I’m currently in Lisbon for YAPC Europe. I very nearly didn’t make it. I flew out on Friday and on Friday morning, about three hours before I was supposed to leave the house, I discovered that my passport was missing.
I realise, of course, that looking for your passport on the day that you are planning to travel is a rather stupid way to organise your life. But that’s not what I did. I made sure that I knew where my passport was two weeks before that. Except it turns out that wasn’t my current passport. That was an old expired passport which, for reasons too boring to go into, hasn’t had the corner cut off in the way that expired passports are supposed to.
Just before 9am, I twittered my predicament.
Hmmm… I appear to be having some slight difficulty tracking down my passport *FX: Mild panic*
An hour and a half later, I still sound calm (almost joking), but internally the panic was rising.
If I was a passport, where would I be hiding?
At that point I think that some of my Twitter followers realised that I was serious and started to send helpful suggestions.
@davorg in the cupboard where the cereals are [@davecampbell]
@davorg Even reading that has me moving to check that mine is where I think it is. Hope it doesn’t stay hidden for long! [@keiosu]
Every time I went back to Twitter, there were three or four new encouraging messages.
A lot of the suggestions weren’t particularly helpful, but by about 11am the support I was getting from Twitter was about the only thing that was keeping me sane. My stress is starting to show in typos.
Thanks for all
the advice. The passport remains elusive, but I’m sure I@m getting
closer. And I don’t need to leave for an hour or so :-/
The advice kept on coming.
@davorg Drawer. Bedside table? [@antoniojl]
And then it started to take a different tack.
Unfortunately, I’d already eliminated that option.
Phoned Passport Agency and BA to see if there is any chance of travelling without it. Of course not.
Then, at 12:33:
Found it. It was in the scanner!!!
One day perhaps I’ll find time to explain exactly why it was in the scanner. But for now I’ll just say that I only found it because I was looking in random places that I knew it couldn’t possibly be.
My Twitter followers were as happy as I was.
@davorg heh and yay! [@chiselwright]
@davorg Of course! Bloody identity thieves! [@antoniojl]
Of course, the drama wasn’t completely over. I still had to get to the airport in time for my plane. At 12:59, I wrote:
Inna taxi to LHR. Hurrah! Excitment not over yet. Might not get there in time.
Still more encouragement from Twitter.
I was too busy to tweet for a while, but finally at 14:35 I found time to write:
Made it. Sitting in departure lounge waiting to board. Thanks for all your help. Hope you all enjoyed the drama.
And I think everyone was as relieved as I was.
@davorg – just happy you’re on the way safely. [@unixdaemon]
My Twitter statuses are also fed through to my Facebook page. So friends were commenting there too. And I’m really grateful for all of the comments that I got from both places. It would have been really easy to have given up and cancelled the trip, but knowing that there were all these people out there rooting for me gave me the incentive to keep going.
I can categorically state that in this instance both Twitter and Facebook were wonderful systems.
Thanks to everyone who commented.