St. Patrick: Patron Saint of Iceland…err…Ireland

17 03 2008

Icelandic sheep

Sheep celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Iceland 


In approximately 403AD, St Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders in Britain and taken to Ireland, from where he escaped six years later. In 1997, my luggage was kidnapped by Icelandic baggage handlers at Reykjavik airport and taken to Baltimore, from where it escaped 24 hours later.  Not a great deal is recorded about St Patrick’s first time in Ireland. Nothing at all is known about my luggage’s time in Baltimore, except that it presumably availed itself of Duty Free before boarding the first flight back to Reykjavik.

St Patrick’s enslavement was a life-changing experience. I can’t claim the same for my brief separation from my possessions, but I was certainly glad when my minor ordeal ended. I found myself standing almost alone in an increasingly-deserted terminal, forlornly watching the same enormous cardboard box repeatedly revolving on the baggage carousel. I eventually accepted the fact that my backpack had opted for a vacation away from me, and went and completed the lost baggage declaration. I headed for my hostel with only the clothes on my back, a sleeping bag and the unhappy prospect of two weeks hiking and camping in the same socks and undies. If that was an unhappy prospect for me however, it was nothing compared to the ordeal faced by my tent mate!

Fortunately for both of us, my bag did arrive the next morning looking considerably less-dishevilled than I was at that point. You might say it was the luck of the Irish that re-united me with my backpack, but given that according to a 2007 study, only .18% of all luggage worldwide is lost permanently, the chances of you eventually seeing your bag at the other end are actually very good.

So, if you do find yourself suffering from Satchel Separation Anxiety, fill in the paperwork, have a pint or two to calm your nerves…and then make sure you remembered to put the clean socks and undies in your carry-on!

Post and photo by: Simon Vaughan © 2008




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