Have NO Passport. Will NOT Travel.
Picture the scene: you're late, you're brushing your teeth and above the whine of the electric toothbrush you hear this "Darling! have you got your passport?" by now you've had it and shout back "yesh" loudly. Spraying toothpaste foam all over your new black cashmere sweater. I received the following email this week.
Have you got your passport???
“YESSSSS!!!!!! You have asked me like 8 TIMES in the last 2 DAAAYYYYSSS!!! It’s in my handbag, in the inside ZIP! STOP ASKING ME! Grrrr!”
Shew cannot wait for this holiday I’m a walking zombie at the moment BUT it’s all worth it because in about 4 hours I will be lying on a beach in Tofo soaking up the sun….10 days of NOTHING! CANNOT WAIT!!!!
We are checked in, luggage gone through- was a BIT nervous that it would be too heavy but it wasn’t! YAY! Rushed off to get a few last minute goodies from Woolies ….you know cheese, butter, nachos chips….things not easily found at the Tofo market! After a last minute dash into the Chemist too it’s off to passport control and we’ll be ON OUR WAY! I can almost taste my first bite of a fresh pão with melted butter and cheese!
As I stroll through the security check I am silently pleased that I DIDN’T set off the alarm….it seems these days it always goes off on a domestic flight so I was randomly chuffed that it didn’t. I casually strolled over to the passport controller….trying to look kinda bored – not that I was worried because I wasn’t but I always try look bored for some odd reason anyway?!?!
And that’s when it happened - ” This isn’t a valid passport” said so nonchalantly you’d think we were talking about the weather! “WHAT!?!?!?!” “Its expired, I can’t let you through”
I actually don’t know how to describe the feeling I then felt – it was one of those “out of body” totally surreal feelings. I of course resorted to what normally works – TEARS! And a LOT of them! But sadly NO amount of tears was going to change this. Again thinking back to how arbitrary this was for them I guess this happens quite often…..not sure if that should make me feel better? It doesn’t.
Of course my poor husband – who granted can live on 4 hours sleep and be in Zombie mode for looong periods of time….he is a workaholic…..anyway HE was checked in and now strictly speaking “Out of the country” which meant he couldn’t come with me.
I said “Go just GO! I will meet you in Mozambique tomorrow” but he quite wisely (or stupidly depdning on how you look at it) said that “Nope when things go wrong it often goes very wrong so I will stay here” Took him about 2 hours to get “back into” the country and get our luggage.
In the meantime I have run back to where we checked in and on their system they had my CORRECT passport details, which is why it wasn’t picked up sooner because I have actually flown with my CORRECT passport before. Oh yes let me explain it’s not that I only have an expired passport it’s that I took the WRONG Passport. But as my husband said….when things go wrong it goes very wrong”.
I mean I honestly thought this was just going to be a day delay as all of the conundrums were being solved quite quickly….once again not by me….in a crisis I go into meltdown mode but my hubby is a problem solver….turns out THE REASON he kept asking me about my passport was because about a month before he was in fact in a scenario where one of his colleagues kinda forgot that going to a meeting in Lesotho meant you needed your passport! BUT they solved it you can fly it up in CARGO on the next flight up from CT to Jhb/Bloem.
NOW It was just to find the passport! As luck would have it, I had a friend staying at our house and I thought YES this is why their apartment isn’t ready it’s purely so that she HAD to stay at the house and FIND MY PASSPORT! Many hours later after all my odd secret things have been exposed to my friend who now knows me a LOT better ….still no passport…(unhappy face).
That is when the real panic set in and the thought that we may actually not get to Mozambique AT ALL….all those extra hours at work and all the rushing and waking up at 4am because your over active mind has too much on the go…..will not have time to chill and R E L A X for 10 days….oh and to have my workaholic husband around 24/7 for 10 days with limited internet access BLISS! Well I hoped we wouldn’t kill each other I mean how often do we spend sooo much proper quality time with our partners anymore?!?!
Determined to give this everything I purchased a VERY last minute flight down to CT that same afternoon to go and search myself for the passport and booked the 9pm flight back…very hopeful. This gave me about an hour and a half in total….my brother was waiting at Drop & Go and we raced home!
Sadly I am STILL in Cape Town and instead of lying tanning on the beach, reading my book AND sipping a tipo tinto with orange juice….I am at work (unhappy face).
They say things happen for a reason and I guess I am NOT meant to be in Mozambique this week and that is why my passport has decided to play Hide and Go Seek with me……its winning!!
What have I learnt from this:
- Don’t treat a holiday to one of your neighbouring countries as lesser than an ACTUAL overseas flight – just because we don’t need visas don’t be less than prepared.
- Never EVER book a ticket without actually holding your physical passport in your hand (or anyone else’s you are booking the tickets for).
- We all have copies on line….don’t do it!
- It’s not actually a catastropheit’s just a holiday….it can be rescheduled.
My husband would win Husband of the Year Award if there was such a thing because I would NOT have been as understanding and supportive as he has been….had the roles been reversed…I’d most likely be lying tanning on the beach, reading my book and sipping on some tipo tinto with orange juice instead!!
Post written by Princess Open Book