Lost passport

I travel home about every 2-4 weeks, but this weekend was my dad’s 60th weekend and my fabulous wife Mrs Globalste has been busy organising the family to come down to Lingfield (they live in Prestwick and the Peak District) for the weekend including a day at the races, dinner out in a nice restaurant, birthday cake, the whole sherbang.
I had booked to be home this weekend about 2 months ago (although for some reason I had to do it twice as it never turned up in Manage My Booking on BA.com and turns out I never got charged for it either).

I was getting some of my stuff ready last night for the flight home tomorrow, just my wheelie bag with a few bits in it and I noticed my passport cover was in my bag but no passport… So I had a quick look around my room in the usual silly places that I tend to put things down and… nothing.

Then I started a thorough search of the room, all my jeans pockets etc. I hadn’t used my passport for about 3weeks so I was finding it difficult to remember where I had it last. I definitely had brought it back with me because I needed it to get out of the airport and walk the 5 minutes to my room. If I had dropped it then it would have been handed in and made its way back to the school, but I quickly called Iberia and the airport to check. Nothing.

Usually on Iberia flights, I have a small carrier bag in the front pocket of my wheelie bag. This is so that once onboard, I can just whisk it out and have it with me at my seat and it has everything I need in it (book, magazine, newspapers, can of coke from the lounge and maybe some Haagen Daz). The last flight I came back on had 3 UK newspapers in it which I hadn’t got round to reading, and so last weekend I had taken them out of the carrier bag and put them in the bin.

Now fear was running across me, what if I had put my passport into the little carrier bag which I usually have in my hand getting off the aircraft. That would mean the passport was perhaps inside a newspaper and had made its way into the bin, over a week ago and was by now having its biometric strip either shredded at the local tip or having a new passport photo inserted into it in the south of Spain ready to sell to one of the Africans who try and get into Spain everyday on a boat.

I checked my place again but feared the worst. Now comes the interesting bit…

If you are in Spain for a while (as I am), then you are only permitted to get a replacement passport in Spain and this takes 6 weeks. It is possible to get a replacement in a week in the UK, but you must be in the UK while it is being done. Neither of these scenarios were going to help me back for my dad’s 60th birthday.  The other option is to request a UK Emergency Travel Document which permits travel, providing you have reported the passport lost/stolen to the local police station and have a signed copy, and you have filled in an LS01 and a host of other forms at the local Embassy. My local Embassy was in Malaga, nearly 100miles away and was only open weekdays from 08:30 until 13:30.

I decided I had to report it lost and head to the local police station the next morning, which was 15miles away in the centre of Jerez and has none of the “local” feel about it. It is in a 17th century grand building and has corridors like you see from the movies with lots of police in uniform and out, stomping from room to room with bits of paper in their hands. I now had the difficult task of completing the form over an internal telephone system which gave me the equivalent of a Crime Reference Number. I then had to wander to a completely different part of the building to then join the worlds slowest queue (way slower than any airport security you have ever experienced) to give this number to a guy who would print and stamp the form. There were 5 of us there and it took nearly 90minutes before it was my turn. Oh, i forgot to mention I drive a motorbike here so I was sat there in full leathers – just to add to the “you’re not spanish are you” look across everyone’s faces…

So, I finally get the form printed, stamped and signed and make my way back home. I now have the stress of trying to get this emergency form, and then trying to get a new passport issued ASAP as I am going on holiday with Mrs Globalste in April. The stress levels were soaring so I decided to get some food to try and calm me down a bit, then at least I would be thinking without a hungry stomach (which makes me a right grouch).

I simply couldn’t believe how stupid I had been to throw away my passport, I am so careful with it and meticulously check I have it at least every hour when I am travelling (I am that paranoid). I started going through my jacket pockets again in some vain hope that it was there and as I was going through them, I had some flash in my head that there was an inside pocket on a jacket I hardly ever wear. I went to the jacket and fumbled around for the zip, I could feel something inside. I opened it up “My Passport!”. I couldnt believe it, what a jammy sod. I have no idea why my passport was in that jacket, its one that I wear to walk from my place across the road to the bar, but I had no reason to take my passport with me.

I am still confused as to why it was in that jacket and feel a bit hacked off I spent the whole night stressing and the whole of this morning in the police station.

Looking forward to the trip home, if anyone is in Barajas T4 tomorrow, the bottles of Herencia 1551 (which isn’t a bad bottle of bubbles and is small enough to take on a trip) are on me.

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~ by globalste on February 24, 2011.

One Response to “Lost passport”

  1. So you are a normal human! Man, I lose everything all the time.

    Don’t forget to tell the police you got it back or they might shoot you at the airport as an imposter.

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