Saturday, August 04, 2007

The delights of luggage

One of the delights of travelling is dealing with luggage. We aimed to have as little as possible when we came to England this time, but we still wound up with two heavy suitcases, a laptop and all its connection bits and pieces, my wife’s handbag (which contained her various ‘toys’), my backpack with books in it and my toiletries, and my wife’s backpack with clothes for the voyage. I saw the phrase ‘Not Wanted on Voyage’ as the title of a book the other day; haven’t seen it in a long time. I suppose it doesn’t much get used these days with ships being less popular for travel.
The trip was fine for the most part, as far as the luggage was concerned, because we had our suitcases sent through direct from Auckland to London. But when we got to the UK, and had to start hauling them about again, things were rather different. The worst moment was when we got off the underground at Bank station and had to climb two flights of stairs with the suitcases and all the other paraphernalia.
What we really need is luggage that carries itself. Now that would be ideal!
Incidentally, one of the things my wife wasn’t carrying was her Swiss Army Knife (one of the toys I mentioned before). With all the restrictions these days, it’s not the sort of thing you want to have in your handbag. She nearly lost it three years ago when we went to Australia, and she discovered just as she was about to front up to customs that it was in her handbag. She asked if she could take it out to her daughter for safekeeping until she got back in the country and they wouldn’t let her out of the area again. So there she was, calling loudly across the terminal to my daughter, who was just out of hearing range. Fortunately, in the end her frantic waving caught my daughter’s eye. Otherwise, the beloved SAK would have gone into the pockets of the customs’ people.
I was reminded about this because I just discovered that there’s a range of luggage called Swiss Army. Apparently it’s designed to the same level of excellence as the knives, though hopefully without the deadliness.

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