“They’re just things,” right? No.

We arrived back in South Africa on Friday after a whirlwind belated honeymoon, 2 weddings, and awesome trip to America. Our luggage however, did not.

We knew they couldn’t be lost. The chances of both our bags not arriving in Johannesburg was a little fishy. After a delay at JFK and a mad rush to our connecting flight in Germany (escorted by the airline’s flight attendant), we had a feeling we knew where our luggage might be. But that feeling that all your things are abandoned somewhere in a foreign country is terrifying. Not to mention the fact that we had just gone on an expensive trip and bought ourselves some expensive things. Also you know, clothes and toiletries and things from home (because you had to go overseas with something).

“Pack essentials in your hand luggage in case your suitcase goes missing!” they tell you. And I was so pedantic on this. To the point that Greg kept telling me I’m being neurotic. Not only did we pack essentials (pyjamas, change of clothes, underwear etc), but I even went so far as making sure we each packed half of our clothing in each suitcase, so even if one of our bags did go missing, we’d each still have clothing to wear.

This was on the way there. On the way back we were more worried about being overweight. Ironic, considering by the time we left Johannesburg after my friend’s wedding to come home to Cape Town, we didn’t even have luggage. Thank God we took Greg’s suit bag with his suit (surprise?) and my dress for my friend’s wedding out of the suitcase or we’d have to have run around finding that too.

They’re just things. It’s all about the memories. Right? If anyone had to tell me this I might have slapped them. Or rather responded with an “I know, but…!” and not really be able to describe it, knowing full well that at the end (well, the very, very) end of the day they might just be things. But no, don’t tell me that minutes after. (Don’t worry, no-one did, I’m just being defensive here.)

Yes, we have the memories in our mind and heart (awwww). We had taken photos and videos – which by the way, never feel like enough. But sometimes, you just want those physical memories and mementos too. At a handful of points, I literally just wanted to curl into a ball and cry. Some of my favourite headscarves were in that suitcase. Not to mention all my beautiful accessories, which I’ve literally invested so much in. And they all come from Israel. The new things I’d bought. Our Mickey Mouse key rings and “Just Married” badges from Disneyland. The new boardgame we bought. My awesome nail transfers. My maps of Disneyland and Universal Studios. My Minnie Mouse ears. My hungry caterpillar pencil case (that I’d already planned to use as my new make-up bag). So they might just be “things”, but they were my things. Most of them hadn’t even entered my little life yet, and some played such a big part.

Did I mention that I also stupidly left my unused wallet in one of these suitcases, with my bank card and sim card inside? No? Well, that happened. You see, it was an emotional 6 days.

We’re lucky that they found our luggage and couriered it straight to our door. (I won’t let you think about our biggest fear, was that they’d delivered the wrong bags. Don’t worry, they didn’t). I’m not going to tell you the entire sob story, or name and shame the airline or airport. It wasn’t one person, just a clear lack of communication which was terribly frustrating. But it’s been a learning experience in what is important (the answer is that your things are still important, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise even though at the end of the day, in the very back of your mind you know they’re just things and eventually you’d realise that. But still, they’re your things.), and so I leave you with these pearls of wisdom.

  1. Always take out travel insurance. Always.
  2. Pack smart, all the time.
  3. Pester airlines and airports until they make your case important.
  4. If you have an important meeting/event/wedding (i.e part of the purpose of your trip), don’t pack those in your suitcase.
  5. Be lucky enough to have friends as good as ours (I had to borrow clothes for Shabbat, as well as a scarf for my friend’s wedding).

I really hope that none of you ever have to go through the process of lost luggage, being that close was already too close for comfort!

The Last Song

This was meant to be the movie that Miley Cyrus proved she could act the part in a real movie outside the role of Hannah Montanna and the realms of Disney. Personally, I didnt even know she was in the movie until about yesterday and I’d seen the poster around for a while. I’d expected a “The Notebook” type of movie (I later found out this was written by the same guy) and I must be honest it wasn’t a complete let down. That doesnt mean that Miley was fantastic.

Sometimes (well, often) when a child actor comes out and plays in a series on TV or the big screen, more often than not they’re going to be typecast in that role forever. Macaulay Culkin will always be thought of that kid from Home Alone. Daniel Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter. And Miley Cyrus is still Hannah Montanna. Not even that, as a singer, she is still Miley Cyrus, so its kind of difficult to take on another role. It was difficult in scenes to even take her seriously, or to feel that you’re watching a movie thats not Disney or Hannah Montanna related. In the odd scene when the boyfriend would run after her, I expected him to call out “Miley!” as opposed to Ronnie. movieBut thats not her fault, she’s just been type-cast and I suppose it sucks to be her then. In all honesty, best performance was by far the little boy playing her brother. What a sweetheart. He really portrayed love on the screen.

As I said I expected a bit of “The Notebook” yet even though there was some romance (and the guy is her actual boyfriend in real life. you can see he’s cute in the movie in the scenes when he’s clean) the story is more about the developping relationshing between Ronnie [Veronica] and her father. It was a really nice movie though. A lot of emotion in there, which as a person who doesn’t cry in movies, I didnt release. But my friend next to me cried enough into her scarf to make up for our party of 5. I wouldn’t call it a must see, but you wouldn’t lose anything if you saw it. Actually, its a rather pleasant movie to sit through.