See you again, Mr Luggage Bag (I hope) + Thanks to the many helpful strangers

Today, I arrived in Croatia, tired, sticky and famished. The good news was the flight went without a hitch. The bad news was my luggage remained safely in France.

What a strange feeling, that moment of realisation. To be the only one standing around, waiting for my luggage. To have this sneaking suspicion that someone took my bag. To tear through the departure hoping that someone took this check-in case by mistake, that no one stole it. To realise that the 6 months worth of clothes, books, stationery, toiletries and trinkets were separated from me, maybe forever. What a strange feeling.

There was a sense of wretchedness, naturally. How suay can a person be? How unlucky can he be?

Then, I paused for a while, counted my blessings, and realised that I've been fortunate thus far. It has been eye-opening, this trip, and many people - familiar faces as well as unfamiliar faces - have coloured it vibrantly. 

In the morning, while I struggled to pull my luggage to the Marseille airport, I was perfectly drained, the way spaghetti would be drained after being thoroughly cooked. Dragging that heavy suitcase over the hilly terrain of this French city wasn't easy. The entire city seemed to be covered with dog poo - easy enough to avoid for a streetwalker not lugging a 20.3 kg weight. One could always tap dance through the poo-covered street. 

Since I was carrying a fair bit of luggage, I couldn't tap dance. I moved more like a water buffalo.

Perhaps, the loss of my check-in luggage at the Marseille airport is a sign from the cosmic powers. A sign to forsake the heaviness shrouding me, to move through life lightly, to not be shackled down by a bag of too-practical clothing, too-challenging reading materials and too-decorative gifts. 

I felt a sense of relief. Hopefully, the Ryanair airline would send my luggage back to Singapore for me. 

Along the street in Croatia, I found 20 lipa, the equivalent of 2 Singapore cents. Maybe I wasn't that wretched after all. Luck could be on my side. 
I'm awake now, since 2.45 am, wearing cheap clothes from a charity store. They're musty but dry, scratchy actually. All in all, quite uncomfortable. 

Poems can't visit at such unearthly hours - maybe the muse is sleeping - so I'm writing this post, along with the following note to thank people who've helped me yesterday:

A French man, walked passed me, overshot by almost 10 meters before turning back to offer advice to get to the train station.

A Croatian lady told me that the main station I needed to get off at was the first stop, not the last stop. She overheard my conversation with a Sarawakian man and kindly interjected.

A Sarawakian man, Arlzev, whom I could converse in Singaporean-Malaysian English with - what a comfort! - and we managed to drop basic Malay words in our chat. Orang Perancis, Anjing, Kotoran.  

Another Croatian lady who pointed me in the right direction and taught me how to say thank-you in the Croatian language, 'hvala'. 

So many 'hvala's to you for reading this :]