I found myself with a few minutes to spare in Singapore’s airport, often rated the number one airport in the world and of all things, I decided to do some quick rearranging of my luggage. After my repack, I proceeded towards the gates and just as I was reaching security check, to my horror I discovered I no longer had my passport. I had set it down on my bag during rearranging and now it was nowhere to be found…..no passport, a travelers worst nightmare!
It had been maybe 10 minutes since I had lost it so I quickly hoofed it back to the seating area where I was rearranging, ever hopeful. Alas I looked all around the area but no passport anywhere. My flight was leaving within an hour, now what? I saw a tour group congregating nearby and on the off-chance I asked if they had come across a stray passport. Well,as a matter of fact, the tour guide had it in his hands. Sweet salvation! Of all the airports to lose a passport, this is probably one of the best, very organized and with plenty of rules and regulations. Nonetheless it was very lucky that my passport ended up in some honest hands. I still made my flight and many more on that passport.
I was at Penang Airport seeing a friend off and beforehand we went for coffee at a cafe with comfy seating. Check-in time rolled around and as we were exiting the cafe I noticed a young family coming in. Walking along in the heart of the airport a good 100 meters from the cafe, someone tapped on my shoulder. I turned around and was surprised to see it was the papa of the young family from the cafe with his young son in tow. He asked me if I had lost my wallet, holding it up to me. Oh my, somehow it slipped out of my pocket in those comfy seats. I offered them a cash reward on the spot but they declined.
After my friend checked-in, I had a bit of time to process just how lucky I was to not be missing my cash, cards and ID. How wonderful that this young New Zealand family came along just at the right time. Not only were they honest enough to turn in the wallet they went to the considerable effort to track me down in the busy airport. I especially liked how the father brought his son along for this, giving a good life lesson. I went back to the cafe and the family was still there, sitting at the table I had been. I offered to at least buy them drinks but they steadfastly refused. Them Kiwis, they are alright.
Hill Tribe Bag
I traveled many a year with my traditional tribal bag that I got at the source in NE India and used it a lot, especially around Thailand. While it was a little worse for wear, I still loved it.
One Saturday in Chiang Mai I went for lunch at one of my favourite soup shops for their wonderful beef noodle soup. I enjoyed the soup a lot, maybe too much, because I left with my bag still hanging on my chair. I only realized it a few hours later, right around their closing time and worse still, they were definitely closed on Sunday. I hopped on my bike and pedaled my little heart out back to the shop. When I reached they were just starting to close. They don’t speak much English so I was a little worried about getting my message across. Little did I know just how organized this mom and pop shop was. I gave my story and they quickly retrieved my bag. They had it sealed in a clear plastic bag, marked with the date and time they had found it, brilliant. I bowed in humble gratitude to them.
|My everyday “wallet”|
One morning I had hopes of surprising my friend Liz with fresh croissants at a coffee shop she used as an online office, we had met there many times before. First I stopped at the bakery and picked up some lovely croissants, still hot from the oven., then jumped on my bike and made my way to the coffee shop a few blocks away. Sadly it was closed that day. Oh well, I’d meet Liz another time. I was still seeking caffeine to marry up with my croissant so I pedaled into the Old City to another shop I had been wanting to coffee at for awhile. I ordered my latte and as the girl started making it, I fished in my pocket for my money…..it was gone! I went through all my pockets 3 times over, the cash I had back at the bakery was definitely gone.I sheepishly told the barista, whom I had never seen before, that I had just lost my money. She looked at the coffee, then at me and said “Have your coffee now, you can come back and pay for it later”. I was ever so grateful for her kindness, gosh I love Chiang Mai. I drank my coffee quickly, then retraced my route the few kms back to the bakery but alas the money was nowhere to be found.
After learning the lesson with the close call losing my wallet, it is only once in a blue moon I will carry an actual wallet. On this day, like most days, I carried my money with a simple clip. Though this time I actually did lose the cash, about $20 worth, at least I hadn’t lost ID, credit cards, etc along with it. In the end, I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about the person who must have found it, no doubt it made their day. If the cash was in a wallet with ID.etc, they might have felt obliged to reunite it with it’s owner (I know I would) but this money just lying in the road, must have looked like a gift from Buddha.
Bike Lock Key
One fine afternoon in Chiang Mai I decided to go on a little bicycle excursion with a friend to explore a new part of the city a few kilometers away. It was a good time, the only part I didn’t care for was having to cross over a road called the Super Highway. This road is a super busy divided highway and cars try to go super fast, hence the name. Anyhow, we made it across to see a famous temple and later found a night market where we got a little dinner. We headed back to our neighborhood as the sun was setting. Before reaching home, we stopped at a shop to buy a thing or two, locking our bikes up as we went inside. When we were ready to go, my friend unlocks her bike no problem but my bike key is nowhere to be found. It was a quick-release type key chain and key was not clipped on anymore, I had lost it somewhere between there and the night market.
We looked for the key in the vicinity but came up empty. Home was only a few blocks away. Worst case I could make the shameful walk home half carrying the bike, then get the lock cut off and replaced the next day. We did however still have one bike available. I came up with the idea to head back towards that market where we last had the bikes locked and see if I could find the key, a long shot to be sure. I set my friend up at a cafe to relax and off I pedaled, retracing our route keeping one eye down looking for the key and the other eye on traffic (not recommended).
I got to the market with high hopes, looking around where the bike was parked….nothing there. I asked a few of the vendors nearby if anyone had found a key, nope. I headed back home still looking but my hope was fading fast as it was dark already. I made it to the intersection to cross the dreaded Super Highway and waited for the light there along with dozens of motorcycles and cars. One good thing about this intersection is that it is very well-lit, like daylight really. Wait a minute, I spied something shiny on the wee patch of road between the opposing lanes of traffic of the Super Highway. The light changed and I tried not to get run over by all the traffic as I managed to pull over to the side in this no man’s land. Once the crossing traffic died down. I checked out the shiny object, it was a key, my key!!! I quickly scooped it and was able to make it over the highway safe and sound. Really, of all the places for for the key to land up…..and how fortunate for me to find it, especially in the dark.
Mini Swiss Army Knife
I was checking in for a flight in YQR (my old home in Canada) a few years back just when security was getting stricter. I happened to forget to check in my wee Swiss army knife and security said I could not carry it on but kindly suggested I may be able to leave it at the nearby airport gift shop to be picked up at a later date. They were sweet as pie at the gift shop and said yes they had been storing a few items short term for people caught off guard with the new security rules. They accepted my knife and I assured them I would have someone come fetch the knife for me in short order.
Once I landed I caught up with friends and the story of my knife came. up No problem, they said, their daughter who lived in YQR could pick it up for me next week.
Fast forward close to year, about a week before I am returning to YQR. I contact the daughter to arrange to collect my knife from her. Oopsie daisy, she has forgotten to pick it up for me. She apologized profusely and said she would get over the gift shop ASAP to see if they still had it but I said I will check out myself when I get back.
I arrived at YQR and make a beeline for the gift shop. I sheepishly asked if they might still have my knife from last year. The lady dug around in their lost and found. What do you know, there was my knife in an envelope with my name on it. Reunited and felt so good.
I’d like to leave you with a special song by Rush (my fave) called Losing It. The song deals with losing things much more precious than these items I ramble on about. Enjoy!