"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
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Friday, 19 August 2011

Losing Passport - Down my memory lane

We decided to go on a weekend trip to Sweden and Norway (actually, Gotenberg and Oslo). One of our friends (S.) was in Gotenberg on an onsite assignment and we could stay at his place and sightsee. Having reserved the flight tickets, Su, Lav, J, A and myself started on the early morning of a Saturday from Luton and reached Gotenberg. We spent the day and the next sight seeing Gotenberg, the beautiful archipelagos and islands of Sweden and Oslo. On Monday evening at 7:00 PM we had to board our flights back to London.

We were exhausted on Monday morning and decided just to have a wonderful lunch and idle away. In the evening at half past four we planned to go out and return in time for our flight. I took my passport in my camera bag with other odds and ends you usually find in a girl's purse - some cash, a few coins, lip gloss, mobile...

In the tram, we were playing and taking pictures while someone casually took off with my camera bag. Luckily, my camera was spared. We noticed the bag missing only when we had arrived at our stop. It was then that I realised, I also had my passport in it. Two of us went to the central station which was the bus's final destination, two of us to pack the bags now that our plan was ditched and me and S, our host, the guy who was primarily responsible for losing my bag, and I went to the information center.

Here was my situation - An Indian who had come to work in London on a work permit and lost my passport in my trip to Sweden on a tourist Schengen visa. I had to go to work the next day and no one can know about this at my office.

Now I am all for the "QUEUES" and waiting your turn but in such an emergency, no way!! I do believe there should be an emergency counter just for such situations. So, after endless enquiries and copious tears, we managed to get to the police station. Only, no one had any idea who should handle a passport theft :) ->  Is it the local police station or the other police (incharge of some higher jurisdication, I'm not sure of the name)?
Finally, a sweet police woman asked me the details for the report, filed the complaint and even called the airlines to appraise them of the situation.

The one silver lightning was I had a copy of my passport and all the relevant visa pages. So in the airport, I was given a boarding pass. The Swedish authorities were very good and gentle and even apologised for my inconvenience for the theft in their country when I was a visitor. However, as they were not sure if someone would be in the UK airport to check my visa copies, they were afraid I might be detained and not let into the country.

Hence, I spent the night at my friend's place and flew the next day to London. This was only possible as a person high up in the Scandinavian Airport Association (or something) had directed everyone to check my passport details before hand and ensure I have an easy immigration check. I had no trouble getting into UK without my passport as everyone were informed of my plight. Easy Peasy!

My dear friends were very anxious about this whole episode, kind enough to pitch in with the additional expenses and were very happy when they met me at Luton that evening. From that time on, I never trust S. with my passport bag ;))) and always carry a copy of my passport in all my bags.

P.S: I got back my camera bag with my passport in it sans mobile, as someone had returned it to an information center. I was fined (a paltry sum) for losing my passport! I was also spared all my odds and ends and the dumb thief didn't take the cash.


  1. An Indian who had come to work in London on a work permit and lost my passport in my trip to Sweden on a tourist Schengen visa. I had to go to work the next day and no one can know about this at my office.

    Nice.. :)

  2. beautiful story, brings back sweet, funny (and wee bit scary) memories :)..

    I liked the twist when "odds & ends in a girl's purse" suddenly became your passport ;)

    Great work Ruby!!


  3. thanks J.. good thing i got back my odds and ends... dumb thief, he didnt even take the pounds i had.. :)))


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