Thursday 2 April 2015

Bucharest: Now where's my luggage?

Exploiting a chance meeting
Svelte she was with a gait that looked like she could give Naomi Campbell a few tips on how to traipse the catwalk, as she went before me. Two Louis Vuitton bags and a few other luxury label bags, you knew she was a lady of the world very few would ever see.
We were alone in our section of the flight, with nothing to read but the airline magazines filled with materialistic displays enough to depress you if you dared assume the lives portrayed were any more perfect than yours.
I had overheard she was Romanian, and though I was sitting behind her, I felt the best thing to do was to chat to her and get a few inside tips on what a first time visitor to Bucharest should do; as in places to see, the restaurants serving Romanian fare, and much else.
Making do with making conversation
I could say, if she walked into a Romanian tourist office needing a job, on the conversation we had, she was a shoo-in, a worthy ambassador of her country, I aver. She scribbled 4 pages of notes into my book, with what I should do on a first visit and then on consequent visits if I do return.
Meanwhile, I shared my knowledge of the five most important words you should know of any language, in Romanian – Yes, No, Hello, Goodbye and Thank you, she was impressed and then some old-school financial investing ideas with her as I learnt that she was a car industry executive who also has her own business and jaunts between Paris, Bucharest and Dubai where she has a pad each.
It was quite unusual for our flight that for the length of time of travel, there was no in-flight entertainment and somehow the cabin crew forgot to order the dailies beyond the first brush of them not willing to take my coat and cane to stow away.
Something to complain about
At the time we were served our meals, an entrée of salmon with al dente crudités, hake with carrots and potatoes and a strawberry tart dessert, we were informed that we were literally guinea-pigs for this new menu. Thankfully, they did not ask for my opinion afterwards, but when it comes to hospitality, whilst Air France and KLM have the same parent company, the crew on KLM titled flights are a class apart from their counterparts.
It was a hop from Manchester via Paris to Bucharest, the connection was shortened because we left Manchester 30 minutes behind schedule, the flight from Paris was also delayed, so I did not have to sweat my connection, but when I eventually made it to baggage reclaim at Henri Coanda International Airport and the last piece of baggage had left the carousel, I learnt, my luggage had been left behind in Paris.
There is some hope that it will arrive tonight, else … let’s not blow a fuse yet. I am in Bucharest and I intend to enjoy myself, it might include a visit to the male version of Victoria’s Secret to get a change of underwear.

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