return to real life, after stay-cation, begins with my alarm going off at 6 a.m.
trudge with husband on the train to the countryside to present a big thing for his job. he needs help transporting about 7,500€ ($9825) worth of samples to a client. it’s not big stuff, and we’re unlikely to be robbed, but it takes two of us to carry it all. we arrive 1.5 hrs later at the train station in the middle of nowhere, we get off with all of our stuff, and we stand in the rain near a bus stop, the designated meeting place, and are picked up by a company representative who whisks us off in her little car.
it is still pouring rain, and i’m being swung around in the back seat, head lolling from side to side, all the little european streets, the crazy round-abouts, trucks roaring out of nowhere, who can tell if we even have right away. i try to close my eyes but the driver keeps speaking to me. i don’t speak her language as well as she thinks i do, and so i nod and close my eyes some more. and i hope she stops talking to me and instead watches the road more closely. couldn’t my husband ask her to slow down? are we there yet? it’s about 15 minutes and it’s very long.
we arrive at the big company headquarters. pop open the trunk. unload. rain. There are only 3 bags. We got off the train with 4 bags (of this i am sure). The fourth bag is not in the trunk of the car. The driver says should we go back to the train station? My husband says “uh, yeah, we have to.” I say “i’ll say here” cuz i’m not getting back into that car. I drag the 3 bags alone into the building. I check in with security, hand over my drivers license in return for a visitor’s security badge.
i begin to unpack. I know my husband’s job well enough to start to set up. And I do the math. How much product is in this one missing bag? (1,250€ / $1600). And who was carrying that bag when we got off the train? Me.
I wait. My husband and i have a friend who works at this company (who helped get the presentation arranged, we’re new here), and she comes to where I am waiting and we chat. She’s just bought a new house, we talk about kitchen renovations. do you want an open kitchen with the fish smell throughout your house? we wait for my husband and the driver to return.
she expresses some concern that the bag will not be found. I assure her that my husband is good man, a lovely man in fact, and that he has earned this presentation. and that he ‘deserves’ this. She is less sure. I say something like “this isn’t downtown New York” but she rolls her eyes. I believe we have a 75% chance that the bag will be found, at the bus stop, just sitting there. That no one has picked it up, that the garbage man hasn’t come along and disposed of it.
45 minutes pass, i am worried and a bit sick. I have good faith that all will be well but i can’t figure out why it’s taking them so long. lots of traffic. my husband comes back with the driver, he gets out of the car, and then he goes and stands at the trunk of the car, waiting for the driver to open it. The trunk? there must be something in the trunk. Yes, they have found the missing bag. it was on the side of the road, at the bus station, in the rain, for 45 minutes. Waiting to be picked up.
hugs and kisses and sorrys. our friend says to him, “you’re very lucky.” I say to my husband, “did you think it was there?” He says yes. I say, “i figured it would still be there, too.” The driver and our friend are both incredulous. who are these dreamers? they got lucky.
there was champagne at the presentation, and during lunch, during celebrations; the driver had 5 glasses of champagne (i counted) and she didn’t eat. husband and I drank OJ. we took the bus back to the train (the driver clearly wasn’t taking us anywhere at that point). we were back home by 4 pm and got into bed for a nap. the same bed. i like him today. he could nearly have divorced me.
I am sober. I wore my “fuck you wolfie” bracelet today. I think it has special powers.