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Letters of the Week

We don't know about you, but travel always makes us want to write long juicy letters to everyone we know. Maybe it's bragging rights, maybe it's a burst of poetic inspiration from seeing the Taj Mahal, but one way or another, suitcases and sunsets in strange places turn us into letter-writing fools. So, if it turns out you're the same way....be sure to include us in your list of people you just have to drop a line to. Don't worry, you will make us jealous...but hopefully we'll also be inspired by your adventures.

Want to see what other Savvy visitors have to say? Read our letters of the week, and be sure to tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you!

May 18, 2001

Lost Wallets and Lingerie: A Cautionary Tale

Dear Rudy,

A couple of years ago, my sister and I went on a two-week adventure in Italy, starting in Rome. I've always been a cautious traveler, so every day when getting dressed I would strap on a neck wallet and a money belt, carefully dividing things up between the two. And every day, my sister would shake her head and laugh at all of my paraphernalia, sure that she'd be fine with everything in her regular purse with a zipper.

On our last day in Rome, we planned to take our bags with us to the Vatican to hear the Pope's Sunday morning address, then head for the train station and on to Florence. As we checked out, the hotel manager cautioned us against taking the bus, saying we should take a taxi instead. We were sure we'd be fine. We waited and waited and waited for the right bus. It finally came. My sister thought it was too crowded, but I was sure we could still get on. I got on, and a very nice woman helped my sister on. The nice woman got off at the next stop. You can guess the rest. My sister's wallet - with money, traveler's checks, credit cards and passport - was gone! I felt guilty for insisting we could make it on the bus, but I also felt a bit smug for using the neck wallet and money belt. We rode on to the Vatican, where my sister deposited me and the bags on the corner to wait for the Pope while she went back to the hotel to see whether she had left her wallet on the counter when we checked out. No such luck. No luck with the Pope, either. He was at the summer villa.

Knowing we had to stay in Rome for at least another day to get things sorted out, we went back to our hotel to check back in. The manager was apologetic, but reminded us that he had cautioned us against taking the bus. He looked at my sister, and said, "I have something for you, Madame," and motioned around his neck and chest. I thought, "How sweet! Hes going to give her a neck wallet so it won't happen again!" Still feeling smug, I replied, "I'm wearing mine."

He looked at me kind of funny, and handed my sister a paper bag. We thanked him, went around the corner to get on the elevator, and opened the bag. Rather than a neck wallet, it was one of my sister's bras, which she had laundered and left hanging on the shower rod! And I had just told him I was wearing mine!

I've never been so embarrassed, but it has made for a good laugh between us ever since! Hope you get a good laugh about it, too.

We're going back to Italy this fall. I'll bet my sister wears a neck wallet this time!

Susie Steed
Wichita, KS


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