Thursday, 28 August 2008

served and deserved

After coffee with Suz I shower and head to 4th Ave. to buy some fresh underwear and a sandwich. My first attempts are not successful. I try the drug store for the underwear but they have none and I try Capers for the sandwich but bizarrely that does not work out so well. I do not want any of the pre-made, meaty sandwiches and ask for a cheese sandwich. I am offered a grilled cheese on foccaccia but I do not think it will be nice for the plane. The server goes to consult with two others and returns to tell me that they are out of bread. I kind of want to point out that I am standing just 2 feet away from a rack that is displaying about 200 loaves of bread but feel they must already know that so I just nod and leave.

I find nice on-sale underwear at American Apparel and a not-on-sale cucumber and cambozola sandwich at Terra Breads. The sandwich is $7.50!!!!!!!!!! but I get it anyway plus an apricot and ginger scone -- I am not even going to tell you how much that was.

I have to call a cab but it comes instantly and I head to the airport very early just-in-case. I am so early that I decide to try and cash in my cab receipts. I stood in 2 lines, talked to 3 women (1 very nice, 1 pretty edgy and 1 who entered the conversation uninvited and was downright horrible and made Ms. Edgy even edgier). I ended up with a business card with a the address for a P.O. Box in Calgary circled on it. I give up and feel quite depressed. Why so "edgy?" I do not think I was doing anything to deserve being spoken to that way. And I really do not think that circling an address on a card counts as customer service. Oh well. Next time I'll take the hotel room and meals.

I get another mucky Starbucks coffee and drink that and eat my sandwich. Then it is time to leave. Ms. Unflappable is the gate agent and remembers me. She is right -- I do have the best seat. I watch Kung Fu Panda. All of it!?!? And I laughed a couple of times. Weird.

And then I have a cup of tea and my scone. I arrive @ YYZ feeling quite relaxed.

I go to get my bag and the Toronto baggage guy insists that it is still in Vancouver. He tells me that the Vancouver man who said it was on flight 100 yesterday was wrong. Then he tells me it might have been on the flight I actually took — to wait and see if it came off the carousel and if it does not he will make a report. I ask him to make the report before that and he agrees but is quite poopy about it all. The more questions I ask the poopier he gets. Another guy overhears his poopiness and takes me to three different rooms to look for my bag. It is not in any room. He then suggests that I wait by the carousel in case it shows up. I sit on a bench to watch the bags go round — I have a feeling that if I leave without the bag I will never see it again. As boredom creeps over me, I glance across the room and see what looks like my bag sitting in the middle of the floor about 6 feet from the desk where I had met Mr. Poopy. I walk over to check in a state of disbelief. It looks like my bag. I unzip the duffle and reveal the orange knapsack inside. It is my bag!

I go to tell Mr. Poopy and he asks for the report card back. I say I want to keep it and he replies, “Fine, you cannot do anything to me with that card.” Quite odd. I tell him that I do not want to do anything to him (I want the info in case I have the energy to make a complaint) and leave. Good to know that in Toronto, baggage claim means wandering around the airport until you happen to see your bag somewhere.

The person leaning on the counter talking to Mr. Poopy may very well be the owner of the wheelie bag next to my duffle. It had a "standby" tag on it.

It occurs to me as I am walking out that my bag has probably been sitting there "unattended" for about 22 hours. So even if there is no system for tracking baggage, and even if the tags they attach to your bags and boarding pass turn out to be meaningless, shouldn't someone from security have noticed? In Vancouver a guy left his bag by the carousel for about 5 minutes and they were all over it. I am just saying.

The cab fare from the airport went up $5 on August 24th.

When I get home I find that Dad, who came by with supplies for my return (sweet!), had locked the bottom lock which I do not use and I cannot get in to the house. I call him, hide my bags in the garbage can and pip down to College to get a cab to go pick up his copy of the key. It is POURING rain and I get wet right through to my brand new underwear.

But I am lucky. There is a cab right at the end of the alley and the driver is most pleasant and cooperative, Dad is waiting on the porch with my key and some cab fare (so wonderful to see him there all concerned and DAD!), my bags are still in the garbage can when I get back, the key works instantly, everything in my house is right where I left it, the internet is working, there are three episodes of Corrie on the VCR, and there are crumpets and bananas and cheese for a bedtime snack.

So all is well that ends well!

Thank you to all BC relatives for the most excellent holiday. Thanks for the great company, the good laughs, the beautiful and cozy accommodations, the fabulous meals, the new book, the new furry camping pillow case, letting me have the 3 precious days with the wee boyos, and for making me feel most lovingly cared for the entire time I was in your neighbourhood. I hope that I can try to do the same for you in my ‘hood soon — but it is a tough act to follow.

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