I arrived in Cairo at 6:30pm, Saturday 9/17, and nearly had a heart attack. My backpack, which I had been forced to check in Aqaba due to carry-on weight restrictions, didn’t arrive. I waited for our entire plane’s load of luggage to come through – no bag. I waited for the next plane’s load of luggage to come through – no bag. I found an airport employee that spoke English and asked him what to do, and he said I should wait until the baggage claim belt stopped moving. So I did. It took of all about 2 minutes and there was still no bag.
I had removed my computer, camera, iPod, and prescription sunglasses and put them in a day bag before checking my backpack, so nothing that I lost was going to be too monetarily devastating, but the prospect of landing in a foreign country at what was really just the beginning of a 3 month backpacking trip without any of my clothes, toiletries, books, or a backpack was exceptionally demoralizing. I threw my hands up in frustration more than once.
I went back to my English-speaking friend (who really wasn’t very friendly), explained that the belt had now stopped and I still didn’t have my bag, and asked him what to do. He responded by directing me to the lost and found counter while simultaneously asking me if I needed a cab or a tour guide and if I was sure that I didn’t need a cab and if I already had a place to stay. I was ready to scream at him that I didn’t give a [fig] about a taxi or a place to stay because I had just lost most of the necessities for my trip when, peering out from behind the lost and found counter, I spotted my bag.
Apparently, during my 8+ hour layover in Amman my bag had been put on an earlier flight to Cairo and was just sitting there waiting for me when I arrived. After trying to explain to the man behind the desk that no, I had not completed a lost bag claim form because I had only just discovered that my bag was lost, and that no, I didn’t understand why I needed to fill out a lost bag form for the bag that was sitting right behind him clearly not actually lost just so that he could hand me the bag that was sitting right behind him, he eventually relented and gave me the bag without requiring any paperwork.
I put my daypack back in my backpack and went off in search of a cab into downtown Cairo.
(The second-to-last photo shows Karol at the bottom right for scale.)