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#1 Oct 23, 2017 8:35 pm

New Historian


Jomo Kenyatta International in Nairobi is the thieving-est airport I’ve ever seen; those guys are professionals. Once I had two laptops with me, and in those days laptops were big bulky affairs and you could only carry one as hand luggage, so I’d reluctantly put the second one in my checked bag. They stole that without even disturbing the lock. Another time they stole my Clarkes shoes; that really pissed me off.

That day I had flown into Nairobi from Uganda on the 6AM flight, and wasn’t due to fly out on British Airways until 8PM that night. The worst thing that can happen to your bag: sitting around all day, in Nai-robbery airport. After my previous experiences, I was apprehensive.

And sure enough, that afternoon a sad-faced BA man found me in the lounge and apologetically stammered:

“I’m sorry sir, but we can’t find your suitcase, it must not have made the flight from Kampala. But don’t worry …”

I friggingwell lost it:

“What? Again?? I saw it loaded onto the plane in Kampala (I hadn’t). Where’s the luggage hall? Take me there!”

I marched off, dragging the stammering BA man behind me: “But … you can’t!”

“Oh yes I fuckingwell can!”

We walked through several employee only doors and came out in the baggage hall, the side you never normally see. No flights were coming in or out at that time and the baggage handlers were sitting around, catching a break. I glared at them: where’s my bag? There were several suitcases lying around – one wonders why – but none of them mine. I opened a door into a side room: empty. At the end of that room was another door, I opened it.

And there, tucked away behind a screen, was my baby. Bastards! I grinned triumphantly at the BA agent: “See? I told you it was here!”

We came out of the room bearing my bag; I pointed at the baggage handlers: thief – thief – thief. They smiled sheepishly: busted! The BA man promised that he personally would put my bag onto the plane. Which he must have done, because it arrived.



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