Liz O'Reilly hopes to be reunited with her faithful travelling companion
Oh no, oh no, woe is me! This morning I came to work at the lovely ITP building in Dubai, where I am summoned each month to ensure Time Out Bahrain is all sparkly and correct before it heads off to the presses. The magazine was indeed ready for bed, as we say in the industry, so it was my last day in the office before heading back to the island and I had risen from my bed early to pack before meeting my colleague, who looks after Time Out Doha, in our hotel reception.
Together we set off in a cab for the office and, as two women will, got deeply involved in putting the world to rights. We reached work, paid the cabbie and continued chatting until arriving at our desks.
Then, catastrophe! We realised our luggage was still in the boot. Frantically we ran back outside hoping the driver would’ve realised and driven back past but, no, we weren’t going to be that lucky.
And so started the long, painful process of, hopefully, getting our bags back through the RTA’s lost and found section.
I say hopefully since, as I write this, I’m at my desk in the Dubai office feeling deeply upset and cross at myself and mulling over what I’ve potentially lost.
Never mind the favourite jeans (regular readers will know they were, of course, black), the hard-to-replace, UK-bought toiletries (I’ll be sending my sister shopping at the weekend), the mini-laptop and the two litres of my chosen tipple. Losing all of these pales horribly into insignificance alongside the absence of my nighttime companion, my cuddly toy dog.
Yes I know, I’m a grown woman and I shouldn’t, theoretically, be worried about this sort of thing – let’s face it, what was I doing carrying a cuddly toy with me all the way to Dubai anyway?
But this is no ordinary cuddly toy. A few years ago I lost my four-legged best friend and this particular cuddly toy was a gift from two lovely pals who wanted me to feel better.
Without ever meeting my boy, they picked a toy dog that looked exactly like him and since then Finn Tu (the original was Finn) has been all over the world with me. From China and Japan to Australia and the USA, I have travelled like a poor, or slightly potty, man’s Paris Hilton with my toy dog poking out of my designer handbag – I couldn’t possibly trust him to my hold luggage, they might lose him.
And, of course, the one time I do put him in my suitcase, intending to transfer him before I get to the airport, I manage to lose him myself!
So, I guess what I’m wondering is, is this sense of almost bereavement normal or am I, as many have long suspected, including me, just some sort of nut?
Is it time to give up the toy dog and maybe, just maybe, welcome another real one into my home and my heart?
Could this even by a sign from my pal on the other side?
I guess, in this instance the RTA will act as judge and jury since only they, and the taxi driver, can decide whether Finn Tu and I will ever be reunited.
But they’ve told me it could be up to 14 days before my case is closed so I’m preparing for some lonely nights between now and then sans both my Finn Tu and my favourite tipple. Liz O'Reilly, who is still bereft of her travelling companion.