In which I am an idiot…

Let’s go back in time shall we. Back to the day Jan and I left for England, Friday, 9th October 2009…

Picture the scene, if you will.
Amazingly the boyfriend and I have both managed to be packed and ready to go with plenty of time to spare. We head off to the train station, arriving there early enough to have a meal before we leave, then we jump on our train to Frankfurt airport. So far, so good. But then, about five minutes before we reach our destination a thought occurs to me. I turn to Jan and say:
“We’ve got a problem. Or at least I’ve got a problem. I didn’t pack my passport”.
Yes, dear readers. It is true. Your eyes do not deceive you. On the day I was flying from Germany to England, via Amsterdam, for my Grandparents Golden wedding anniversary I didn’t think to take my passport out of my work bag and pack it in the handbag I was actually taking on the plane with me. I’m not even sure the word idiot covers it…

The first thing we did after getting off the train was rush to a ticket machine to see whether there was any possible way to get back to Karlsruhe, pick up the passport and then get back to Frankfurt without missing our flight. Naturally there was not. So we turned to thought number two – finding out whether we could make it in a taxi. “Run like mad” said Jan, and so we did. Or at least he did. I was unable to keep up with his long, long strides, then my bag decided staying on its wheels was overrated. Not wanting to slow down, I attempted to get it back onto its wheels while running… and then the inevitable happened. The stupid bag got under my feet somehow and I went flying across the airport floor. Luckily hardly anyone was around (only one man who asked if I was ok) so I wasn’t too embarrassed, but my knees hurt. A lot. It’s now a week later and I still have the bruises! So at this point I was not only passportless, but also limping and alone… I no longer had any idea where Jan was! Luckily I hadn’t broken my mobile phone during the fall, so I phoned him and found out he was down by the taxi rank, where the driver had told him there was no chance of making it to the passport on time… not on a Friday evening right around coming home from work time. So we took the shuttle bus over to terminal two and headed to the KLM desk. There we found out that there was no chance of changing flights… at least not in that price class. We could upgrade to business class, said the KLM lady, but only at an extra chage of 1000 euros! But then she had a brainwave: “the German border police sometimes give out replacement documents for Germans,” she said. “I’ve no idea whether it works for other nationalities but you can always give it a try…” And so we headed up the stairs to the German border police. We explained our story and the very nice policeman asked me what ID I did have on me, if not my passport. I gave him my (provisional!) driver’s licence, which he said was good, but he would need something else as well, did I have anything else with my date of birth and a picture on? Luckily my UWE student card has both of those things on it. I was saved! All that remained was to go and get some passport photos taken (10 euros it costs! Ten!). Then, for a fee of 25 euros, he made up an emergency travel document for me, valid until 14th October… or, in other words, long enough for me to fly to Englsnd, go to the party and fly back to Germany. Not exactly the best beginning to our trip, but all’s well that ends well as they say, and from that point on everything the rest of the journey was just fine…


6 thoughts on “In which I am an idiot…

  1. Wow! That is quite a story, Bevchen! I would never have thought that one could get emergency travel documents from the border police at the airport – but then, I would never have forgotten my passport when travelling! 😉 (And I would guess that you never, ever will again.) Great that it all worked out, though, except for the bruised knees, of course.

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