My baggage was made in China and I thought it was up to the job but it proved otherwise.
I also thought I was traveling light, putting the all important tickets and passports in the side of my laptop case and leaving my trusty handbag at home. Mobile and coins went into my pocket.
I packed my expandable suitcase most carefully - 6 times - and still had to leave my favourite pair of shoes behind. I would have worn them but the last time I tottered around Airports in high heels I ended up with multiple blisters and a sort of knock kneed look because of the pain. Stick with the thongs Linda.....
Time came to leave the house. As usual, the flight to catch is always the Red Eye Special whenever I go anywhere. I wish I had given the pub a miss last night (or was that this morning?)
I attach the shoulder strap to my laptop bag and hoist it over my shoulder. Kids grab my suitcase and wonder if it will be over the 16kg limit. (Who cares I should get 'mates rates' since the wantok system is in place here) They manhandle it onto the back of the ute.
As I walk down the verandah steps, my laptop swings down sharply in front of me, bumps my legs and I nearly fall. Bugger! the shoulder strap broke and this is the first time I have ever used it! "Lucky that happened now!" comments hubby, "You might have fallen down the aircraft steps" I silently agree, thanking my lucky stars I had decided against the high heels.
The morning passes predictably and I duly arrive at Jacksons Airport. I have to reclaim my heavy suitcase from the carousel.
I stand and watch for a bit wondering how I will grab it with one hand, when the other is holding my laptop case. No way am I going to leave it unattended here!
As well, the turbo charged conveyor belt was fairly rocketing along and my way was blocked by all these large Highlands ladies and gents.
To give myself a bit more time to think about it, I dial Mili Meiema on my mobile to let her know I arrived in Port Moresby. Of course! this is the Capital City, no service! I opt for a text and it actually goes.
I make a move now and fix my eye on one strong looking guy standing right where my suitcase reposes. I smile sweetly and ask him if he could possibly grab it for me. He does and the top handle promptly breaks off at one end. He looks really upset and embarrassed but I reassure him and he exits fast.
I struggle to pull out the plastic handle, which is stuck, so that I can trundle all the way to the International Departure Building - a five minute walk away. Once there, I let go of the handle to grab the appropriate departure cards from the counter and my suitcase overbalances falling against the legs of a lady beside me. I turn red and apologize profusely.
Several hours, a slumber and a tasteless airline meal later, I find myself in Cairns, once again reclaiming my baggage. This time, not a set of muscles in sight to help me out and I need both hands so I leave my laptop bag on the floor next to a security guard and wrench my suitcase, with difficulties, off the carosel. This time I notice the undercarriage, to which the wheels are attached, is totally cracked.
By the time I have inspected the damage, called Air Niugini everything I could think of under my breath, I turn around to find a beagle hound on the end of a customs officer, scratching away at my laptop bag!
This really is too much and I snatch it up out of further harms way. Of course the Officer wants to know what my bag could possibly contain that is of interest to his dog and, in order to open it, I let go of the suitcase which overbalances once more, this time side swiping the beagle who just sits there. The pained expression on the face of the Officer is a sight to behold.
I manage to explain that we have a pet sugar glider at home in PNG, who hides in the front pocket on occasions. Perhaps it's the smell of that exciting the hound. He accepts my explanation and lets me go.
Its a long trundle to the arrival lounge where Tina and Leonard should be waiting. The wheels are wobbling badly now and it's a struggle to pull the thing in a straight line but I finally get there.
Predictably, there are no kids waiting so I pull out my mobile again to call Mili Meiema as well as Tina to find out how far away they are. Damn! my sim is Bmobile network, no global roaming and as dead as! Emergency service only....
I sit and wait patiently. Leonard bounces up gives me a hug and grabs the suitcase, trundling it roughly outside to the car. As he lifts it into the boot, the undercarriage, complete with wheels falls right off into the gutter. I am home.