After the longest bout of sleeping I can get away with as an interloper in someone’s apartment, I drag myself out of bed with a plan for the day. The Plan: Get dressed from fresh clothing in luggage, dump luggage in locker at Heuston station, head back to the city centre unencumbered and meet Captain Pedantic Pants for lunch at the evil empire, then rendezvous with my darling Cheese for adventures in boozing. It was a good plan. I was quite proud of it. Unfortunately like many plans, it was doomed to failure from the first moments of its inception.
This inevitable doom was soon discovered when I went to retrieve some clean underwear and socks from aforementioned luggage. Which was not locked with my padlock. A singularly odd circumstance, which was soon explained however by the discovery that it was not my luggage. I am not generally prone to blind panic, but I had about 5 minutes worth of internal (and a small amount of external) screaming. All the gifts I had bought, all my clothes, all my clean fucking underwear, was quite clearly not in my posession. I rack my brain for possibilities, convinced that I could not have taken the wrong item at the airport, and I realise that I didn’t, I grabbed the wrong bag from the bus. In my half-asleep, in a hurry, on the phone state, I had reached into the hold and simply grabbed a bag the same size, shape and colour as mine, which was sitting where I had put mine before getting on.
At this point, I realised the following things:
- I am a fucking idiot.
- I had completely ignored my own “never make assumptions” rule, and am therefore also a hypocrite.
- I had no clean underwear.
- There was an inch long slit in the arse of my trousers.
- I couldn’t find the key to my own damn luggage.
After a couple of calls to the bus company, I located both my luggage, and the owner of the luggage I was currently in possession of, who was also rather distressed by the situation. I was slightly less than impressed by the fact that my luggage was back at Dublin airport, but the joy of discovering I could retrieve it now far outweighed the inconvenience. So I get dressed in my ripped trousers and used socks, and jump into a taxi, the driver of which indicated that yes, he was ok with having an adventure.
Out to the airport, where I deposited the mystery luggage and re-acquired my own, which was alas locked with the key I no longer had, presumably lost during the previous nights travel. So near and yet so far from a functional pair of trousers. Because of course, the split in the seam of my current pair worsened by the moment as I wore them.
So when I eventually got to google for lunch, avec luggage, sans key, the slit had grown into what could now be described as a rather substantial hole. I have never been more grateful to be wearing a long leather coat. Which I wore all through lunch, for fear of being arrested for indecent exposure, because I could have easily passed a fucking basketball through it at that point. Naturally, my dining partners were appraised of the situation, and highly amused by it, though they failed to come up with a means of opening my luggage when a leatherman couldn’t do the trick.
Back into town to meet Cheese, at which point I sit him down and explain to him that I need either 1) a way to open my luggage or 2) some pants. We agree that the purchase of pants is by far the easiest option, so we get the luas to heuston, dump the lunggage in a locker, and then go to buy trousers and alcohol, both of which we succeed at.
I head to the station about an hour before I have to, buy my ticket early, collect my luggage, and find a nice comfy seat on the train. At which point I reach into my pocket to sort through my change of various currencies, and find the fucking key to my fucking luggage. Fortunately at this point I am too tired to be fully impacted by how annoying this is.
About 5 minutes after the train starts to move I get a call from BigBro, to give me the heads up that he had just spent an extra 2 hours on the express, because a bridge had collapsed somewhere and there was rubble on the track. Resigning myself to never getting home again and forever wandering the roads of ireland with a suitcase full of christmas presents, I was pleasantly surprised when we reached the junction without incident, if a little slowly. All pleasantness soon dissipated however, when the last 30 minutes fo the journey took 2 hours, due to a signal failure about 10 minutes from home.
My sojourn on a motionless train was cheerfully punctuated by frequent phone calls from both the yank and my sister, who was roaring drunk, and I eventually arrived in Limerick at about 2am, at which point she and her (sober) boyfriend came to collect me.
In summary, it took me about me about 32 hours to get to limerick from London, and I spent £76 on flights, £30 on trousers, £40 on taxis and £30 on a train fare. Giving me a grand total of £176, and a total saving on direct flights of about £4.
Rule for happiness no 112: never buy anything just because it is cheap.