Sunday, April 28, 2013

Case Of The Missing Mermaid Ariel Carry On

Pandemonium around the belt. It was quite unsettling. And there's only one in Dili's teensy Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport. My daughter Luna and I stood in confusion while the hubby fought his way through the ferocious crowd to fish out our luggage. Everyone seemed to be in a rush even though there was no scheduled bus or train to catch. Prolly East Timorese who have been away far too long?

Luna's first ever stroller bag.
Grabbing the luggage was only half the battle. Falling in line for the customs X-ray machine upon exit turned out to be a push and shove business. Hubby let us hang out in the sidelines while we waited for his turn. When he was about to toss our bags into the machine, Luna sprinted out of the arrivals hall.

I frantically chased after her, leaving the hubby to single-handedly deal with our belongings.
The airport's lone belt. Luna drops a hard-to-get act on an airport ground staff.
Outside the arrival hall, Luna got caught up in a blockade of local kids. It was as if a celebrity just got busted for sneaking out a building and is being attacked by fans. Except, her fans curiously touched her tresses and sweaty skin. I allowed her to bathe in the attention as I scanned the bevy of cab drivers for a piece of paper with the hubby's name on it.

It didn't take long for me to find Abilio, the driver sent by our homestay host. I waved at his direction, and he responded with the slightest of nods. He didn't budge. I tugged Luna away from the mob and warily approached him as the other drivers demanded to have a look at his handwritten welcome sign. They were wondering, perhaps, why he was chosen.

Abilio and Luna hit it off right away!
Hubby appeared muddled when he finally emerged through the exit with a cart full of our luggage. We followed Abilio, who managed to carry Luna all the way to his cab with no single grunt of protest from her. The tot, we believe, has a third eye for finding souls that are fond of kids. If she likes someone, we like that someone without askance. And trusting Luna's gut has not failed us so far.

After piling our stuff in the trunk, we climbed in what felt like a conventional oven. The heat was more sweltering in this city than in Bali where we flew from. Our breaths were laborious throughout the ride which fortunately lasted less than fifteen minutes.

Lovely Dili home.

Meg, a volunteer for Academy of Swimming Education East Timor, was waiting for us by the gate of her rented bungalow. She replied to the hubby's online forum inquiry about cheap places to stay in Dili and offered hers. And that's how we found our home for nine days.

We were led to our spacious room at once. The air-conditioning was simply divine! We slumped into the mattress and laid still for what seemed like eternity... Until Meg knocked on our door and invited us for a dinner at the esplanade.

Stroller still with us while we were filling out our visa on arrival form.
I realized that we were missing Luna's carry on bag when I was about to change her nappy. We immediately backtracked the day's events. It boarded the flight fo sho. And as evidenced by the snapshot above, we didn't leave it in the overhead bin.

So where could it be?

Our assumption: It was left on the X-ray machine's belt. This theory we failed to prove with facts because we didn't feel like traveling back to the airport just to look for it. Luckily, I didn't stash any valuables (which I sometimes do) in the bag. So we let it go with a tinge of heartbreak because it's Luna's first ever stroller bag. I hope the new owner loves it more than Luna did (she doesn't know who Ariel is) and that they were able to put its contents into good use.

And with that, case sort of closed.


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michymichymoo said...
April 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Awwww. sad. :( Good thing it didn't have any valuable inside the bag.

Lakbay Diva said...
April 28, 2013 at 5:50 PM

ah. good thing she didn't know ariel. i wonder what will be her next bag? :D

Gay Emami said...
April 28, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Lakbayyyy! LSS pa rin for me ang Diamonds!

Gay Emami said...
April 28, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Yeah, thank goodness :)

Sky Summer said...
April 28, 2013 at 6:19 PM

At least Luna doesn't have that Claudine syndrome :)

Bonzenti,Con Tour said...
April 28, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Hopefully that the next owner will be happy with lunas stroller.

Lakbay Diva said...
April 28, 2013 at 9:08 PM

hahahaha nakakahiya naman :P

Gay Emami said...
April 28, 2013 at 9:32 PM


Gay Emami said...
April 28, 2013 at 9:33 PM

I really do hope so :)

The Wander Dan said...
April 29, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Such a delight reading this! :)

maria millado said...
May 1, 2013 at 4:55 AM

You have a way with words. It makes for an easy and delightful read.

Gay Emami said...
May 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Aww, thanks Maria!

Gay Emami said...
May 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM


Gay Emami said...
May 1, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Not a delightful event when it happened but we're laughing about it now :)

docgelo said...
May 5, 2013 at 1:05 PM

losing or letting go of something could be difficult for some but kudos to you and luna for taking everything lightly.
it might be a sign para palitan na ng rimowa ang stroller bag *kidding*

Elal Jane Lasola said...
May 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Too bad. :( But I'm excited to know what will be her next bag. Hehe

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