No matter how bleak a situation looks, I tend to believe that everything will somehow work out in the end. Although this optimistic philosophy often works in my favor, sometimes fate decides to take different (and less ideal) turns.
When thinking of the worst possible things that could happen to me while traveling to Germany, the first situations that came to my mind were missing a connecting flight, or being unaware of a gate change, or not having enough overhead space for my carry-on luggage. (I had a larger duffle bag that I could not afford to gate check.) But I would have never guessed that the number one source of stress would have come from my luggage, of all things.
After getting delayed for two hours (damn you, Chicago, and your inconveniently timed impending thunderstorms) and running across the Dublin airport in less than 15 minutes, I didn’t even consider the possibility that my luggage did not make it on the flight with me. In that moment, I was just so happy I, myself, was on the flight I needed to be on and that I, myself, would make it to Germany on time.
As I was waiting for my luggage at the carousel in Dusseldorf, I really thought my luggage was going to come out through those black flap-things and everything was going to be fine and dandy.
But, unfortunately, that was not the case.
Okay, no big deal. I had enough clothes for a few days since our program group was going immediately to the Eifel region of Germany for a retreat. When coming back from the excursion, I thought (and here comes my optimistic thinking again): ‘Hey! It’s been a few days. Our bags should be waiting for us, right?’
Haha, think again.
After the weekend, I clung to my faith in Aer Lingus’ baggage finding capabilities and tried to tell myself: ‘Okay. They must be here today.’
I like to think of myself as a pretty positive person but as the week progressed, I was pretty much convinced that my bags were casted to a dark corner of a storage room in the Dublin airport or forgotten in the back of some delivery truck driving across the German countryside. I was ready to say goodbye to all my clothes, some of my camera equipment, and (most importantly) my Clarisonic.
But fate must have just been testing my patience, or decided it was done torturing me, because my luggage arrived one morning.
I never thought I would be so happy to see two, 43-pound suitcases in my life. I actually gasped, jumped up from my seat, and ran to the lobby. If it was socially acceptable and there weren’t student workers sitting at the front desk, I probably would have gotten down on my knees and hugged them, too. (Because let me tell you, you never truly know how much you need your stuff, until you don’t have your stuff.)
So my (non-film related) lessons of the week: 1) Always pack at least two extra outfits in your carry on; 2) Avoid layovers in the Chicago airport like it’s the next strain of the Plague; and 3) Keep positive, because things can always be much more worse and your luggage will find its way to you eventually.
[Also, here are some pictures I took while on a Rhein boat ride with my host family, their friends, and an adventurous boat captain named Peter:]