29 October 2011

Passport fiasco

If you ask me what my most prized posession is I would tell you about my great grandfather's fiddle. It's been in the family 3 generations now and it connects me to my heritage of east-coast fiddle music.

If you asked me what my second-most prized posession is I would tell you it's my passport. This little document has been my only completely reliable and constant companion on all my travels and adventures. It gets me into countries and out again safely. A Canadian passport is an amazing thing and worth a hell-uv-a lot. Internationally it's one of the most respected documents out there and even though I didn't do anything more than inherit the rights to own one and fill in a bit of paperwork I definitely don't take this for granted.

This is on my mind recently because:

  1. My passport is up for renewal and more importantly....
  2. I lost it.

I lose just about everything: glasses, keys, files, passwords, socks etc. but one thing I don't think I've ever misplaced is my passport. When I'm travelling it almost never leaves my fingers and when I'm at home I've got it stashed in that safe place where it waits for my next adventure. Until yesterday I thought I was more likely to misplace my right arm.

But this time I really lost it. I can't say I'm too surprised, having moved houses 4-5 times in the last year AFTER returning from another continent but that's no excuse.

"So what do I do now?" I thought, as the waves of panic spread outward from my stomach in nauseating undulation.  Before I could think rationally about it my imagination immediately went to work. Clearly this was the doing of an evil moustachio'd villain named "Hornwit Foulsprocket" who had snuck into my home and stolen it (but nothing else apparently) so he could illegally export otter meat to Denmark using my name.  DAMN YOU HORNWIT!

Considering how many hoops and delays I had to jump through in order to just get one the first time I was NOT looking forward to explaining to a Canadian passport official why I needed to replace the single-most valuable piece of paper a person with my relatively low clearance could posess..... and by the way could they then renew it for me as well?

Sweep mode!

I decided to do a baryon sweep of the house  (Why isn't TNG on netflix btw?) from east to west . It started out fairly calmly, carefully displacing then replacing boxes, books and bags from my two storage closets. Nothing. Oh well, on to the living room. Nothing.

By the time I got to my kitchen I was seriously concerned. I couldn't think of any reason it should be in the kitchen but I couldn't leave knowing it might be there.

When I started on the bedroom I was getting frantic, ripping clothes from their hangers to search pockets and pitching already-searched items into a "searched" pile.


One room left: the bathroom. I was captain Picard, pushed up against the bulkhead of Ten Forward with nowhere left to go as my baryon sweep ran its course. There was nothing in the bathroom but toothpaste and towels. All is lost.

It was only the hopeless completionist in me that forced me to search the towel rack. I knew it wasn't there. I was just going through the motions.

Then, sure enough, behind the last towel I noticed a first-aid kit that I'd had in Tanzania.

Could it be?!? YES!!! Turns out I had hidden it so well that even I couldn't find it. Typical.

My house is in complete shambles now but my passport is safe and I will be sleeping well tonight with it nestled under my pillow.

Time to get this sucker renewed and then it never leaves my side again.

Filed in: Travel  

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