Thursday's Child: Lost in Translation

Thursday, June 18, 2015
The girls with favourite stuffed animals, in Essaouira, Morocco
We’ve been lucky in our travels. Considering the number of planes, trains, and automobiles we’ve taken, we’ve rarely lost anything. Other than the luggage that went missing for a week after our never-ending journey back from Morocco (that one merited its own post), the things we’ve lost on our travels are generally those that have been taken from us.

This is the story of those things, and they tell a lot about each of us.
 
Confiscated at Orly airport, replaced in Toronto
Knowing how I love to spend time in the kitchen, you won’t be surprised to hear that my confiscations were of the culinary variety. Returning from France, I had an adorable Pylones dog-shaped pie server taken by security officials. And recently, coming back from Chicago, I had to part ways with a hazelnut spread that I’d bought as a gift for Andrew. Yes, I know the rule about liquids – I just didn’t know the confectionary corollary.

My oldest daughter was a crafter extraordinaire as a child. Every day could be made better with the addition of scotch tape, pipe cleaners, and construction paper. It was a wonderful trait at home, but problematic when we travelled, particularly since she was fond of multiple-pocket pants. When we were packing for the airport, it never occurred to me to ask, “Did you check your pockets to see if you took your scissors out?” Airport security being a little more thorough than her mother’s, the scissors in question were found and confiscated. And a tearful young lady needed to be consoled, partly from embarrassment, and partly because she couldn’t cut and paste for the rest of her holiday.

You might think we’d have learned our lesson. But the following year, we were stopped on our way through the metal detector to visit the House of Parliament in Ottawa. Sure enough, when she emptied her pockets, out came another pair of scissors. I don’t know how much damage can be done with blunt-ended pinking shears, but fortunately it was never put to the test.


My youngest daughter was devoted to her precious stuffed animals, and several of them joined us on every trip. Every trip, that is, until the year we took a cruise, and her (light-grey) stuffed manatee was accidentally scooped up with our (white) linens to be washed. It’s difficult to convey how devastating this loss was, perhaps on par with one of her parents being accidentally scooped up with the linens. We spoke to our hard-working cabin attendant, but what was the chance that, among bedclothes for 1500 cabins, one missing manatee would be found? Magically, he was returned several days later, one shade paler but otherwise intact. The following year, the stuffed animals decided to stay at home. 

My husband, devoted musician that he is, once took a harmonica on holidays. If you know Andrew, you’re probably saying, “Why would he do that? He doesn’t play harmonica.” To which I would answer, “I don’t know” and “You’re right, he doesn’t.” He’d been given the harmonica as a gift, though, and was determined to learn it while we were in Costa Rica. We were challenged by security on our way through the airport, and Andrew was asked to prove it was a functional instrument by playing it. This was more difficult than it sounds, because he’d never actually tried, and didn’t know the finger positions. Gamely, he channeled his inner Elwood Blues and tunelessly played a few notes. The security officer smiled his thanks for the impromptu concert and waved us through.

We were all relieved that Andrew didn't bring his accordion on the trip.

19 comments:

Marcela said...

hahahaha! I used to travel with scissors too :D Very interesting post, Beth! I'm so impressed by the amount of travels you had! Can you count countries you've been visiting?

Beth said...

Hi Marcela, I think I've been to about 45. I've been so lucky to see the world! (And I'm glad to hear that my daughter isn't the only risk-taker when it comes to scissors.)

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Oh my goodness, I am laughing SO hard about the harmonica!! I don't even know Andrew, but I can totally picture this situation. HILARIOUS! And I've always been a mega-crafter like your oldest daughter, so many of my craft supplies came along on our family trips, too. =)

Gloria Baker said...

I remember my hubby had some scissors he has to let in some airport!
Always amazing me all the countries you know!!
Nice and fun post!!
xo

Gloria Baker said...

I remember my hubby had some scissors he has to let in some airport!
Always amazing me all the countries you know!!
Nice and fun post!!
xo

Angie Schneider said...

hehe..so he does can play harmonica :-)) I love that dog-shaped pie server...so unique and pretty.

Barbara said...

Funny post...we all have stories like this. Some of the least likely things get lost in the shuffle.
But we do lose luggage more than usual, I must admit. On direct flights, not so often. Well marked too and we did learn the lesson years ago to check the baggage tag the airlines attach to make certain it's going to the same location we are. :)

Joanne said...

Ha! I love this post! Especially the harmonica.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

What a great story Beth, your poor daughter with her scissors.........though the accordion would of been funny......

Laura Dembowski said...

What interesting stories! I haven't flown in a long time, but it would give me so much anxiety. I know what it's like to be sad about losing a stuffed animal. Sometimes things mean so much to us!

Liz Berg said...

Hazelnut spread??? I bet they just wanted to eat it :) When Nick was little, he took a backpack full of metal matchbox cars through airport security. We had to giggle at his face as his bag was searched. Has your husband learned to play the harmonica yet?

Beth said...

Oh, Liz, that's priceless! It's hard to separate kids from their beloved toys, isn't it?
And no, Andrew still hasn't learned to play harmonica.

nancy at good food matters said...

HI Beth, this is such a clever funny post---with all the family members and all the travels, there will be, no doubt, many more lost in translation episodes...

Cakelaw said...

Love your travel stories - we can all relate to the airport security sagas.

Pam said...

That's crazy with your daughter's scissors and the hazelnut spread also! We were in Hawaii during 9/11 and on return trip with very strict security, a swizzle stick was confiscated from my purse. Then on last leg of trip from San Fran to Chicago, a woman was knitting with metal knitting needles, she got through security without a hitch! Hope all is well with the harmonica!

Tricia Buice said...

A pie server and hazelnut spread - they must have just liked them! Sheesh :(

grace said...

i'm sure i've left things behind or had things taken at the airport, but i can't remember any of them, which leads me to believe they weren't truly important. the fact that you still remember these certainly marks their significance!
also, harmonicas are awesome. :)

Kayte said...

I would never have thought of any of those...fun to hear your experiences always. Those girls look so much like you, such cuties.

Valerie Gamine said...

hehe! Somewhere someone is using that adorable pie server and telling the harrowing tale behind its acquisition.

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