Lesson From history

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Santo Brasca, a 15th century writer of travel tips for pilgrims headed to the Holy Land, offered this advice: "The traveler should carry with him two bags, one right full of patience and the other containing 200 Venetian ducats."

Europeans bound for the Holy Land five centuries ago invariably traveled through Venice, the jumping-off point where men became rich by using their boats to ferry pilgrims and their belongings across the Adriatic.

Whatever our destination, we 20th century travelers -- almost 21st century -- still should carry one bag "right full of patience," as we resign ourselves to coping with delayed flights, lost luggage and carry-on bags that are rejected by gate attendants just prior to boarding, which is a particularly aggravating scenario.

If it is any consolation, the 15th century pilgrims paid Venetian shipowners by the pound for every bag of food or clothing they wanted to bring with them. If they didn't have enough ducats, their belongings were left at the dock.

Maybe the airlines should try that approach.

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