Saturday, June 2, 2012

Turkey: No Suitcase For a Week

So this little guy didn’t show up in the Istanbul airport when we landed on Sunday. Eighty people had to wait while me and another girl filed missing luggage with the Turkish airlines. I am usually a smart traveler and I pack half of my stuff in my carry on and half in my suitcase. But this time I didn’t think it would be a big deal if I packed everything in this little suitcase since our flight was only two hours. Big mistake. When my bag didn’t show up I literally had nothing: no clothes, no toothbrush, no comb, no hair elastics, no pajamas, no contact solution. Luckily, I had my camera and all my electronic things like my ipod and kindle but nothing to wear. The other girl was in the same position and she was actually really sick so she was even worse off than me.
I kind of panicked at first but I had a fantastic roommate who took really good care of me. She let me borrow all of her stuff and gave me pajamas. Then lots of the other girls in the group loaned me clothes to wear all week. At first they didn’t know where our luggage was, but then once they found it then it spent the rest of the week following behind us. It showed up at one of the hotels four hours after we left. So I picked it up at the airport when we flew home the next Sunday. So don’t judge me in my Turkey pictures if I’m not looking my best okay?! haha
Now that I have my closet and suitcase back I can now say that having nothing for entire week wasn’t completely awful. After I got a toothbrush from a local Istanbul shop life was suddenly much more survivable. But I really was the recipient of so much kindness. Everyone was worried about my bag—they asked me about it every day, they asked me how I was doing, what I needed, what they could give.  They thrust shirts and socks in my hands and complimented me on my attitude. It’s hard being the charity case sometimes and I definitely don’t like asking for help but I’m grateful for the awesome girls in my group. They took really good care of me. We bonded a lot in Turkey with all that bus and hotel time and all the jokes, stories, devotionals, and hymns we shared together.

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