When I was in Shanghai in the fall, I arrived with a suitcase full of books for the Danish expat community. I thought, “perfect, now I can fill the suitcase on the way home with shopping goods.” With a couple layovers in Hong Kong, I would have no trouble doing that.
A problem arose on my first day of the World Congress on Art Deco in Shanghai. I saw this beautiful umbrella and for 100RMB could not pass it up.
So I bought it and joked with my mom and friend Mary that I’d probably leave it behind somewhere, but let’s see how long I could hold onto it.
I did manage to hang onto it for the rest of the day. When we left Shanghai at the end of the week for Hong Kong, I placed it with my mom’s bag in the plane’s overhead bin. I became distracted by the older mainland couple next to me watching The Wolf of Wall Street, but still remembered my umbrella.
It made it to our hotel in swanky Central.
After a literary-filled weekend, I was heartbroken to leave Hong Kong, but at the same time happy to return home to Tom and the kids.
I took a hotel car to the train station, checked my suitcase, and boarded Airport Express. It was when I was walking around the airport, doing some last-minute shopping and wifi-ing that I noticed the text from my mom.
I’ll bring your umbrella home. Have a good flight.
Crap! I’d forgotten the umbrella after all. To say my mom was generous to bring it back to Chicago was a gross understatement. After all, she had been traveling for almost a month and had a lot more luggage than my one carry-on suitcase.
It wasn’t until we saw her the following weekend that I knew the umbrella was safe and back in Chicago.
She hadn’t forgotten it.