Gamiila (gamiila) wrote,

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Panic in the streets of Birmingham

Arriving at Birmingham New St, my friend was nowhere in sight. At first, I wasn't that worried, but after walking around looking for her for a while and finding that the station is a virtual warren, I do become a little uneasy. So I decide to give her a ring and leave a message basically telling her to get her ass in gear and come pick me up, after which I retire to the ladies. Refreshed, I emerge to do another wander around the station...and then I see her approaching me. I drop my bags, and run over to greet her. Chatting animatedly, we walk back to pick up my luggage, and move off towards the bus station. Halfway there, and in the middle of telling her all about my CoRo adventures, I'm suddenly brought up short as I realise I'm missing a bag. And not just any bag: it's the bag with my new shoes in! Panicking big time, I run back to the the station and the loos, confident I must have left it there. However, the lady there swears blind she hasn't seen it and whichever cubicle we check, no carrier bag with shoes in turns up. The lady takes pity on me and takes me over to Lost Luggage, where the girl behind the counter informs me that it hasn't been handed in yet -- but I can leave my contacting details with her and she'll phone when it is. Drat! My address book is in the bag as well. I turn towards where I left my friend with the rest of my bags, and find she is no longer there. "Great!" I mutter, "Now I've gone and lost the rest of my luggage as well." Shocked at hearing this statement, the lady and the girl are all for calling the police, and I have a devil of a time explaining that won't be necessary, that I left it with someone I know; and sure enough, my friend eventually comes into view, dragging my luggage behind her, scraping it across the floor because she's much shorter than me, you see...but it's not that; it's her helpful suggestion of whether I've checked by the phones or the waiting lounge -of course I have!- that pisses me off, and I tell her stroppily to gi's it here, causing her to get the hump in turn.

Leaving her to stew, I move off to interrogate the station cleaners. One of them nods vigorously and points in the direction of Customer Reception, and elatedly, I present myself to the blonde on duty there and explain my plight. "Oh no," she says, "No bags have been handed in here; but perhaps they'll know more at the station master's office." Off I go to find the station master's office, but it's hidden away really well and I can't find it. I go back to Lost Luggage to ask the girl for directions. She points me in the right direction and I tell my story to the bemused duty manager, who says she'd seen me wander around and wondered what was going on, but that she hasn't seen my bag. At my crest-fallen face, she says she'll check in the back...and 2 minutes later emerges triumphantly with it in her hands. I'm so happy, I start babbling and showing off my new shoes; my friend forgives me my earlier stroppiness when I ask her to forgive me most humbly, and we move off to show the girl at Lost Luggage, who is just closing up, that the missing bag has been found. She smiles and wishes me a pleasant stay, and I decide I love Birmingham big time.
Tags: travel, visits
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