Monday, 16 February 2015

An Ode to a ....Suitcase?



As soon as I left my house on Friday night I had a funny feeling that it would be the last trip for my little pink suitcase. I trailed it along behind me and kept thinking to myself 'wouldn't it be sad if it broke?'  I even thought about the idea of writing this very blog post. This suggests that I should perhaps get more extravagant daydreams. Maybe I wished it or maybe it's just old and too travel worn to continue on but on the last day of our trip I realised that my suitcase was broken. I'm more upset about this than I should reasonably be. It is after all, just a suitcase.

I don't remember how it came into my possession. The first I can remember of it is trailing it behind me as I left for my first experience of travelling abroad. It was just me, a rucksack (which I still have) and a tiny, shiny pink suitcase. I wheeled it along behind me from airport to hostel to station to hostel back to station and on again to hostel. You get the gist. The suitcase held more clothes than I thought it would and I lived out of that small thing for two months, washing my clothes by hand, drying them in the Italian sun and placing them back in their little pink home when they were done.

In Rome, pathetically lost as I'm apt to be, I pulled my increasingly heavy suitcase round and round the outside of the Vatican. I stuffed dry crackers into my mouth for energy and chided myself for not carrying enough water. I desperately searched for the bus stop that the hostel website had promised would be there. I found it after what felt like an eternity of climbing uphill and with one last burst of effort I lifted my suitcase to board the bus to the hostel where I was to spend the next ten days.

The suitcase came with me to cabins, hostels and hotels. It made the eight hour journey from Rome to Como perched above my head on the train. It accompanied me to many train stations where it often functioned as a seat while I was waiting for my ride. Once, I attempted to look much cooler than I really was and I leaned casually on my suitcase, smoking a Marlboro lights cigarette. My suitcase promptly decided that I was being a bit of an arse and slipped away from underneath me, depositing me and my horrible cigarette on the ground in front of a station platform filled with stylish Italians who really knew how to look the shit smoking cancer sticks.

The little pink suitcase was there on my first trip away with a boy. The boy. It rested in the overhead lockers as I laughed at his nerves at flying for the first time. Its home for the next few days was a hostel in King's Cross while we explored Christmas markets and Oxford Street together. It's been to London so many times since then. Once for two weeks it resided in Islington while I explored London alone and Ryan interned. I spent lots of time shopping and more time hoping that he wouldn't decide to move down there after graduation.

We didn't move there, but others close to me did and for the past five years that suitcase has been shoved into overhead lockers on planes and trains headed for London. Its been there for a trip down to be fitted for a bridesmaid dress, to watch Beyonce play at Chime for Change, a trip to see Dolly Parton, a visit to Wimbledon and most recently to meet with a new arrival.

The suitcase came with me on a second European adventure. It was by my side when I turned up to the wrong airport on the first day of the trip. It rolled along behind me from Germany to France to Spain and Italy again and it was there when I was fined by a French train conductor for no obvious reason. It came along for the twenty four hour journey from San Sebastien to Nice and at the end of that horrific ordeal it seemed to weigh a great deal more as I dragged it around while we searched, with little joy, for a place to spend the night. I'm sure it was probably kicked a fair few times in the process.

The suitcase was routinely filled and put into my car for journeys home where I could relinquish the responsibility of adulthood and allow my mother to cook my meals and tidy up after me. When I first moved to Edinburgh it was filled every weekend but it lies empty for longer periods of time now.

I'm older and less adventurous now so it almost feels like the breaking of this suitcase is the closing of a chapter. It's likely that my next suitcase won't travel so far, won't ever see the inside of a hostel and won't ever be my only companion on the road. Maybe that's why I'm so sad it's broken.

Little pink suitcase - it's been a blast.

4 comments:

  1. Maybe you could upcycle it into a a storage box or some sort of shelf. I've seen that done with vintage leather cases. Sounds like it's had a good life and has earned its retirement.

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    1. I'm not sure it's stylish enough for something like that. Ha yes, definitely earned a life of luxury now.

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  2. Replies
    1. Andrea!! Hello!!

      yup RIP my little pink friend :(

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