Friday, October 24, 2008

Now it can be told

I lost my passport somewhere between the airport and my daughter's house upon arrival last week. I had been traveling for 32 hours, and although that's no excuse, it's probably the reason. I called the taxi company, whose name I had the presence of mind to note as I entered the cab, and I called the airport lost and found. Nada. I was so anxious and embarrassed that I didn't tell a soul. Monday morning I braved the unfamiliar bus lines in an unfamiliar city, and thanks to an old-fashioned paper map, I found my way to the Vancouver American Consulate and reported the loss. I was dismayed to learn that not only is it forbidden to enter the Consulate with a cellphone, as it is at the Embassy in Tel Aviv, but unlike Tel Aviv, there is no checking facility. After asking around the neighborhood, I learned that a crummy-looking coffee shop across the street does a booming business checking cellphones and laptops for $5.00, no guarantees, no receipts, no nothin.' So I decided to risk it, and let them store my iPhone.

The security to enter the Consulate made airport security look puny by comparison. Luckily I had not lost my Israeli passport, which was acceptable as photo ID. The over-systematized service windows did not systematize emergencies, of which I was one, so I had to wing it. My passport was invalidated, so all you imposters out there won't be able to use it, and I was given an appointment to return for an emergency passport Wednesday (yesterday), so I did. This time I left my iPhone home and saved myself $5.00, and brought two pictures of the appropriate size and composition. Luckily I had a photocopy of the lost passport (highly recommended for all travelers!), so I was able to complete the application form thoroughly and as a result, a mere two hours later I left with a replacement passport, good for one year!

When I told my daughter, she thanked me for keeping it a secret; the trials of home ownership are stressing her out sufficiently these days.


Tamar Orvell said...

Kudos to you for telling. (We're only as sick as our secrets... some say...) You did what we all dread (and some have already done), and you prevailed. Thanks for the reminder to carry copies of the deets on our passport(s). Last, about your checking the iPhone absent decent proof of checking: Perhaps the entire country of Canada is honest?

Fred said...

So glad you were able to get it replaced. I'm sure it was a pretty stressful experience.