I had never thought that disposing of an old suitcase could turn into an interesting half hour…
I guess you would normally throw it in your weekly house garbage. Or into a skip.
But that would have been too easy! And I don’t do “easy”.
It all started in the morning. On my way to work I realised that carrying a suitcase that has only one functional wheel (having lost the other one last month) was not ideal. It doesn’t matter if it’s only cabin size, I packed it heavy! Dragging it wouldn’t work. Carrying it on full lifting was good to build muscles but not easy on long distances. I arrived to the office in a full sweat. My usual greeting “Good morning team!” could not take the attention away from my dripping forehead.
So as I left work at 5pm, after diligently setting my Out of Office Reply On to cover for the next few days’ absence, I decided that action was required. And I headed to the nearest bag shop and bought a replacement. A nice black sports bag on wheels.
That left me with a new problem: how do I now dispose of the old suitcase? I am on my way to the airport and in a bit of a hurry, and now I have an empty suitcase with a missing wheel to get rid of. I certainly cannot leave it by a bin or in the street. Can you imagine the panic about unattended baggage?!
So as I got to the train station I asked one of the ticket officers for advice. “Please speak to the police community officers over there” was his answer. Well, mate, they seem a bit busy! It looked like a case of drunkenness-related accident: a middle-aged woman with slurred speech was repeatedly touching her head in pain. Her friend was talking while one of the officers was taking notes. I stood nearby in silence, watching until the two women were safely left in the care of the paramedics.
“Apologies for such a trivial question but could you please advise on how I can dispose of this bag?” was my approach. The two officers appeared puzzled. Suggested a couple of options only to realise immediately that they were unfeasible. And eventually they kindly offered to take my suitcase away and find a way to dispose of it without causing mass panic.
As I watched them walk away with what had been my faitfhul companion of so many short trips around Europe, I couldn’t help feeling a bit sad…