Saturday, January 31, 2009

perfectly good wine

Today I am going to tell you about a careless girl's story of losing two bottles of really nice wine in the Adelaide Domestic Airport. This is not one of those story with a happy ending. If you are expecting one, do read the story of Cinderella instead. You have been forewarned.

Once upon a time, there lived a careless little girl. She managed to lose all kinds of things. She lost a few pairs of sunglasses which made her vowed to herself that she would never buy any that cost more than $20. She lost a shopping bag full of clothes, never to see them again. She lost her wallet with $500 and all kinds of identifications in it. Now, knowing this, you would think she would be a bit more mindful of herself. But, as this story goes on, you would find otherwise.

Just recently, she went for a much needed short break to Adelaide. She caught up with her friend that she hadn't met for 4 years and stayed with her during her trip. They went wine-tasting and she bought two bottles of wine. A 2008 Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Moscato (an $18, light sparkling white wine, for a hot summer's lunch) and a 2008 d'Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling (a $15, unusually sweet white for grapes of this region). But this story is not about her adventures in Adelaide. That story is for another day. This story is about how she came to lose the bottles of wine.

At the conclusion of the trip, she arrived at the airport and promptly checked in. She had with her a tote bag and a brown paper bag containing the precious wine. She went through the security checkpoint, without any hassle. She proceeded to go to the nearest ladies' toilet, so she wouldn't have to go in the plane. Inside the toilet cubicle, there was a hanging hook on the right wall and a clean marble-look bench top just behind the toilet itself. She proceeded to place the brown paper bag carefully on the bench top and hang the tote bag on the hanging hook. When she was finished with her business, she washed her hands and went to explore the airport. She found a nice little café and sat there watching the world go by. It was only when it was almost time to board the gate, that she suddenly realised she didn't have the brown paper bag with her. So she ran back to the toilet, checked the cubicle but found no brown paper bag. She went to talk to the guards manning the security checkpoint, but they said no one had come forward. She saw the cleaners and went to ask them, only to be told, "It will be long gone by now, try the security guard". She went back to the toilet and checked again, she wasn't wrong the first time.

She felt so silly for what she just did and walked slowly with her head down to the boarding gate. She told the ground staff what had happened and they took her boarding ticket stub and told her that if something turn up, they would contact her. When she landed in her destination, she asked the baggage service if they can give her the number for Adelaide's Lost and Found. They did, but even they were skeptical that she was going to get the wine back.

She had lamented her conduct over and over again during her flight back. She even gave herself a stern scolding. For someone who was as careless as she was, she should have been more cautious. Unfortunately, it was a trait that she could not erase. So, she did what she thought was best. That if, in some odd chance, the person who took her brown paper bag had a conscience, she would like to give it as much chance as possible to come back to her. If not, then she hoped whoever took the wine died of a slow and excruciating death.

OK, fine! Maybe not die of an excruciating death. That might be a teeny bit too morbid, though they deserved it. A 7-day stint in the toilet of retching and excessive bowel movement, she thought, would also do the trick.


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