9 January 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

(my dear dad's birthday)
Marina Cap Monastir
Monastir, Tunisia

Off to Tunis airport to pick up two pieces of checked-in luggage delayed/lost on our journey from Toronto to Tunis via Montreal on Jan 3rd.

We normally attempt to travel with carry on only but due to the festivities of the season and the frigid temperatures we expected - and found - in Toronto, we travelled to Toronto with one check-in.  And due to gifts to us, equipment for Milly, foodstuffs for the galley including peanut butter, tahini, rice crackers, and, sadly, a few more warm clothes, we had to purchase a new bag in TO and return with two check-ins.

After standing at the carousel baggage pick up in Montreal until we were alone with only a few lone bags running the circuit on repeat, we approached a young woman from Porter Air who seemed to be expecting us.  Bad sign when she knows our names without introduction.  She told us that our bags had mistakenly been put on a conveyor belt to a later plane.  She was sorry to hear not only that we were booked on a connecting flight and that that flight was leaving earlier than the Porter flight was due but also that we were going to Tunis.  She sweetly apologized for the mistake, was sympathetic to our situation and did not try to excuse the person who made the error.  Instead, she thanked us for being understanding - anger would have done nothing - and walked us to TunisAir.  She seemed surprised and amazed when the TunisAir agent immediately agreed to all arrangements for the next TunisAir flight four days later.  I guess she usually has to put up a good fight - what a job!

We went not so merrily off to Tunis.

Arrived in Tunis to line up at the "Lost & Found" office for TunisAir.  Document completed with very broken English/French explanation.  A taxi to a luage, a small public bus, to Monastir squished three to a bench seat.  Remarkably a $6 CDN fee each for a two hour, approx. 150km ride.  Drop off at luage station.  Walk home to Milly who was floating quietly.

Over the next few days we attempted to email and call the TunisAir numbers we had been given.  Then we asked the marina office staff to call.  All to no avail, only on-hold music.  Finally, we bicycled to the Monastir airport along highways and byways to go straight to the TunisAir source and found that our bags had actually landed in Tunis.

Today we took an early morning private taxi - Porter was paying for the return fare - back to Tunis airport.  Unlike Canada they do not deliver lost luggage directly to the customer - "Not in Tunisia" we were told.  Another line up and then an invitation into the lost luggage storeroom!  Wow!  Was it an eyeopener!  Shelves floor to ceiling with hundreds of bags piled helter skelter.  There was some attempt to be systematic but....First bag was found after short look around.  Second bag was nowhere to be found.  On our third or fourth time looking at the same shelves, Peter spied the bag between the Turkish Air and Emirates shelves under a bigger, blacker bag.  Relief!!

Two hour drive back to Milly and done!  We - and our stuff- were safely back home.
Mission accomplished!

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