Whoever coined the phrase “Life is all about the journey, not the destination”, has clearly never flown overseas. In this case, I would’ve preferred to wiggle my nose like Tabatha on that old TV programme ‘Bewitched’ and be at my destination in a nanosecond.
My day started at 4 a.m. I diligently checked the rules for baggage allowances and packed accordingly. At 5 a.m. I called a taxi and the lift (elevator for my North American readers). After waiting 10 minutes it was clear that I would have to take the stairs or miss my taxi who was probably waking up all the neighbours buzzing the intercom in my apartment. This is the precise moment I started kicking myself for packing 10 pairs of shoes.
30 kilos of dead weight down 4 flights of stairs, in the dense humidity, was bordering on my sense of humour. I was already dreading the next 20 hours of flights and airports and leaving my terminally ill cat behind with mama to care for.
If you are familiar with Genova, then you already know it has a very tiny airport. Very few flights are International and the usual passenger is someone day tripping to Rome or Milan for business, laptop and briefcase tucked under a well tailored suit.
My first hurdle was checking my bags. Apparently I was booked on a Domestic flight to Rome before flying International to Washington and then onwards to Florida. Therefore, I was expected to follow the baggage rules of a Domestic flight and I had one too many bags and too much weight! Not an ideal situation (and retarded logic if there ever was any), however my second bag was small and we resolved the issue quickly by transferring any liquids into the bigger bag and I carried the smaller one on board.
Regrettably, I had forgotten the time that mama sprung 3 Panatones on me to bring back to Canada at Easter last year and the 5 kilos of homemade Panetone and sweets that she made me bring on board at Christmas for my husband.
Not to be outdone by mama (she was out of town), my sister in law saw it as her civil duty to step in with presents to stuff into my bags the night before I left. This included a jar of gourmet Nutella for her brother which I forgot to transfer into my large bag and was subsequently confiscated by Italian security.
This is where I would like to point out that Italian men will go to great lengths to impress a woman or just simply save Nutella from being trashed. A bit of language miscommunication and the sweet security guard thought some blond in the waiting area was my friend and tried to give her the jar instead of throwing it out. Chivalry is definitely not dead in Italy!
So after rechecking my bags in Rome, I finally made my destination after 20 hours of the so called journey. Time to sleep and drink some fruity cocktails.