Divert to Paris


I tend to save ticket stubs and other bits of ephemera, like boarding passes. Not collect them really, but rather stuff them into pockets of whatever coat or jacket I may have been wearing at the time and leave them there. Last week I was wearing my black linen jacket on a photo shoot and when I went to put my phone away, I found this barding pass for a flight to Rome in August of 2010. For some reason, little pieces of paper like this always make me pause. They are like little emotional bookmarks of life. On that day I did this, or so the piece of paper says. Only on this particular day I didn’t do that… the flight to Detroit got delayed and instead I got routed on a non stop flight to Paris. Normally not a bad idea. If you are getting off in Paris. But if you are connecting, it is hellish. There was 59 minutes between the flights into Paris and on to Rome. I had to disembark, walk forever, go through passport control, go through customs and walk some more and then go through security. Then get on a bus to another terminal. And then run to the gate as they are finishing loading. We barely made it. But my luggage did not and enjoyed an extended stay in the city of light. My luggage did not arrive for 5 days, causing a great disruption in my job there. I had to wait in my apartment at times when they said the luggage would arrive. It didn’t… I had to buy underwear and tooth paste and summer clothes. Another day and I would have had to buy new shoes. You see, I was wearing my airplane shoes. Those comfortable, slip on shoes with no support, but easy to deal with at airport security. After 5 days, my feet were killing me in the cobbled streets of Rome. One day as I came home from class, feeling hot, sweaty and tired, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be nice if my luggage was magically in my apartment? And it was, and how it got there, I don’t know. I was just glad it was. I had my stuff again.