief while asking for titles to posts, buying things from eBay almost, it must be said, by mistake. However, I will post about that another day. This reminds me that I meant to tell you about my suitcase, and the losing of it that happened when I went to Venice recently.

Many many many stupid things have happened to me while travelling – I am jinxed, but only a little bit jinxed; like missing things and things going a bit wrong jinxed rather than planes crashing and people stabbing me in the face on the train jinxed. I am glad we have cleared that up – but surprisingly, until I went to Italy in February, I have never yet had my bag mislaid.

We were going with British Airways.

I should have known what to expect, but without the benefit of foreknowledge, I hadnt a clue that they were going to be running trial runs of how to lose lots of peoples bags at once and generally being completely inept procedure on our weekend break.

Still, I should feel privileged to be part of their practice runs.

You know all those people who were trying to fly through Heathrow Terminal 5 recently, and getting all shouty and cross about BA losing their baggage?

Well, I was totally ahead of the curve. I was doing that WEEKS before.

Checking in just before check in closed, and hearing the woman on the desk complaining to the man on the desk next to her that the conveyor belt was being a bit iffy that morning, I remember thinking My bags not going to arrive in Venice – which is why, probably, I wasnt that surprised three hours later when the carousel stopped and the shoulders of more than two dozen people standing around the carousel dropped and we turned, as one, and schlumphed off toward a window with three wary-looking Italian women sitting behind some glass.

They spoke English to the extent they needed to, in order to help, which wasnt very much – though better than my Italian, obviously.

But they couldnt, as it turned out, do very much to help. They could point out that, according to their computers, our bags hadnt arrived, which we knew, and they could give us a small bag full of miniature goods with BA – With Compliments printed on the side.

They were very calm, and very helpful, and Im sure if they could have done anything more, they would have.

The remainder of the unhelpfulness, it must be said, was mine. It was mainly my fault, I will admit, that when I buy things, certain things, from places, I tend to go with the more unique or – to me – attractive or interesting things.

And not, say, the more useful or logical or long-lasting or example of the object I could possibly find. But when I find what I want, all sensible thoughts go out of the window

So there I was, standing in front of the glass window, trying to explain to the nice lady that the bag I quite desperately wanted was not, sadly, one of the ones she was encouraging me to point at on the handy photosheet of bags she had. It was a semi-circular gym-bag on wheels in bright blue silk covered in little embroidered flowers like the print of a Chinese dress.

Weirdly enough, she hadnt got enough English for this, and the constituent parts couldnt be found anywhere in my phrasebook.

But we shrugged and mugged and grimaced our way through it all, and we got our With Compliments bag of goodies from British Airways (thanks, guys!) and I went off the hotel in my good high heeled boots that werent really *that* comfortable but Id brought in case we went out to dinner and because they were too big to pack. And then I walked around in them for 27 hours – not solid, no – until my bag finally showed up.

So the bag that I would look for on eBay, if I was searching for one with some kind of homing device, or a large flashing light that said DONT FORGET ME IM SOMEONES BAG in neon letters, or could move of its own account – like one that had legs and could run after me, or something (I would bid quite highly on that one) – or one that was Very Easy To Explain In Italian. Next time I look for a bag on eBay, its bilinguality will be the main point I will look for.