travel safely – d’Verse Haibun prompt: Ridiculous

Last fall, I was planning to travel abroad for a lengthy period of time. Taking into account previous experience, including slight mobility issues and lack of assistance en route, about a month before, I’d bought myself a BIG bag, safely, I hoped, to be rolled along. And I bought a new handbag for all travel documents to be handy. It had a nice zip-able side pocket inside. Wonderful. For my passport. I tugged it in straight away.

About 3 weeks before the trip, I began to gather essential things – and: couldn’t find my passport. As I am inclined to panic when I have to search for things I can’t find, I have developed a strategy – to ignore the fact of the mislaying and instead to trust that it will turn up.

And, so it did: About a week before the trip, I checked my new handbag and there it was, the passport safely zipped away.

The BIG bag on wheels got stuffed with belonging for 12 weeks and still had room! Wonderful. So, on the morning I was to leave, I had booked a taxi and set off, hand-bag across my chest and big bag in tow. Only 100 yards to the gate of the site where I live. So I thought. The bag had other ideas: As soon as the wheels set foot, so to speak, off my front porch, onto the tarmac leading to the gate, the bottom of the bag sank around the wheels as if to cushion them and – to tell me: Are you sure you want to go just yet? Well, with patience, cajoling and pleading, I managed to get the bag to the gate and taxi. Then realised: This time I really would need assistance. To change trains twice, no three times. On the last leg, into Cologne, after dark, I again asked the conductor, whether he could get me help to get my bag off the train and platform and – against his or my expectation, he managed to do just that. I was met at the platform and the young guy, still growing into his Deutsche Bahn uniform, had a quick look at the bag and decided: He was going to be the one beating it into submission: So he dragged it along the platform at speed, found a lift, and then again raced along and through the station hall. There he abandoned us, me and the bag. What he had ignored in his effort: the bottom had now split, and the bag was threatening to spill my belongings, from undies to reading material. So it was to be treated with even more caution than in the morning. Knowing that my hotel was only a short drive against a one-way road, I still convinced one of the reluctant drivers in the queue to take me; they are rather inclined to sit it out until the BIG fare comes along. I was expecting him to know how to navigate the one-way system around the station which turned out to be misplaced optimism. I later learned that these days taxi drivers no longer are tested on local knowledge – only whether they can switch on a GPS, swear back at it in their native tongue and slap it if that fails. So in the end, with some more push and pull, the bag and I had to negotiate that last 100m of the journey again among ourselves. My passport was safe all the time, tugged away in the zipped pocket of my handbag across my chest. And the next day, I ordered a new large rolling case, a bit more up-market. It turned out not to be the last unexpected expenditure of that trip, stretching my budget. But before I moved on to my second destination, I found a large bin for commercial waste and with great gusto deposited the shredded bag, still thinking kindly of the late-hour guy so willing to help. And the company which had sold me the bag in the first place, in my country of departure, refunded me in full after I told them the story, not expecting me to return the shreds first as they might have done.

woman safe travel

planning well – her eyes on



~ by Barbara S on March 16, 2022.

2 Responses to “travel safely – d’Verse Haibun prompt: Ridiculous”

  1. Oh my gosh, that sounds like a terrible ordeal…and yet, your haiku brought it around. Love it!

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