All is left from the luggage label on my beautiful US Trunk Company of Fall River Massachusetts was enough to find out that it sailed eastbound from New York to Lisbon in May 1921. I bought it at a charity shop and the lady working there was thrilled that she was selling “something as old as the Titanic”. I was overwhelmed by all the imaginary stories going on in my mind. Now it doesn’t go anywhere. I use it as a side table and as storage for vintage dresses.
My grandmother’s wooden chest was the first piece of my small collection. It went to Angola with her in 1951 and came back to Portugal carrying the rests of a life left behind. The small leather suitcase on top was her father’s. My aunt gave it to me because I have a reputation of wanting everything that is old a no one else really wants anymore. The bigger one was bought at a flea market and belonged to someone who used to vacation in Sintra.
My great aunt died when I was traveling in Vietnam. After coming back I helped my mother and her sister with sorting out all her things. This Falstaff beer tin trunk was hers. The label inside says “Onil, Angola suitcases for the world that travels”.
I had never before realized that other people’s luggage is also part of my emotional baggage.
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