It's one of the loneliest feelings the world - the sense of abandonment that envelops you as you stand beside an empty luggage carousal. Half hour back, I was surrounded by my fellow passengers, watching expectantly at the mouth of the luggage carousal but standing well back to avoid being knocked down from those who believe if they miss to pick the luggage when it first appears it will be passed through the incinerator and set to fire. When their luggage does appear, they quickly haul it off the carousal with such a force and momentum enough to fell anyone on its way like a pin in a bowling alley.
So. I waited.
The carousal had spat out the suitcase of the lady who was in front of me in the check-in queue, I was hoping my bags would turn up any moment. However a familiar voice from the tiny recess of my mind said "Mmhmm. Avlodhaan. You ain't getting it today. They've sodhapified. Lodge a complaint and go home, boy". This voice, his name is Parattai, is almost always right.
There is a TV programme - Airport - it shows angry passengers who've been bumped off or had their flights cancelled or luggage lost having a real go at airline staff. Sitting on the couch, one may wonder: "Take it eazzy, you morons. What can the airline chick do? Not her fault!". Try telling to yourself as you stand in the luggage hall - a solitary, pathetic figure staring at the closed mouth of luggage carousal with open mouthed anticipation. There is always, however, one unclaimed bag, which goes round and round and its owner is probably waiting for it beside an empty carousal in Honolulu.
I woke up from the denial and went to the Airline Helpdesk. An irritatingly cheerful Customer Rep assured me that my bags would be on the next flight.
"But why wasn't it on my flight?"
"Sorry about that. Sometimes they're a bit slack in Wellington.", she said, beaming as if she's so proud of it.
"Yea. I see that. So I'll have my bags delivered home this evening then?"
"Um. No. You'd be getting it tomorrow, 10AM", she smiled. "At the latest", she added and did a quick flutter with her eye-lids and smiled even broadly.
"Look. I wouldn't be home then. I've got an appointment in the morning. I want my bag tonight. Please, do something about this. Help me out here!"
"Sorry..", she smiled, again, some of the fluorescent light bouncing off her teeth like a sunlight of a glacier. "we don't deliver after 7PM". I fought the urge to say Un moonjila yen peechan kaiya vekka.
I reached home and was awoken late in the night by a bang outside the door. It was my bag. "Yo. They said twas coming in the mor...". The delivery guy cut me off and grunted "I dunno mate. Sign here!". He quickly disappeared into the darkness after getting my autograph.
Ahhh. The good old Kiwi incompetence and rudeness. How nice it was to be back home :)