On the last leg of an amazing, 1 month journey through Italy, from tip to toe (and Sicily too), we arrived back in Milano at the Malpenza Airport for the 3rd time. Lugging bags and travel-worn by now, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t carrying my purse!
Can you feel my sick panic? With a cold pirecing in my stomach as my fingertips turned icy cold , time seemed to stop, everything seemed surreal.
I knew that I had taken my passport from the pouch that I carry around my neck and stuffed it into my purse, when I was trying to get comfortable on the plane.
No. No. No. Never ever, do that.
We had already left terminal 2 by bus and had stacked our luggage on a trolley so we could march the distance through Terminal 1 to catch yet another shuttle to our hotel a mile away. Marching faster now, we approached the Hilton Hotel, conveniently located in terminal 1. Let’s go in there and ask for help.
They were great, calling terminal security, and the airline for me. My fear was increased tangentially by the crisp way they snapped-to, when they heard my situation.
They would sweep the plane which was still at the gate and I should return to the terminal ASAP.
And Ellioto? At the time, this was a brand new relationship–how would this man act to our dilemma? Would he blow up? Would he become sullen? We had a lot to lose–money, time and the good feelings we’d shared from the journey of a lifetime.
He would stay in the lobby with our mounds of luggage and sweat it out.
As I ran for the shuttle, he stopped me–”Hey, have you got a light?”
“What? A light?!”
“For a cigar–I’ve got to have a smoke!”
“The light,” I said measuredly, “is in my purse!”
The shuttle seemed to take forever–stopping here, stopping there… I wanted to shout–grab the wheel–and drive myself.
We get there finally.
Unfortunately, the shuttle let me out on the opposite side of my goal–the security office, where i’d been told to go.
A doll of a guard, understanding the hassle of losing my passport said, “Follow me,” ushering me through a blessed short-cut, saving me a lot of time and effort. Walking fast, these days, is not my strong suit but I put it in gear and followed his hasty lead.
Then I remembered: while Ellioto was getting our luggage from the carrousel, I went to the restroom.
I had hung my purse on the designated handle when I went to the restroom!
Oh God–please grant me this.
Na myo kyo renge kyo, I chanted, fast and furious (actually, I’d been chanting, barely under my breath all the way from the other terminal).
Don’t knock it–it worked!
There, in the women’s bathroom, at the Malpenza Airport, terminal 1, hung my purse containing my passport–everything in tact, just like I left it!
OMG, indeed (thank you, thank you, thank you!).
As I walked back into the Hilton Lobby, my eyes made contact with Ellioto’s and he said, “This calls for Prosecco!”.