Thursday, 16 June 2011

Expensively Learnt Lesson

Before I mention the highlights of our trip, I have to share the following...  We never buy ourselves souvenirs but always get something for the family - safely stowed in our hand luggage.  This time we fell in love with two water-colour paintings of Venice sold by a street vendor in St Mark's Square. We duly bought them as a one-time extravagance and the artist packed them for us in nice hard, grey cardboard. Incredibly, we left this discreet-looking flat parcel behind the TV in our hotel room, unaccustomed as we were to carrying it. I even remember casting a look around the room and being satisfied that we had left nothing behind, checking that I had my rucksack on my back, my suitcase in one hand and my handbag on the other shoulder.  Husband made the same kind of check.  We then walked the few streets to the water bus, waited two hours in Venice airport, travelled six hours to Dubai - and then in the middle of the long 8-hour long stopover, my husband said to me - "Where are our paintings?" We just looked at each other.  This time no-one attached blame.  What to do? Then I saw on the plane from Dubai to Cape Town that we could send e-mails and text messages from our seat - so I sent a desperate e-mail to the hotel.  Some nail-biting days later, they finally e-mailed me back to say that they had found the pictures but regretfully could not post them to us themselves. We must send a courier.  So we have embarked on the biggest extravagance of our lives ! The courier cost equals what we spent on the night in the hotel.  I am looking forward to e-mailing the artist and telling him that his paintings doubled their value in one week.  Some lessons are expensive to learn. But fate was involved:  the amount just about equalled the unspent cash we had brought home. We should get it back tomorrow...

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